The Latch has partnered with Set For Life to spotlight incredible Australians who are pursuing hobbies, side hustles and passions that feed their souls and enhance their lives. All our “Lifers” have the same thing in common: they’ve followed their dreams down a path to find true fulfilment.
When working away at your 9 to 5 week in, week out, it can be hard to set time to truly indulge. Giving yourself time to do what you want to do becomes a luxury, not a necessity. While the demands of work might always take priority, it doesn’t automatically mean your passions can’t exist, thrive and flourish as well. In fact, people like 23-year-old Monique Brady took their passion and has now turned it into a full blown business, literally named Sweet Indulgence.
Brady’s belief in herself and her passion led to the creation of Sweet Indulgence by Mon, a baked goods business based in Sydney that will make your mouth water. We spoke to Brady about the rise of Sweet Indulgence, and how transforming into a legitimate business has been the cherry on the cake.
Have you always loved baking?
Definitely! From a very young age I would always be in the kitchen trying to help family and friends with making the desserts, I was known for following them around the kitchen whenever there was sweet foods around.
What inspired you to start this side hustle?
During my final year of uni I began to bake a lot more and had friends request to order from me which then lead to more people wanting to order. My family then pointed out that I should start a business if I had people paying me to make them desserts for events so I decided to give it a go.
When did you first realise that this side hustle could become something big?
After having my first few pop-up stalls where I would sell out I soon realised that people were wanting the desserts more than I expected and that there was a big market out there for sweets. This led me to realise that I could grow the business into something more consistent with recurring customers on a regular basis. The feedback I was receiving from customers really helped me to understand this.
What were some of the toughest challenges getting sweet indulgence by Mon off the ground, and how did you overcome them?
There were a few things but I would say the biggest ones were lack of resources, managing finances and making time. There is a lot of money involved in the start-up side of most businesses and I needed the resources to be able to have the business fully equipped so trying to manage stock levels and other things was difficult in the first few months of starting out.
I reached out to family & friends for advice a couple of times to get an understanding on different ways that I could go about obtaining resources and utilising the ones I do have and did a lot of independent online research for ways to manage finances that works for me and my business.
The other issue of lack of time was most challenging during the lead up to a pop-up stall where I would under-estimate how long preparation of making the products would take me which resulted in a lot of sleepless nights and second guessing whether I should continue the business. I eventually learnt over time and practice how long things would take me and different ways to measure how much time I would need for things to ensure I had a plan to stay on track for future stalls.
What’s the best part of running Sweet Indulgence by Mon?
Definitely the freedom of creativity & the people! I love that there is no limit to what flavours & products I can make as I love experimenting with new desserts constantly and love how my customers get just as excited when I launch something new.
Seeing the customers happy is definitely such a rewarding feeling and reminds me why I love having my business.
Where do you find ideas and inspiration for new desserts?
I often walk through the confectionery & biscuits aisles at the shops to look at the different flavours & products they have and if something catches my eye I try and turn it into one of the desserts on my menu or sometimes a completely new dessert.
What’s your favourite dessert to make?
I’ve recently been loving to make custom fondant cookies as I love how personalised it is for the customer to make their vision come to life for their special occasion. I always end up having a new favourite product to make when I launch a new item so I often change my mind.
Have you always had a sweet tooth?
Absolutely & I still do. I use to always struggle to find dessert companies that offer mixed desserts packs as I love variety so when I decided to launch my business I wanted to make sure I offered variety for customers so that they can try a range of sweets to share with friends & family.
How do you feel selling out of your baked goods after one of your pop-up stalls?
It’s so surreal! The support people show my business is overwhelming. I usually get quite emotional to see that all my hard work behind the scenes has paid off and that people are left with a smile when they receive their sweets.
What’s your best advice for being ‘Set For Life’?
Definitely doing something you are super passionate about. I never had intentions of starting a business for baking and always just saw it as a hobby and still do but it never hurts to make money off your hobby and the best part is you have total control of how little or how much you want to do it if you wish to pursue other career paths as well.
I don’t do pop-up stalls every week so this helps keep my love for baking. It’s also important to not overthink the decision to start up a side hustle as you could end up talking yourself out of the best business decision you could make.