Friday, July 17, 2020

The Brigade That Builds Brands: Army wife Ujvalpreet Kohli shares about her home based baking business

Hello readers! I often get queries from military wives, who want to know about employment from home opportunities and are keen on exploring home baking business ideas on the move. So, today we have Army wife and home baker, Ujvalpreet Kohli with us, who tells us how she started her home bakery and manages to build & grow her work from home business as she juggles service commitments. Her story on starting a baking business from home with a few resources and growing it on the move will, I'm sure, nudge aspiring milpreneurs to start something of their own to earn money working from home as well as earn income online through gourmet workshops, cake baking business from home, food blogs and food photography.

For more ideas on real work from home opportunities and military wife entrepreneur stories, check out our archives here.

Ujvalpreet Kohli - military wife and mother and home baker
Ujvalpreet Kohli - Army wife & Home Baker

CB. Please tell us something about yourself – what do you do, where are you based and how long have you been a fauji/military wife (and which service are/have been part of i.e Army/Air Force/Navy).
UK. I am Ujvalpreet Kohli - known to my friends as Ujval. I am an Army wife since 2005 and mother of two lovely daughters. I belong to Dehradun presently based in Delhi. I am a passionate home baker, totally in love with my profession.

Home baking can be one of the work from home jobs for women
Birthday cake crafted by Ujval

CB. What has been your business or creative journey been like, how & when did you start your brand/business/creative career?
UK. I had been teaching since my college days and did that for some time after marriage also. But with two kids and husband away, it was difficult managing, so I called quits to teaching. I loved cooking and have been baking at home for my family since long. Hubby was posted to field and I took up Separated Family (SF) accommodation in Hyderabad. Kids started going to school and staying alone I had some time for me. 
I started honing my skills with a few online cooking and baking courses. I guess my passion for cooking and some inspiration from the lady who helped me refining by baking skills (she is a very successful profession baker now) I got motivated. My girls' gang coaxed me to bake for them also and I started taking orders within our little fauji society. Initially even thoughts of competing with big bake houses within 1-2 kms of our society was discouraging, but slowly my home baked products were a big hit and even started getting orders from a few corporates, which gave a kickstart to my initiative.


Passion, skill and persistence - what you need starting a baking business from home
Home baking - work from home ideas for women

CB. Fauji wives make their homes in an assortment of obscure places across the country. Our lives are about living in the moment & doing what we can, when we can. Can you share how you stayed creative or found work that satisfied you while moving across the country?
UK. I started simply with my small kitchen oven and assorted raw material with tea time cakes, and slowly graduated to frosted cakes and bit by bit, built up the diverse menu card I can proudly show now. I named my venture Homemade Happiness. The progress had been very slow especially due to our frequent moves, I kept losing my loyal clients but only to find better & more clientele. Happy & satisfied and a true believer in “whatever happens for good” now I look forward to next postings.

cake baking business from home
Want to work from home? Start something of your own

CB. How do you market your business & products while moving from base to base, place to place & often to remote areas.
UK. I guess its word of mouth which does the trick. Most of my clientele (approx 80%) are defence personnel only, in and around the military cantonment. I connect with them generally through my watsapp group. I also have Facebook page and Instagram account and am also member of prominent bakers groups on social media where I keep advertising through my recent bakes. Social media, local friends & connects also assist in getting bookings from schools and corporates.

CB. How do you juggle that load of social commitments and welfare activities + postings & stints of solo parenting that are an integral part of fauji lifestyle, while nurturing your passion and meeting work deadline?
UK. The routine fauji obligations & activities surely can never be negated. They always are the priority. But with me, my workshop is my personal kitchen and I can bake for my orders any hour of the day. So, on those committed days I may be working at odd hours sometimes at night or early mornings to finish the bookings. At times kids and husband (if available) also join me in baking to meet the deadlines. 
Working from home has an advantage that you can prioritize to suit working time as per the commitments. In extreme cases I may have to deny some bookings specially during kids exams or other family/ fauji commitments. But that’s how I juggle between my job and commitments.

can I make money online? You can give your spin to baking and create work from home opportunities
Motivation & discipline - the 2 essentials you need to have if you want to work from home
CB. What tips would you give to fauji wives out there who would like to pursue career in your field while living in small & busy bases? (Many still believe or let to believe that you can either be a fauji wife or a professional, and that’s not true).
UK. These days there’s no stopping on working lady wives in our society. It is acceptable as most senior officers wives are themselves professionals. My field particularly is home based which require very less infrastructure or raw materials and can be initiated with minimum investment. Homemade eats have a big market and if you have passion for cooking, sooner or later you will get clientele. 
In small cantonments, although, the clientele may be less but then the options for fauji crowd to venture out to eat would also be limited. I remember in Sri Ganganagar (my first station), there was only one famous bakery which was the major landmark for us. Also initially putting up your products in the station shopping complex is an option till you get more well-known for your products. 
I used to set up stalls in Diwali melas, AWWA events and other festivities to advertise myself which helped me in building up my portfolio. I also used to conduct workshops for ladies and kids to teach them baking which also helped in spreading the word about my bakes.

You can find out more about Ujval's Homemade Happiness on Facebook here.

Also, meet Payal Kharbanda, another Army wife Home baker at The Brigade that Builds Brands.

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If you want to work from home, homeschool in India and/or create a happy home-based lifestyle, hop over to my Youtube Channel

Note: For collaborations, features and sponsored posts email Chandana at chandanabanerjeewrites@gmail.com.

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