If you think changing career at 30 is too late, Grace Earthiam proves that fear can make you impede your transition into a second career – which could be the best career decision you’ve ever made.
Her first career wasn’t as a baker. In fact, this lovely girl from a small town in Perak spent a few good years in corporate job ( and a few times career changed) before she decided to take a drastic turn. She did that once she found her passion in baking back in 2014.
Nigella Lawson’s cake baking program influenced Grace to be a baker
It all happened in 2014 when she decided to try Nigella’s fruit cake recipe at home. As an amateur, the cake turned out very well and to her surprise, her family and friends loved it. Accidentally, from just experimenting with a recipe, people started to love her cakes and more orders came in eventually.
So, Grace baked more cakes and took order for parties and events. She sold her first cake for RM 50 but now, she started earning a few folds more.
Grace enrolled in baking classes to upgrade her baking skills
In order to expand her part-time baking business, she enrolled in baking classes. She made used of her Facebook and Instagram to promote her cakes.
Grace said she had some baking class requests coming in from other women who wanted to learn how to baking and perhaps made it as a possible stream of income. As her business is growing, she expanded her business to include baking classes in the Klang Valley area.
From baking simple cakes for parties, Grace started to cater elegant wedding cakes. Still, juggling between a full-time corporate job and a part-time business owner, Gracies Cakes.
Exploring Melbourne to learn more about baking and cookery
She then decided to enroll in a short chocolate design course in Melbourne to expand her baking skill. She learned a lot of things during the short course and she thought that it’s a must to explore to learn more about baking and cookery.
So, in 2017, she left her full-time job and enrolled in the Victoria Institute of Technology, Melbourne for a Diploma in Hospitality Management. Grace has completed her diploma and is a qualified chef working in Melbourne.
The challenges faced in unfamiliar industry
For Grace, baking industry was not as easy as she thought it would be. It is demanding and bakers are expected to be highly creative. Coming from basic knowledge and experience to run a business, she had to face customers’ high expectations and requirements.
She added that when she was working full-time and doing baking as part-time, she had to sacrifice her social life and hardly hung out not just with friends but also families.
A proud female entrepreneur
She’s proud to have reached this level and run her business all by herself. The best memories as a baker is when she get very good feedback from customers. Even though Grace lives in Melbourne, she still keep in touch with most of her customers and they are waiting for her to return to Malaysia so they can place their orders again.
She’s planning to have her own cafe in Malaysia and Australia too
Talking about her future plans, Grace is planning to start online baking and decorating classes for beginners this year. She also has plan to have her own cafe in Malaysia and Australia with a mix of western and Asian food and pastries.
Grace started her career as a medical laboratory technologist in IJN
Before making her way to be a full-time entrepreneur, Grace was a medical laboratory technologist in Institut Jantung Negara. After spending a few years, she realised that she didn’t enjoy her work wholeheartedly and shift to Human Resources.
She then became a certified Human Resources Practitioner and worked as a Human Resource Executive for several years. However, during that time, she had started baking part-time for fun.