Heyyy! Happy Boss Babe Wednesday! I’m so excited to bring you words from Dawn Konofaos of Alévri Marketplace. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried her vegan doughnuts & you will love her easy-going, but passionate spirit. During our interview, she talked about “glowing up”. To Dawn, that means “you’ve made changes in your life to improve yourself and you give light to other people around you.” Dawn’s baked goods are edible light & her words will inspire you to do some glowing of your own. Enjoy her words!
Tell us about yourself and what you do!
I like to call myself a 'creatress' because I do a lot of things, I consider all of them to be creative in their own way. To put it into words, I make beautiful baked goods. Always vegan, sometimes gluten free.
How did your business begin?
I've always been a baker. My aunt taught me when I was little a long with some foreign language, cultural history, painting and other creative crafts. I loved sharing the results of new recipes with my friends or my mom's clients. This particular venture started after a trip to Chicago for my friend's wedding. I stayed at her place and it was in walking distance to this vegan cafe (it was amazing!). There was doughnuts! Vegan doughnuts, so delicious! When I can home from that trip all I wanted was a doughnut and the only vegan doughnuts around taste like cardboard and felt like a rock...It was depressing. So with that I went. I made batch after batch called over my friends, they were happy to help. Who doesn't love free food. That was the beginning.
What’s 1 challenge you’ve faced and 1 success you’ve had since you’ve created your business?
The challenge... just one. I would have to say the lack of support I felt within this first year. I really felt support in some pockets in the huge way but the over all community support was lacking to me. I didn't really understand why we would do well with markets and coffee houses but we weren't receiving orders for doughnuts. Even though they were vegan, a rarity in this area people didn't seem to want to order any. So instead of trying to make a change I would focus on that and it would make me depressed. I often compared myself to my friends and their successes. Too much focus on the wrong things was a challenge that I needed to overcome.
In recent months we've seen a change. We're up in orders! It happened when we started to post cakes. People love cake and need them for all occasions. We are booking wedding cakes for this year and the next as well as birthdays, baby showers and graduations. I'm over the moon! I couldn't believe the response.
Our success, all the little things but my favorite is having great a wonderful first wedding cake tasting. It was a first for me and all I had was YouTube knowledge. We got the cake and I was overjoyed.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and has it come in handy for you?
“Be shameless, do you boo.” Yes, everyday. I have to remind myself to be shameless, get out there and show the world what you can do. If they don't like it, no matter. There's an awesome quote by the lovely Solange that states: "I always knew that being 100% wholeheartedly me was going to pay off." I do my best to live by that, yet be mindful of my impact on the world.
When are you at your happiest?
I love what I do, because I'm able to do so with the love of my life it's even more magical and rewarding. I'm happiest when we're together. He's my best friend in human form. I have a cat name Jolie and she's the love of my life in cat form- that needs to be stated
What do you tell yourself when things get difficult?
Well, it's funny in a way. My husband and I both say the same thing to keep us going. "This is for baby Konofaos." We want to raise our child and our business together so the more successes we get achieved before we become parents the better for our home and business life. It helps!
What are you grateful for?
For the love and support from my family, friends, and community. I'm also grateful for the change in dynamics between women. We've gone from hating and treating one another like competition to uplifting, loving and supporting each other in a big way. It's a magical thing and I love it.
What’s 1 personal goal and 1 business goal you plan to accomplish this year?
Personal-- make more time for me, get some rest and see my friends. Go out to eat or to local events more often. Business-- get our own space!
Where can you be found on a Tuesday afternoon?
Probably outside in the garden talking to our plants.
How about on a Friday evening?
Relaxing after a long day of baking for the weekend.
A Sunday morning?
I love Sundays, probably Bandit Coffee or Love Food Central (they have pancakes on Sunday's) if we aren't visiting with family or friends.
Finish these sentences:
I love: being creative.
I’m always looking for: new ways to love life.
My inspiration is: it comes from everywhere, mostly nature.
I’ll never: sacrifice the essence of me to appease others.