SHREENA GREWAL, 28
Bites Desserts, a Brentwood ice-cream catering company
Employees: None, but looking to hire
What led you to start your own business?
I’ve always wanted to start my own business. I have a huge sweet tooth. I live on sugar and I love to bake. When thinking of business ideas, I figured why not turn my love for desserts into a really cool business concept?
Where did you get the startup money?
I funded the business myself, but my parents definitely stepped in and helped when I needed them to.
What’s been the biggest challenge so far?
I think the biggest challenge has been trying to increase awareness without spending a ton of money. Marketing and building a fan base are so important to building a brand but are also really expensive.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?
I’m one of those people that loves to do everything myself because I’m such a perfectionist. Unfortunately, that’s not feasible when you’re running a business. You have to rely on people with different skill sets to help you with the things you aren’t good at.
How many hours a day do you put in?
At least four to five hours a day and more on the weekends. I should caveat this by saying I also work another job and am getting my MBA part time from UCLA.
Has your youth led to any awkward situations, such as when you supervise employees who are older than you?
It’s always funny because people think I am younger than I am, but I take it as a compliment. I think most people actually think it’s really cool to be so young and already have my own business.
Would you start another company?
I already have, actually. It’s called Cake & Couture. My friend and I used to use it as a blog, but I’m now working on reviving it by turning the website into a lifestyle destination. I think once you start one business you think of other ideas and find other projects you want to work on.
Could you ever work for someone else?
I probably could, but the freedom, independence and sense of accomplishment you get from being your own boss and doing things your way is unparalleled.
What do you do to unwind?
My favorite way to unwind is to be outside and enjoy that amazing L.A. sun. I love to go on a hike or a long walk with my boyfriend. I think staying active and being able to sweat out the stress and just let go really helps.
– Subrina Hudson
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