LOVE MONDAY: Featuring Adrienne Yates Braxton
At Painted Turtle Partners, we believe that every individual should be able to fully utilize their interests, skills and experience in a work setting that they will enjoy. In our weekly post, “Love Monday”, we will be highlighting individuals that have made a major career change and now love what they do. This week, you will gain insight from Adrienne Yates Braxton who went from working in PR and Volunteer Recruitment for a nonprofit organization to owning her own bakery, Gimme Some Sugar. Learn what career changes she made and how she got there.
What was your past career(s) and what are you doing now?
For the better part of thirteen years I was in the hospitality world. I was the Director of Catering Sales at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. In this position, I managed the revenue for all catering and concessions that averaged 9.1 million dollars per year. My team and I planned menus for events such as the Ohio Democratic and Republican Party state dinners, Cardinal Health, The Limited and Big Lots. Prior to the convention center, I was the Public Relations and Volunteer Recruitment Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio. In this position, I increased awareness in the community about the many mentoring programs that were offered for children in Franklin County. I left the hospitality community in July 2016, and I started my baking company in January 2017. I am a small “boutique” baker that has some unique items such as Cinnamon Roll Cake, Sweet Potato Pound Cake and Bacon Bourbon Chocolate Fudge Brownies as well as old time favorites like Carrot Cake, Rum Cake and Triple Chocolate Cake.
Was there a point when you just knew that you wanted and needed to go for this new opportunity? Can you describe that moment? What pushed you to move forward?
I have been baking for a little over 13 years. I started just doing it for coworkers each holiday season and it began to grow. Soon I was baking over 30 cakes for friends and family during the Christmas season. Because of my previous positions, I never had the time to do this full time. Last year when I was downsized from my company. I started to think about it. My husband, who is also my biggest cheerleader, kept encouraging me. Over the holidays, with no job prospects in site, my husband said to me “You should just do it, you know your father would say the same thing”. My father always told me “you want to be in a position where you work for yourself so you can call the shots”. After a bit of prayer, I decided it was time and “Gimme Some Sugar” was born.
What helped to prepare you for this career change?
Working in the food industry for 13 years, I have gained knowledge beyond what I ever thought imaginable. I have had the undying support from my mother and my husband which has been invaluable. I just needed to make the leap of faith.
What have been the biggest struggles and/or hurdles that you have encountered with this change? What are you doing to overcome them?
I think the biggest struggle was making the decision to do it. There is always a little hesitation or fear when trying something new or a change is being made. You start to second guess yourself … “Is this the right decision”, “what about my family”, “what if I don’t succeed”. But if you don’t step out on faith you will never know. I told my husband that I was going to “jump” and he told me that he would catch me!
If you were to offer one piece of advice to individuals that are contemplating making a major career change, what would it be?
Just do it. There is a quote by Walt Disney that reads “All of your dreams can come true, if you pursue them”
To learn more about Gimme Some Sugar and to view Adrienne’s sweet treats, visit her website.