We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Jade Gonzalez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Amanda Jade, can you tell us about a book that has had a meaningful impact on you?
Back in 2016 I read the book, “The Universe Has Your Back” by Gabrielle Bernstein. It completely changed my life. Gabby teaches you how to have faith, stop focusing on your fears and giving into them. She teaches the reader that the Universe DOES have your best interest in mind & you have to trust the process. I’ve always been an anxious person, always planning and always preparing for the “worst thing” that can happen. This book taught me how to reframe those fears and really trust in God, the Universe, or whichever higher power you believe in. To this day I apply these teachings and I truly feel it has helped me get to where I am today. I try to always have faith and trust in the path that has been set out for me.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My career journey is unconventional to say the least. I’ve always been a creative person and thought I would be an actress, artist or writer. I graduated college with a degree in Event Management from one of the top Hospitality Colleges in the country hoping to pursue a career as an Event Planner. After working as an Event Planner for 7 months, I realized that career wasn’t what I wanted to do; it wasn’t the career I dreamed of. I still wanted to be in the hospitality field so I landed a job at the restaurant Maggiano’s Little Italy as an Assistant Accounting Manager, the complete opposite of event planning! Little did I know that this job would ultimately lead me to pursuing a career in Accounting and Finance. Working in the restaurant business for three years taught me how to be a team player, work long hours and wear many “hats”. Working there didn’t mean you were just another employee, it meant you were part of a family. The General Manager and Accounting Manager taught me about the P&L, Inventory and Budgets and when I wasn’t working on my Accounting role, I was helping with Events, putting out the floor flower arrangements or taking extra shifts as a Hostess. There were days I worked 12 hours, switching from my Finance role to Hostess role at night. Working at the restaurant in my early twenties set the tone for how I would handle myself in my future jobs. After Maggiano’s I decided I wanted to pursue Accounting in a more Corporate setting. I didn’t have an accounting degree and only having some exposure to Accounting and Finance from the restaurant business, it wasn’t sufficient enough to land a job in Accounting Firms. Luckily, I found a company that was willing to take a chance on me! Luxury Brand Partners, based in Miami, is a company that specializes in luxurious beauty brands and they were hiring for an entry level accounting role. Even though the VP of Finance said I was very “green”, he liked my spirit and offered me the job as an Accounting Assistant. I worked at LBP for four years and was taught everything I know about Accounting and Finance. The VP of Finance and Controller took me under their wings and dedicated so much of their time in teaching me, challenging me and believing me. Having them as mentors molded me into the professional I am today. While Maggiano’s taught me how to work hard and be a team player, LBP taught me how to be professional, assertive and meticulous with my work. While working there, I pursued my MBA and graduated in December 2017. When I began baking on the side, my coworkers at LBP were my tasters, the company even placed orders from me! They were, and are, some of my best customers. My coworkers were there from the start of Mandi’s Bakeshop, some of them even helped in choosing the name! They gave me their advice on my logo, packaging, prices, etc. Their support has played a huge role in the growth of my business. As of right now, I have stepped back a bit from baking as I’m working on my Accounting and Finance career. I’m not sure where my baking business will take me in the future but I do know I won’t ever stop chasing my dreams. I have a few ideas up my sleeve and can’t wait to share them with the world when the time is right. I just want anyone who is too scared or insecure to pursue something to know that sometimes the risks are worth it. It’s okay to be scared and doubtful, just push through it. I always ask myself, “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” and whatever that answer is, I always confront it and tell myself it would be okay regardless of the outcome. I don’t want to look back at my life and wish I took more chances. I’m a pretty impulsive person and even though I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life with those impulsive decisions, the mistakes have made me a better person. So to anyone who is too scared to take a chance, just close your eyes and take the leap. Take that chance, make mistakes and have faith that in the end, it always works out as it should.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Having lived in South Florida all my life, I have so many favorite spots! I would have to say my favorite Miami restaurant is Mandolin Aegean Bistro in the Miami Design District. They serve Greek food and it’s beyond amazing! Tavolino Della Notte in Coral Springs is incredible for Italian Food and Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlor in Dania Beach is a MUST. Of course if I were vacationing in S. Florida I would always just choose to stay at a beach hotel on the Las Olas strip near bars and restaurants, taking it easy.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This is incredibly difficult because there are dozens of people that have impacted my life, have cheered me on & believed in me. My best friends, family, boyfriend and coworkers have all supported me immensely and I love them all so much! For the sake of this interview, I would have to give my shout out though to my best friend, Dani. At 21 years old she basically took me under her wing. When we first became roommates, I got a job that was 40 miles from our house and I didn’t have a car. I wasn’t going to accept the job due to the lack of transportation but she said to me, “No, we are going to make sure you get there one way or another”. Between her and my other bestie, Vanessa, I got to that job everyday. After 3 months of saving, I was able to buy a car. Dani has been the big sister I never had. She’s a couple years older than me so when we first started living together, she was already becoming established in her career, whereas I was just starting out. I looked up to her, and continue to look up to her, because she has a vivacious, go-getter attitude. Dani has always believed in me like no one else has, she puts me on a pedestal and pushes me to be confident and strong. Anytime I’ve had a new job interview, move, boyfriend, loss, business idea, etc. she’s the first one to know about it and the first one giving me the best advice. She’s been incredibly supportive of my baking, has reminded me of my talent when I’ve doubted myself and, reminds me to always pursue what makes me the happiest. I’m so thankful I have a friend who has stuck by my side through this crazy ride we call life.

Instagram: instagram.com/mandisbakeshop