Dejlige Days: You had a career working in advertising, what made you give up a safe job to run your own business?
Mariam: I really enjoyed working in the advertising industry. However, I always had the dream of opening my own cupcake shop. The time came when I needed a change and cupcakes was the obvious answer. It was a difficult choice but i finally came to the decision to leave my job at the advertising firm and pursue my ultimate dream.
DD: What has been your biggest challenge since starting your own business?
MM: My biggest challenge when I opened Serenity has been advertising for the shop. There hasn’t been any formal campaigns or advertising strategies in order to spread the word. Most people become aware of my shop through word of mouth or Facebook. Another difficulty I’ve had is the many lifestyle changes I’ve had to make since the shop has opened. Opening your own shop can be very difficult and I’ve had to sacrifice time with my friends and family. Nonetheless, its been an amazing experience.
DD: What inspired the interior design of your beautiful shop?
MM: I drew inspiration from my travels to New york, Paris, and London. While traveling I’ve had the chance to visit some beautiful cafes and shops. I’ve always enjoyed how warm and comfortable they made me feel. Coming home, I had the same goal for Serenity. I wanted to create a very cozy and inviting atmosphere by using pastel colors and soft lighting.
DD: And the cupcakes! My favourite is Chocolate O’Dream. How do you come up with the flavours and do you have a tasting team?
MM: Unfortunately, I don’t have a tasting team. I have ideas for different flavours I think would mix well and I try to bake them together. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Flavours are created through trial and error.
DD: You were part of the Danish promotional event at the Olympic Games in 2012, that must have been a great honour. What did it involve and what was your best memory from it?
MM: We had a cupcake stand at Saint Katherine Docks. The goal for the event was to gain awareness for Serenity cupcakes and broaden the market. My best memory was being on the royal Danish yacht and meeting the royal family.
DD: You run a number of baking classes for adults and children. Can you tell us a bit more about these classes?
MM: The students have the opportunity to have hands on experience baking in the kitchen with me. I give them the inside scoop on how to bake and frost the perfect cupcakes. They also get the chance to be creative and decorate their own cakes and take some home.
DD: What advice would you give someone starting their own business?
MM: Behind every successful business is a firm business plan. A business plan offers structure and provides a new business with direction. Another thing a person must realize before starting your business is how difficult it can be. Starting your own business is no walk in the park. You must be willing to dedicate all of your efforts and time into it.
MM: Pursuing my dream and opening Serenity has been the biggest challenge of my life and the most rewarding. Its been an incredible rollercoaster to get where I am today but I couldn’t be more proud. I’ve grown so much as a person and I enjoy every minute of it.