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  • How This Mom Who Is Deaf Manages A Day Job AND A Home-Based Cake Business

    This mom shares how she has managed to pursue her dreams so far.
    by Dahl D. Bennett .
How This Mom Who Is Deaf Manages A Day Job AND A Home-Based Cake Business
PHOTO BY courtesy of Dianne Salazar
  • It’s not easy being a wife, working mom, and student all at the same time. Dianne Salazar, however, has inspiringly navigated these roles and continues to succeed in all as a person who is deaf.

    Two years ago, this mom of two dropped the role of “student” and added “businesswoman” to her resume but not before graduating valedictorian of her batch. Dianne graduated with top honors in 2017 at the Miriam Adult Education (MAE), the night school of Miriam College.

    “It was my husband who wanted to have a business, but we didn’t think yet about the cake business. I just saw my deaf friends, and even my relatives, bake cakes,” says Dianne through an email interview with SmartParenting.com.ph. “When I learned that MAE offers a course in Bread and Pastry Production for Deaf students, the NGO I worked for supported me and offered me a scholarship. That’s when I began dreaming of having a small business.”

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    Dianne with hubby Mark, who is also deaf, daughter Maisie and son Marc.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Dianne Salazar

    From student to mompreneur

    Dianne, who currently works at Link Center for the Deaf, an NGO that offers services for the deaf, such as tutorials, interpretation, and sign language training, Dianne began immersing herself in the business after graduation.

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    “I work from Monday to Friday and bake every weekend, depending on orders from customers,” she shares. Her husband, who is also deaf, helps her in whatever needs to be done, so do relatives and friends who often refer her to new customers.

    With a start-up capital of Php5,000, Dianne started buying essential baking equipment and supplies. One year into the business, she began investing in bigger equipment, and she began learning how to make fondant cakes after offering icing cakes and cupcakes. The fondant skill allowed Dianne to apply her talent in design and create colorful and playful cakes for different occasions.

    “I accept one to 10 orders in a month (and up to 50 during the holidays). I allot the money earned to buy baking supplies and ingredients,” she says.

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    Challenges of a small business

    Dianne adds that she still has a lot to learn from upgrading her skills to learning how to negotiate prices with clients. “I’m learning from my failures, and I am thankful that my clients give me good feedback. I continue to research new techniques and upgrade my skills through the Internet. I’m also still learning about costing because at times I have very little return on investment,” she says, 

    As a person who is deaf, some aspects of the business can be a challenge but never a hindrance. “Some clients who are hearing communicate or reach me through Facebook Messenger or SMS. There are times they would call me, and I would usually ask my daughter or my officemates to answer for me. I also let clients know that I’m deaf,” she shares.

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    From her home-based business, Dianne hopes to move on to opening a ‘small’ bakeshop one day and ultimately grow it, extending her products from cakes and cupcakes to bread and pastries.

    “I strongly believe that deaf people can build their own business like hearing people,” she says. “They should use their talents, pursue their dreams, and be prepared to handle conflicts and challenges. If they fail, there’s no need to be hard on themselves. For me, failure and challenges are what lead people to become successful.”

    Running a small business can be tough. Read here the lessons a few mompreneurs have learned.

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