Celebrating International Women’s Day as a Small Business Owner
Where it all began.
Sukker Baby owner Jessica has loved candy for as long as she can remember – walking to the corner store as a young girl to buy a bag of sweets carried on throughout her youth and through her adulthood, always with one consistent theme stringing these memories together: happiness. No matter what situation Jessica would find herself in, she always knew that treating herself to some delicious candy would always make her happy.
The idea of working in the candy industry seemed like a far-off dream. She’d walk into candy stores and marvel at the idea but was always pursuing other careers, often, a career she never felt confident in. They were corporate spaces that were typically led by men, where she’d comfortably fade into the background, never fully feeling confident as a woman in the workforce.
Once Jessica wrapped up her university years, finding her passion in a job setting was always difficult. She was constantly pulled in different directions while being told she was never good enough. Never having the chance to live up to her full potential, nothing ever felt right. Instead of building up the confidence during a pivotal time of self-discovery, she felt lost and incapable. Jessica had always considered herself to be a leader, but while stuck in the corporate world, her leadership skills and qualities that she knew she possessed, quickly dissipated.
After years of battling with her self-confidence, it wasn’t until the first Covid Lockdown of 2020 when Jessica finally knew that she was meant for something bigger. During the lockdown, she was on maternity leave, and was just a few months shy of returning to her current job as a real estate agent. The thought of going back into a male-dominated office where she often felt out of place was stressful. One night, she was sitting around the table with some family members and joked about starting a candy company – how fun would that be? But familiar thoughts had quickly crept into her mind – would people take a woman like her seriously? Why would anyone want to buy anything from her? But somehow, she pushed through the negative thoughts and with some research and determination, Sukker Baby was ultimately born.
Starting her own business and venturing out on her own has taught Jessica how to be confident in ways she never thought possible. Whenever asked how she decided to start her own business, she always comes back to the same answer: passion. She always loved candy – so why not build a career out of it?
One piece of advice she’d like to offer the women around her, is to grab hold of whatever you’re passionate about, and just go for it. Of course, it sounds easier said than done. Taking risks and being your true authentic self can be scary, but the reward of knowing that we as women are more than capable, is priceless.
Reflecting back on her accomplishments and determination, Jessica knows that the best way we can celebrate International Women’s Day is by supporting one another. Immediately upon entering the entrepreneurial world, Jessica was thrilled to notice just how many women were in a similar position. Carving paths for themselves in a world typically led by men and doing what they love best. Whether these women were already established or just starting out, it was clear that this community of smart, diverse and inclusive women was a space where Jessica belonged. And knowing that we are all here to support one another, makes it that much more rewarding. At the end of the day, we are all representing one another – we build each other up, we support each other’s businesses, we positively engage on social media and so on.
So, as a final message, we’ll leave you with this: if you’re feeling stuck and unmotivated in your career or lack the confidence to pursue something new and meaningful, it’s never too late to dig in those heels and grab hold of what you love – life can be hard but if you can figure out a way to smile more throughout the day, it’s worth it.