Entrepreneur Spotlight #2

Meet Teresa Ging of Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique in the Loop:

What kind of business are you in?

TG: Cupcakes! Yay!!

How long have you been in business?

TG: I have been in business for 3 years now.

What was your last job before starting your business?

TG: I was in finance for 6 years before I started Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique. For 2 years, I worked at Bear Stearns doing Investment banking, then I went to a private equity firm in Chicago for 2 years, and then I did equity research for Credit Suisse. My work experience definitely helped me start my business.

Where are you from – where did you grow up?

TG: I grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, but have been in Chicago for almost 15 years.

Where did you go to college?

TG: I went to University of Chicago for Economics and Statistics, I know…completely different than what I am doing now, but I use what I learned in college, as well as my finance work experience everyday. It has come in very handy. I also went to Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and received my Patisserie Certificate.

What is your favorite thing about working for yourself?

TG: Being able to set my own schedule.

What is your least favorite thing about working for yourself?

TG: Getting up early…unfortunately have to wake up at the crack of dawn to bake, but happy to serve happy customers once 8am rolls around.

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Entrepreneur Spotlight #1

This is the first in a portrait series I am working on about small business owners.  Fellow entrepreneurs are a great inspiration for me on how to better run my own small business.  Meet Lynn Fosbender, owner and lead designer of Pollen, a floral design studio specializing in green weddings and eco-conscious events.

What did she study in college and where?

LF: I spent my first two years of college at the University of Wisconsin at Madison studying landscape architecture and horticulture. My junior year, I transferred to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where I took floral design classes while studying ornamental horticulture. I worked as a floral designer for a few years during and after college, then returned to school to study ecological restoration. After spending some time working in the field of environmental conservation, I returned to floral design, eventually starting up Pollen.

What did she do before opening up her own studio?

LF: I started Pollen in July 2009, after spending over ten years in various positions in the floral industry. Before starting Pollen, I worked as a floral designer for a flower shop in Champaign, managed a downtown flower shop, and freelanced as a floral designer for event design companies in Chicago.

What is her favorite thing about being her own boss?

LF: I like being able to follow things through from start to finish.

And her least favorite?

LF: Uncertainty. Making business decisions for a new idea is tricky when you first start out, since you have no real data to base them on. Let’s face it, business projections are pretty much wild guesses! But you have to go with your gut and make your guesses as educated as possible. [tweetmeme source=”callielipkin” only_single=false]