Mumpreneur turns hobby into business

By on February 16, 2015

Has it ever occurred to you that you could run a business in Tokyo by doing what you love while raising a family?

32-year old mum Seema Bardia found her passion in baking and did just that. A trailing spouse who, nine years ago, moved from India to Tokyo to join her husband Manoj (34), Seema has been honing her baking skills for years until an opportunity presented itself.

With the support of her husband and parents back home, the mumpreneur with a bachelor’s degree in commerce and jewelry design rolled up her sleeves and got herself to work experimenting with various cakes and pastries in the comfort of her home kitchen.

In 2012, she officially opened her made-to-order business. Today, she caters to families looking for something that’s a bit of a challenge to find in Tokyo: themed eggless cakes and pastries. But that’s not all. She has a one-size-fits-all approach to baking by offering her clients regular themed cakes, flufffy
cupcakes, cookies and Indian pastries as well.

“I am a vegetarian by choice and I also don’t eat eggs. Here, you don’t get eggless cakes. There’s a lot of shops around town where you can get plain looking cakes but what’s hard to get here are the ‘dressed up’ ones you find in other countries. That was what inspired me into baking my own cakes.”

Seema named her new business “Uppercrust”.
“When you bake a cake, the very top crust (upper crust) that turns out well is what brings a smile to a baker,. Thus, I had named my home business Uppercrust” explains the mumpreneur.

Before she was able to get her project off the ground, she had to overcome two challenges. First, she had to get a thumbs up from her dear husband.

Second, she had to learn the local language.

“Husband checks and tastes all of my experiments and so he is actually my first critic when it comes to my baked goodies which I’m thankful for as I learn in the process. I told him that my wish was to turn my hobby into a career. I know that there are tough challenges ahead but what matters to me most is that he believes in what I do. It was my passion that got him to agree to making baking my profession,” confides the passionate baker.

“Learning the local language to be able to read food labels as everything’s in Japanese here (and most of the products contain fish dashi )has been the most challenging experience I’ve had living in Tokyo.

image(2)When asked about how she keeps home and business schedules working smoothly, Seema admits to not having a fixed schedule.. “Uppercrust is an order-based business but I try to finish my work until 4 pm when my daughter is back from school. Then, the rest of the day is family time. If work load is more than the usual, I do it after husband and daughter are both in bed. Like this, I get to maintain my balance.”

barbie cakeSeema gets all sorts of theme requests ranging from elaborate Disney character-inspired and Ampan man to two and three-tiered cakes. There is nothing she won’t do and sees each request as a test of her ability. “For me, each and every new theme is challenging,” admits the new mumpreneur.

For mums thinking of some side business, Seema has this to say
” Follow your passion, work hard and nothing is impossible. Just keep in mind that family comes first.”

Wise words from a mum who’s living it.

Seema lives in Tokyo with her husband and 9-year old daughter who is in grade 4.

To contact Uppercrust

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