We had the good fortune of connecting with Claudia Wentzell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Claudia, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Growing up I always dreamt of having something I could create on my own. Something that I could build and I could call my own. As I kept working for other companies throughout the years I realized more and more that the only way I could grow without limits would be to have my own business. And as I watched my kids grow I knew I would like to leave a legacy behind not only for them but for so many more people out there. I have always thought that being a leader is an amazing thing yet it comes with lots of responsibilities. I love to inspire and motivate people to believe that it is possible to see the rainbows after the storms and that the road for them is not done, but instead is just starting to be built. Building my business from scratch is challenging, there are lots of sweats, tears, sleepless nights, but with it also comes lots of lessons learned, experience, happiness, laughter, love, and I truly believe in my heart that there is a big reward at the end of it all, even if it is to just tell my story and be able to inspire someone else to take a risk and do work on their dreams to come true. I want people to know that Failure is just another step of the growing process and that as we begin to accept and learn how to fail, it is then when we begin to grow and harvest all the fruits of our seeds!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a Cake and Sweets Artist! I love working with my hands, I don’t really know what it is but I can honestly tell you that everything just tastes better when it is fresh and homemade, it just has a different taste. I love baking and creating different designs on cakes and sweet treats. I’m a self taught home baker. I have been baking since i was 13 years old. For me baking is very rewarding because I get to work on these yummy desserts that when you are done and you taste it, it’s like you hit a home run and is absolutely delicious! And to be able to transform that yumminess to something beautiful by adding designs and colors to it to beautify is just an amazing feeling! I now have 6 years of experience working and improving my designs. I truly love baking with quality products, it really makes a difference in the taste when you work with quality ingredients. I love making everything fresh from scratch because it is something in my head that I like to see it all being created so I know exactly what I am putting out there for the people who are there to support me and cheer me on. Baking for me is something I’m very passionate about. When I bake I feel like a piece of my heart is in my hands working. One of the things I look and see throughout these years is that I have learned so much on my own. I have read so many books, watched so many videos and I have tried so many recipes throughout the years. I am so proud that I have been able to put in the work to test everything out and take the time to learn and understand the process. It makes me proud that my business is almost 100% referrals! which means that someone loved our cake/sweet treats so much they are willing to share us with someone else, that alone is a home-run! Growing a business is not an easy process by any means. You have to have patience, put in the work, dedication, love and work hard for it. For me one of the biggest things for me while growing this business has been learning how to fail and be ok with it. Looking at failure in the eye and saying “ok i see you but i gotta get up and do it again!” has been a hard one for me, because let’s be honest no one likes to fail. But as you begin to accept that it is part of the journey and is ok then you become invincible to the stones in the road. I’ve learned that healthy organic growth doesn’t happen overnight or in a blink of an eye. Healthy, organic growth is that type of growth that you plant and you care for it and watch it grow in its different stages while stopping at each stage to learn something new about it. Organic growth is not something that you rush, you have to work it, love it and enjoy each stage for what it is. There is so much love and passion that goes into what I do, but I honestly believe that each cake or sweet treat I make has a story to tell. Whether it is a story on who ordered it or how it came to be in our menu, it all tells a story! I love being able to create edible items that people not only can see for its beauty but can taste it. And in times of need I can put this passion of mine to work and give something to someone who needs it the most!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love having friends and family come over. It fills my heart with joy when we have company! This would be my itinerary for the visit:
– 6:30am – Wake up & get ready
– 7:00am – Go for Jog down Old Cutler Road! Honestly is such a beautiful yet peaceful sight, i don’t think many people realize how amazing it is to jog down that road specially during sunrise or sunset, either one gives you such an amazing sight to see!
– 7:45am – Starbucks on 168st and Old Cutler road! This Starbucks gives you all the nostalgia you need from this part of town! It is in a little area that it is surrounded by trees and is just super cozy and adorable just to sit there and enjoy a cup of your favorite drink! You really have to visit the area because it gives you all the beautiful feelings that nature can offer!
