Where have I been?

It all started in January. I signed up for a 12 week session with my personal trainer. He had a plan to guide his clients through a 12 week program to collectively lose weight. Our goal was 100lbs between the 14 of us. Or was it 8. I can’t remember. Either way, I was excited.

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I have been putting on weight for a year or two now, it happened slowly, and wasn’t exactly ruining my health- or anything like that. But it sure was playing on my mind. Blame whatever you want, societies expectations for looks blah blah- I don’t really care to be honest. I wasn’t happy with my body shape; so this was my chance to change it.

Somehow, in the midst of this, I managed to nab a place on the Chicago marathon- and training commenced in February beginning with a basic 5k. I have done a marathon before, the Edinburgh Marathon in 2013, took me 4 hours and 12 ish minutes (approx). My goal this time is to be under 4 hours. Achievable.

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With this, my new program and my new job. Oh yes, I also got a job in the coffee shop in my building. I had very little time for baking. I was still making short videos for Tik Tok- because it doesn’t involve as much editing or setting up of cameras etc and I will be releasing a lovely video compilation of those soon. Also because I seem to have just under 100k followers on there, much more than Youtube (by around… 98k) so I figured this would be my better option to see if I can become the glorified influencer. (update: no dice as yet, though they sent me a cool winter hat, which came in handy when it was the polar vortex).

I have also found that baking ingredients are just slightly more expensive in the USA. Which is nice. I could get a COSTCO membership and get stuff from there, but I don’t have a car to get to the nearest one, and also money for a membership.

What I am trying to say is that, this year, 2019, my priorities changed slightly. Baking and youtube went to the side, and I am focusing on becoming a healthy me for a while. I have not given up on baking (see above with Tik Tok, and also Instagram… gotta do it for the gram) and nor will I, because I love it. For now, it is just my hobby.

My plans to start my own business barely took hold as I found out I would need around $500 to have a good base. That would pay for my business licence, food safety course, insurance and allow me to pay for a shared kitchen for a month to sell from. I can, until then, sell from home- but still need business licence and food safety…. oh and insurance. Im happy to wait until I have savings again and go from there.

Sad to have my dream put on hold straight away, but I would rather go into it with money, than struggle from the start and not actually enjoy anything.

It’s now April (well, May as I didnt publish this till now), I have moved on from the Coffee Shop and now work back in my old haunt- Lush cosmetics. It’s wonderful to be back coated in essential oils and glitter.

So that’s me just now. Lots has happened- and I have filmed it, I just haven’t found the desire to clip it all together for a video. Yet. But there are plans in motion. Ooooh there are plans. Which I hope you will all enjoy when they are released.

Thanks for reading.

Speak soon

Colin x

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I don't have a clue!

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There are known knowns, and unknown knowns, and I don’t know either! I have been searching the internet for the best way to set up my cake selling business- and so far, I am confused.

After recently moving to Chicago, and having an obsession with making cakes (and feeding people) I realised my dream is to own my own Tea Shop. Since I am terrified of doing that straight away, I thought I would begin by selling cakes and baked goods- to build a brand and also get money!


Here is what I have learned so far:

Chicago has two laws regarding the sale of baked goods as a small business (that relates to my plan anyway). The Cottage Food Law, and the Illinois Home Kitchen Law. Both of which allow you to sell cakes from home, providing you have the relevant documentation and H&S certificates.
One law prohibits you from selling anywhere but Farmers Markets, but also- may not limit you to that. The other means you CAN sell foods directly to people, but also limits the money you can make per month. I think.


I need to register as a sole proprieter, register the business name, do a food safety course, (maybe) get my home inspected by health officials, get insurance/business liability… the list goes on. I have asked for help from a mentorship based in Chicago (SCORE) which should hopefully give me some sort of clarity into where to even begin.

Their reply has given me a great step by step plan for doing it correctly, in keeping with the laws, so I should be off to a good start.

I understand the registering self as sole proprietor, I knew I would need insurance, and that I would have to do some sort of Food Safety course. Having working in food based jobs since I was 16 I have taken multiple courses both here, and in the USA. That should be fine.

My other main obstacle that is coming up, is the cost of all these things. I have a credit card that can happily take the brunt- but without a solid income, I am worried to take the plunge.
I will keep searching the internet for information- but I now have a base of information from SCORE, I just need to take the plunge (and get a job on the side).

Wish me luck!

Colin

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