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    Posted April 4, 2014 by
    Metro Manila, Philippines
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Pint-size entrepreneurs

    TresMarias Cupcakes, From a Simple Desire to a Business On Fire


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Leighdearmas says that her three daughters Leila, 13, Julia, 12, and Sophia, 3, started baking cupcakes in 2012 after they saw their father baking his special cookies. "They only decided to turn baking as a business this year, after about 11 months of practicing," she said. Each girl has a role in the company that suits her personality and potential, Leighdearmas tells us. The oldest, Leila, "is the leader and head of the company, taking charge of inventory, grocery and baking itself." The middle daughter, Julia, has the role of designer. "She decides on the colors of the frosting and decides on the complete look." As for the youngest, Sophia, "apart from tasting the cupcakes, she is fond of mixing the ingredients together after she lines up the cupcake trays with liners."
    - Verybecoming, CNN iReport producer

    From a simple desire to a business on fire - this is how three sisters Leila (13), Julia (12) and Sophia (3) started out their cupcake business. Beginning February of this year, they have sold 420 cupcakes within a span of two months. Fondly called Tres Marias, these three have been demonstrating a unique kind of commitment, bond and creativity that this hobby turned into business has enabled them to showcase.

    It all started with simply watching "Cupcake Wars," "DC Cupcakes," and other baking shows on TV in the past years, our three girls begged us to allow them to try their hands into baking. Without our own oven, their first attempt at baking was done through our toaster when their dad, Mond, showed them how to make his special cookies. Amidst many mistakes and lack of proper equipment in the beginning, the three just continued on to pursue baking in their grandmother's house which happened to have an oven suitable for baking cakes. Youtube became a constant companion during the summer of last year and the many Saturday nights for these three as they delighted in watching unique baking videos posted by various individuals.

    When we saw their seriousness in baking by seeing their interest sustained in watching shows about it and reading about it whenever we hang out at bookstores, my husband and I decided to support them in as much as we can and help them be trained up in this interest that they have. We saved up and bought an oven and their very first electric hand mixer after a year of realising they were focused on this interest.

    For about eight months until they finally sold their first box of cupcakes, they had filled our kitchen and our house with the sweet smell of cupcakes. It had become a source of bonding activity for them as sisters and us as a family since we would involve ourselves in the process of their learning. We had seem them bloom in creativity and their individual and unique strengths just shined effortlessly. We had seen how Leila, the eldest of the three, step up and become the leader of the pack, which is not her usual personality. Today, she has grown her strength in baking and her sisters respect her for that, constantly referring to her for directions and next steps to complete the orders they had received. Julia, a natural artist whose hand is gifted with drawing,designing, and painting since she was little, had contributed her skill for the arts in developing the concept and colours of the cupcakes. She is in charge of mixing the colours and coming up with combinations and assortments that make the cupcakes look fun and appetising to eat. Sophia, the toddler who always loves to help, has naturally submitted herself at the command of her sisters, a unique trait for a toddler who's just almost always ready to practice her authority in the family. She has been happily assigned to line up the ingredients on the baking table, lines up the cupcake trays with liners, and other duties that requires her organisational skill. At three, she has demonstrated this skill strongly and she's added mixing the batter to her set of acquired skills, with a few (or much) spillovers here and there. But it does not really matter when we see them all three enjoy, laugh together and even make comments and constructive criticism over their finished products. Teamwork is definitely at play.

    Naturally, as their mom, I had always taken photos of their creations and post it proudly on Social Media via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. When our friends had seen their work, they were just amazed and curious if the baking they are doing is just for real. So, the orders, with payments started to come in.

    I remember seeing Leila pushing her sister, Julia, to her limits while excusing Sophie when their very first order came. It was Friday and they have a school activity the next day, same day that delivery of their first cupcakes was to be made. She panicked in the beginning but was demonstrating a unique level of commitment to finish the orders that they received. Even if they had to sleep way later than usual, they survived and delivered their first set of orders. After that, it had been steady and orders have come regularly all done through social media.

    Truly, this endeavour, what they have decided to name TresMarias Cupcakes, has been a blessing to our family as we see them do this as a desire that is real in their hearts. No one has ever forced them to do any of what they are doing but it is simply their passion on the inside that is propelling them. It has helped us as parents to see their potential and has allowed us to speak into their lives as we build and mould their characters into the person that they are called to be. It has also allowed them to put their faith and trust in God and develop a heart of gratitude as they see how He just continues to bless them even amidst imperfect cupcakes at times.

    Today, we had already gotten back our investment for the equipment that we bought through the sales that they have made. Slowly, they are also adding up more equipments to enable them to try new flavours, designs and concepts. They are also in the process now of financial planning as I and my husband teach them how to handle the money they are earning. At a young age, we are very pleased as well with their generosity as they bless their friends with that they have from time to time - cupcakes. More than the income that can be received from this pint-sized business, we feel we had already reaped through the strengthened bond that our family has experienced and look forward to experiencing.

    Cheers to our TresMarias!
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