People often need that extra push to pursue their dreams and ambitions, long quashed by the stressors of their corporate jobs. The hazed picture started clearing up for Priya Jayakrishnan Nair as the lockdown forced her to leave the corporate job and chase her dreams of exquisite bakery decorations. It all started with the deadly virus and the necessary lockdown.

The worldwide lockdown imposed around early March resulted in numerous layoffs, and industries shut down their offices, causing a significant decrease in revenue in every section.

“Everyone’s salaries were being slashed steadily, people were being laid off and it had become very difficult to work since our organisation had lost all its client accounts,” said Priya who is in her late 40s. The vendors had stopped coming in and as a result, productivity hit an extreme low, threatening her position as the company’s HR as well. Eventually, she had to quit the job because of extreme work conditions, low productivity, and months of salary were still left unpaid. Not constrained by unproductivity Priya decided not to let the lockdown define her capacity. She came across several online consultancies or educational counselling services where she tried her luck. However, having realised that none of them made her happy, Priya was determined to set her mind onto something that would make her feel content, especially in the gloomy lockdown.
After leaving the job, amidst all household chores and duties, Priya’s sister encouraged her to take up online baking sessions, which suddenly caught Priya’s interest. “I never had really paid any attention to bakery and culinary expertise before. I only loved visiting beautiful cafes and cake shops. I never really thought of making them.”

“As I started surfing YouTube channels, I discovered that a part of me was yearning to recreate beautiful cakes. One day out of impulse, I ordered some ingredients and made this beautiful cake for my family. Next thing I knew, every other day a delivery man would come knocking at my door to deliver all essentials needed to bake artistic cakes. It became an addiction, as I grew more refined and precise in decorating the cakes. There were many flaws in the beginning, and a cake or two always used to come out bad, but I thoroughly practised. It worked.”

Executing a small-scale business from scratch

The inspiration to turn this hobby into a small-scale business struck Priya when her neighbour placed an order for a birthday cake, made by her, rather than by a fancy cake shop. Receiving praises and heartfelt wishes, Priya made the resolve to open an Instagram and Facebook profile dedicated to her small business. She began receiving orders from several people, all over Delhi. She named her now, small business ‘Melt Bakery’.

“I started receiving orders from my family and friends, which then slowly grew as a small-scale business.” Content and elated is what Priya feels every time she packs a cake for an order.

“It is so amusing how lockdown has drastically changed our lives. Pre-lockdown, I was this busy woman, working in a 9 to 5 job where I had lost all my hobbies and likes. However, I didn’t want to sit idle and so, my bakery business consumed all my gloominess and unhappiness of losing my job at first. But now, I am always in high spirits, ready to bake the next Melt Bakery order!”