My name is Abisola and I'm 26 years old. I was raised in Lagos, Nigeria and currently live in Oxford, England. I'm a medical doctor by day and I have a little baking business on the side. I’m currently training to be a General Practitioner [GP] in England [aka Family Doctor in the States]. The Ultimate goal is to return to Nigeria and do some community focused healthcare.
A: As cliché as it sounds, I've always loved helping people and I knew I was going to do something along that line. I got a bit more clarity when I was 14, after losing a close relative. At the time, I felt that if the healthcare system in Nigeria was better that wouldn't have happened and I decided then that I was going to do something about it.
Q:Tell us about your baking company and why you decided to start it.
A: I haven’t always been interested in baking – actually my first solo cake was a colossal mess putting it mildly! I did however try again a few years later for a study group and the feedback was so good that I was encouraged to carry on with this new found interest. Initially, I was just baking for friends and family here and there until one fateful day when I was contacted by a friend of mine who was styling a fashion show where they needed a vendor to sell baked goods in the intermission. She suggested I apply, I did, and the rest as they say is history! That show was the first time I had been paid to bake. Within the space of a week, I picked a name, got business cards and a ton of baking supplies. Preparing for it was incredibly stressful with late nights and early starts but I remember being so excited by the process. I absolutely loved every second of it!
We agree :)
Q: How much time do you dedicate to The Little Oxford and what services do you provide?
A. Typically, my weekends, evenings and days off are mostly dedicated to baking.
Our services have evolved over the years and so have we. We do bespoke celebration cakes and cupcakes for pretty much any occasion. We are in the process of expanding our services to include catering desserts for events [think dessert buffet displays] as well as customized favors. I am also working on a baking blog– think simple, tasty recipes and tutorials.
Q. Wow. You're making us really hungry! Walk us through a typical day in your life:
This again is so variable, mainly because I do shift work. Typically, I aim to get up at 5 am, more like 05:30 after snoozing.
if I have an order to deliver that day, I spend up to an hour putting the finishing touches in the morning before work. On a good day, I’m back home by 6:30pm. Evenings are for blogging - anything from working on the blog design, editing pictures, to stalking other baking blogs (my personal favourite!)
I aim to be in bed by 10pm (more like 11pm).
When I can, I try to bake on my days off mainly so I can take pictures in natural light [the lighting struggle is real!]. This isn’t always possible and I sometimes find myself baking at odd hours of the morning.
A: The struggle is actually so real sometimes.
For a while, I questioned whether or not I could do both and do them well [I still do if I’m honest] - I mean nobody wants to be treated by a half-baked doctor [see what I did there!], so I have to dedicate time to developing myself professionally. However, when I do that, I feel like my business suffers. I use to think that ‘finding balance’ was the key, but for me what I’m learning is that balance can be somewhat of a myth. Different seasons call for different levels of focus. Sometimes, the business is a priority and other times it isn’t and I have to turn down some orders [which is hard!]. The key thing for me is identifying the season I’m in and focusing on the priority at that time. What I try to avoid is spreading myself so thinly such that I’m doing everything, but nothing well. Ultimately, I believe God graces us for whatever He calls us to do and resting in that knowledge helps me as well.
Q: That's so real. Ok Let's flip it. What’s the best thing about having two jobs?
A: I just love how different the two are. While ‘saving lives’ is fulfilling and all, baking is truly my happy place. It challenges me in a way being a doctor doesn’t - I don’t know if that makes sense! It unlocks my inner creative which I never knew existed. I think overall, working at both helps me be somewhat of a more rounded individual plus it’s a good conversation point!
Q: What is your goal for this year?
A: There are a number of things on the agenda for this year. Mainly launching the blog and growing that online community. I would also love to dip my toes in the wedding industry. I have my first wedding cake order, which I’m so excited about!
Q:Any words of encouragement for ladies out there who want to do both (whatever that is for them)?
A: Run your own race and stay in your lane. This is even more important in this social media era - it’s so easy for me in England to compare my progress to another baker in New Zealand. Don’t get me wrong, it can be quite inspiring to look around and see what others are doing but it’s important to have perspective when you do this. People are at different stages and comparing my beginning to someone else’s middle is a fruitless exercise. When you’re looking and you start to feel inferior - you’re looking too much!
Focus on your craft, put in the time and the effort - the rest will follow.
Q. Where can our readers find you?
A. It's www.thelittleoxfordbaker.com
and you can follow us on social @thelittleoxfordbaker
That's a word, ladies!!