Meet Raeann Teo, at only 17 she runs her own vegan baked goods business. I had the chance to connect and learn more about how she began her journey and run her business. Read on to find out more.
1. How did you come up with the idea for vegan baked goods?
I was 15 when I turned vegan, and I had a hard time finding vegan treats around my area. Most of the vegan cafes were too far for me & also found most places expensive. Hence I started this business, selling affordable bakes and making vegan bakes more accessible for those that live in the north!
2. Did you start the venture alone?
Yes, I did from the planning on what to bake to the design of the business’s logo, food packaging and etc.
3. What was the hardest part in the early stages of the business’s growth?
It was dealing with self-doubt, confidence and trust.
I was only 15 when I started raebakesvegan, and I was pretty much clueless on how to run a business. I was completely new to baking as well. The idea of baking for people was nerve-wracking. You’ll constantly think of: “what if I like it, but the person doesn’t? “what if it’s too sweet for them?” Just a ton of What Ifs and overthinking so to solve those problems I got my family members and my friends to try out the items over and over again before selling them. A lot of experimenting was involved in perfecting the product, and I wanted to make sure that I liked it 100% before selling them to others! Age played a big part in business growth. When I first started a lot of customers were hesitant to buy from me as I was 15 and “too young”. However, there were a lot of other customers that were supportive and loving. I had to work hard to gain the trust of those who were turned off or reluctant, & for those that supported and trusted me, I wanted to work even harder to maintain that trust!
4. Do you think luck played a role in the success of raebakesvegan?
I don’t believe in luck, but yes, I’ll say that I am incredibly blessed in every way possible! From having a supportive family and friends to being friends with some of the loveliest customers that I’ve also had the opportunity to work with. I don’t think I could have done it all without these people by my side continually cheering me on and supporting me since the beginning. Raebakesvegan has grown so much ever since I started three years ago & I’m so thankful to be doing what I love and sharing it with others!
5. How has the vegan movement changed in the last year?
I think more and more people are open to the idea of trying out vegan food & the vegan community is also growing! More non-vegan cafes/ restaurants are offering more vegan options on the menu, which is good to see. Not just adding vegetables on food but veganizing some dishes in Singapore such as “ pulled apart pork” ,“ Chilli crab” ,“ beef burger” etc.! In fact, many of my customers are not vegan, some do not know that my items are vegan and when they find out that it is, they get surprised and it makes me really happy knowing that people appreciate my work & enjoy it! I believe in the future the vegan community will continue to grow due to the influx of many food companies making great vegan options such as Beyond Meat & Omnipork. These brands make food taste really similar to the real deal but all using plant-based ingredients.
6. What advice would you give to a vegan business just starting online?
Just keep trying and don’t ever give up!!! The business might seem a little rocky at first, and you might face many difficulties, but as long as you keep trying and work to improve, you’ll get somewhere! I think it’s all about hard work & if you set your mind to it you CAN achieve it! Don’t focus on the numbers can how much money you’re making, how many customers you’re getting because it’ll just stress you out and it’s unnecessary! I think it’s good to establish relationships with your customers and interact with them, understand their likes/ dislikes and don’t just be another online business that sells things to their customers and that’s the end of it. Instead, make it personal and be genuine with it. Focus on quality and not quantity and do not take more than you can manage because it’s so easy to let stress/ work take over your passion. So be patient with it and do it one step at a time!
If you would love to try her lovely creations, you can place an order online !