Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Kayla Hawk & Ciara Ray . We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Kayla Hawk & Ciara Ray , appreciate you joining us today. Almost all entrepreneurs have had to decide whether to start now or later? There are always pros and cons for waiting and so we’d love to hear what you think about your decision in retrospect. If you could go back in time, would you have started your business sooner, later or at the exact time you started?
We honestly think we started it at the right time, and everything that has occurred with the business is as it should be. There are so many outside factors that have contributed to where we are today. We’ve seen lulls in business and major growth spurts too. We think there are ebbs and flows in life, with our personal and professional growth, so we don’t believe starting sooner or later would have benefitted us. We are trying to thrive from exactly where we’re at, and we’re adapting as things change around us.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
The idea of owning a business together has been present since our freshman year of college at OU. Ciara decided to dedicate her time to finding the best CCC recipe, and Sundays became our day to bake and hang out and catch up. When we were deciding what we want to do with our lives, the idea of Sundays started forming. After graduation, we created an Instagram account and we haven’t stopped since. We began our business in OKC, and we’re very grateful for everyone who supported us in our community there. In 2020, we took a leap of faith and decided to transfer our business to Fort Worth, TX. We’re so excited to be here now, where the possibilities are endless for us.
Sundays is an online bake shop functioning out of a commercial kitchen in Fort Worth, TX. We specialize in gourmet cookies, macarons, and wedding cakes. I would say in the beginning we were known for our chocolate chunk cookie but our most requested products currently are our stamped sugar cookies and custom cakes. Our OG chocolate chunk cookie is really what launched Sundays, and we are so excited to be in the process of getting our gourmet cookies in local grocery stores and other retail sites in Texas for easier access. Currently you can get your hands on our products by inquiring via email or through the online form on our Instagram.
The move to Texas has taught us so many things as a business. We realized one of the sweetest parts of our business is knowing clients choose us to be a part of their gatherings. We have big plans to expand this dream in the future. The main thing we want clients/followers to know is that although Sundays began as a baking company, we have future plans to evolve it into a multi-faceted brand expanding across industries. Our goal is to be a staple of every gathering, whether it be our baked goods to snack on, or a physical space to celebrate in.
What sets us apart from others is the quality and sizes of our products. We don’t know how to produce products that aren’t big. I think what else sets us apart is the connection we have with our following/client base. We really want them to feel connected to us, know our values and that they are a part of the family. The whole premise is to create opportunity and be able to provide for our community. The more we grow, the more we’re able to give back.
What’s been the best source of new clients for you?
Having a solid presence on social media is important for your business, but nothing is more effective than word of mouth and good networking. We have built/kept our clientele growing by clients passing our information to others and networking/marketing at events, pop-ups, open houses, etc. With word of mouth being so effective, that comes with a lot of pressure as well. You want to provide excellent services so that your business is being brought up in conversation and highly recommended. We still have clients in Oklahoma that refer people they know in Texas to our business, which is an honor and I think speaks to our quality of products.
Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?
Truthfully, managing a baby business while navigating a pandemic was not a cake walk for us. Our business revolves largely around gatherings, so all of a sudden, just about every wedding and future event we had booked was canceled indefinitely. It was really difficult to see our business go through its first major test in an environment that we had no idea if or when it would improve. Although COVID caused us to pause and reevaluate, we believe good can come out of all things. We refused to let COVID ruin our business, and we refused to let the pressure of appearing like we were fine crush us. It gave us a different perspective of what Sundays could be and we evolved as a business because of it. I don’t think we would be headed in the direction that we are going in if we hadn’t chosen to adapt instead of crumple. Although the pandemic changed everything about our business, we are grateful that we continue to change with it.