– The Blue Crabs along Old Cutler Road in the summer time are the best! You see them early in the morning come out from the ocean and you can bump into them throughout your jog so watch out! But just seeing their color and how big they are is just amazing! I love watching them hide when they see a person coming by.
– 9: 30am – we would get ready to head out for a late breakfast down south
– 10:00am – Cracker Barrel Old Country Store in Florida City! Their breakfast menu is delicious and they have just what you need for an adult and for the kiddos too. This place is right before you start your journey into the Keys, but it is such a gem because for me all cracker barrels are filled with so much nostalgia! From the food they serve to the items in the shop they sell, it is all so country and laid back, I love going around the store with the kids after we eat and finding super cute things that are made by someone local!
– 11:30am – Redlands
– After breakfast we would take a ride through the Redlands to sight see the acres of farms down in Florida! Sometimes I think that people feel like Miami is just all nightclubs and stores, but down south in the redlands you can admire the acres of farms and how many people utilize the lands to grow different things! We would take a visit to Bello Family Farms to see their chicken farm and their hydroponic Gardens
– 12:30pm – Robert is Here!
– I would take them to have a Fruit Smoothie! Their smoothie is made fresh with fresh fruits that truly can be taste in each sip you take. It is located in a very rural area of the city too so you get to see lots of land around, is very nostalgic too because you get to see a beautiful part of the south end of the city. They also have live animals you can see and feed in the back of the store. We would pick up some fresh vegetables from the front of the store to take with us for a nice
– 2:00pm – Grab a quick bite for lunch at home and go out and enjoy the pool if weather permits.
– 4:30pm – We would get in the car and head out to count Peacocks in the south end of Palmetto Bay! This has to be one of our favorite things that my husband Robert and I love doing the most, especially during these times that we have been quarantined, it has helped us tons with the kids! Is counting peacocks, we start by placing our bets at the beginning of the drive and everyone picks a number. Then we head over the most popular areas where we see peacocks the most! If you go on 184st and turn on 82nd Ave you start your journey counting peacocks! Go all the way on 82nd Ave and be sure you look all around you because they are everywhere! Turn right on 176th and keep driving and don’t close your eyes because you will see them around all the houses! The place where you find tons of them is in 77th Ave (aka Palmetto Road) and old cutler road around those houses you bump into a school of peacocks! Is beautiful to see them and throughout the season they change their feathers, they have babies and you get to see them grow, is just amazing! And if you are lucky while you are driving the area you can see a white Peacock (which we named Betty White) in the whole area! We always look for the white peacock, but it is not always around. They say the meaning of the White Peacock is immortality, resurrection, wellness, etc!
– 5:15pm – Palmetto Bay Library – this little library is another gem in the area! Is nice and clean, quiet of course and it truly has nostalgia written all over it. Don’t know if it’s because of where it is located but it is just a beautiful place to go look at books and check one out too! You have to check it out.
– Visiting Horses – right next to the library as soon as you walk out you will see that there is a small farm house next to it with horses in it. It is really fun to just walk over and see them in their elements.
– 6:00 pm – Bake Pies together – We would come home and bake a pie together with the fresh fruits we got from Robert is Here! We would also start getting dinner ready so we can enjoy a nice evening with an outdoor dinner! One of my old time favorites is Ribeyes with Green Bean Casserole and some nice Vegetables and salad! And of course a glass of wine!
