Last night, Andy (my husband who you'll learn more about later, and the one who encouraged me to title this post-- holy shit, I'm starting a business) and I went to a New Year's Eve party. Coincidently, one of the other guests happened to win my District Dessert's New Year's cookie Facebook give-a-way. She brought the platter of cookies to the party. People asked me about the cookies- am I quitting my day job? can cookie making be profitable? can you really do this for the rest of your life? Many unanswerable questions, but a friend kindly reminded me that the year is full of unknowns, and that's OK, but if I try, I can make it the year of Megan-- she may have been a little more than tipsy, but I appreciated the confidence.
So before the year really gets going, here is what I do know. I've always had an entrepreneurial mind. I like inventing things, coming up with new ideas and planning ahead. I've never acted on any of my inventions, ideas or plans, though. For the last eight years of my life I've worked in a small public charter school here in DC. I've taught Earth Science, Chemistry and Health. On my way up (maybe?) the ladder, I've been the field trips coordinator, science department chair, director of community partnerships and I started the schools first alumni program. I love that school. I feel like I grew into an adult while working there. So much of me is defined by who I am with respect to that school. I enjoy, appreciate and respect beyond words my bosses. I have learned so much by working under them. My coworkers are great and being surround by students, while exhausting, keeps me youthful (do you know how to dougie or do the bernie lean? i do, and so much more). It is a very comfortable place for me. However, part of me has felt ready to move on for the past few years. In fact, two years ago I did... sort of (another thing we'll discuss later), but I came back.
Teaching gave me the autonomy I craved from a career. I was in control of my classroom-- at least until the students walked in:) I was making decisions daily, hourly even, that directly affected me and others. Other decisions I made had no affect on anyone and would often be trumped by decision makers higher up. Either way, this practice of leading people, making quick judgement calls, and working with others and myself all at the same time (possibly a concept only a teacher can understand because when the door closes with a room full of kids, it doesn't matter how many colleagues you have, it's just you) has taught me lessons that I take to all aspects of my life. I appreciate the time I have spent in the school-- I'm actually still working there and debating my future as I write this, but when my 29th year rolled around, I knew I wanted to do something, or at least try something, of my own before my 30th birthday.
My mind churned with ideas and someday I'll tell you story of how I got from there to here. It involves a baby shower, a Chicken Out and my dad. For now I'll just skip to what's going on today.
District Desserts is the beginning of what I hope to be a thriving custom dessert (and more) business. RIght now I'm pushing my Facebook and Etsy shop. I'm making endless decorated sugar cookies for favors and gifts. I love my sugar cookie, but I haven't craved one in months. Give me salty, savory and more salt. I'm teaching classes at Living Social's event space and doing everything I can to get my name out there. I have done and continue to book a few small dessert table orders. I hope to get more of these. I enjoy making a variety of desserts and really like working within a theme. I'm constantly experimenting with new recipes and dessert ideas-- some work, many don't. I'm excited and anxious for this new adventure. I'm working hard, and I feel like I'm always lacking sleep, but I'm happy and ready for more.
This blog will follow me and the growth of District Desserts. It's ups, it's inevitable downs and everything in between. I have some big goals for 2014 that I'm looking forward to sharing with you. Hopefully, this is the year of District Desserts!