– 7:30pm – Right after a nice dinner we will conclude our night Lighting a fire pit and making S’mores in the backyard!! Yum!! We would watch the fire pit burn down while enjoying s’mores and counting stars! I think because it is a suburban area the stars are more visible in this side of town so it is great to see them. We love using the SkyView Lite app to see the different constellations! the kids and I enjoy it so much because I was never good at finding them on my own!! Next morning we would work around the same things, a light jog down old cutler road, stopping in starbucks for a drink, watching blue crabs along the way, etc! But on this second day I will add a visit to the Deering Estate visit for a walking trail tour! I honestly think people do not rave enough about this place! This place is so nostalgic because it is one of the first places that was built down in south Florida! And until this date they preserve the first home that was built from back in the days and if you go in there it is like being transported back to the 1700’s or something around those years! The homes are so nostalgic and have that smell like it belongs back in the days! You can then walk the trails for more sightseeing, and see the indian burial grounds in there and you can also walk through the Chinese Bridge which is always a fun activity too! You also get to see different species of birds, like the different types of owls! This place is a really memorable place to be! On our 3rd day assuming we are on Sunday now, we would take a trip to Juno Beach!! Yes is outside my immediate surroundings but it is truly a must see place too! The beach is so beautiful, peaceful and so friendly, plus the parking is free and you can take your four legged pal with you as well! Juno Beach has its own beautiful parts as well. You can go to the Loggerhead Marine Life Center, which is a Turtle Rescue Center very fun to see! then you can head over the Blowing Rocks if you head a few minutes north. And there you can admire the beautiful rocks all around the beach and learn so much about how they get created and appreciate their different shapes! This place is amazing during the winter season because it makes a beautiful walk during that time! Towards the end of our trip we would make a pit stop and visit Sur La Table in Cityplace in West Palm Beach and grab some kitchen tools as a gift for my friend to take and remember us by! Sur La Table is another place filled with nostalgia because you just get the feeling that everything there is handcrafted and it just holds so much value. On our way home from our beach adventure we would stop by a Cracker Barrel and have a nice dinner to conclude our weekend! Once home we would have a nice tea/coffee and turn on the TV and catch a nice movie for the night!!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband Robert has been a tremendous cheerleader throughout this journey for me. When I started my journey with my business like many I didn’t think too much on how each step of the growing process would affect me. It really has a huge impact in one’s life and it helps you to see life so much different. However, at first I had a lot of pride in myself and failure was one of those things that I saw as shameful and embarrassing, and didn’t want nothing to do with it. But when you walk this journey, the biggest lessons come after each failure. And you have 2 choices to get up, analyze your mistakes and do it again or to stay down and never get up again. I have been fortunate to have such an amazing friend by my side throughout those times and that has been Robert. He would see me put my expectations high on myself and he would be there to motivate and help with anything I needed including investing our own money into each idea I have had! Yet when something went wrong and things wouldn’t go the way we had expected I would cry so much and be so hard on myself because I would feel like I let down everyone in the team including my family. Yet Robert would look at me and tell me that it was ok and that we learned something and we can do it better next time. He has taught me that in life you really have 2 choices, to look at failure straight ahead and you can throw yourself in the ground and cry and let it control you or you can work hard, find a solution and get out of the hole! My children and my mom have also motivated me to keep pushing. My children because I want to show them that through hard work, love, patience and dedication anything you dream of is possible. I want to leave a legacy to them that even though you can have a rough start in life, you can write how you finish your life, you can be your own creator on how it all ends. And I want the story of my life to have an amazing ending, one of those that give you a big BANG at the end of the chapter! My mother who always has the right words to say to me when things begin to feel emotionally heavy! She encourages me to keep looking ahead and be ok with the stones in the road, but most importantly to not give up for nothing or no one. It only ends if I wanted it to end. A great boss and leader I had throughout my years working taught me so much of how important it was to be a woman in business, yet never abandon your job as a mother. Watching her be the best she could in the business, yet always putting her family first was a turning point for me because it showed me that it was possible and that it could be done. I also heard a great message once in @thetransitionpodcast that opened my eyes big like never before. It said that failure is part of the journey and it is not until you learn how to fail and be ok with it that you will begin to grow, because once you learn how to accept failure emotionally, and understand that is part of the journey, it is then when you begin seeing the whole process with a different set of eyes and mind and you will start growing with a different set of mind! My best friend Kennia from @brokenmariposasfly she is one of my biggest cheerleaders who motivates me and inspires me to always want more and not to give up. I relate a lot with Kennia because just like me she is building a business from the ground and she has done amazing so far and she is my inspiration that it is possible and it can be done. My supporters, friends and followers who believe in me, my product and everything I stand for. Love being loved by so many and being watched by them. I feel like people are watching me grow and how I react to the changes and challenges is a big learning for them and I get to inspire them in some way!
Robert Wentzell (my husband) Claudia Wentzell (me)