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Meet LaLa DeVille

Today we’d like to introduce you to LaLa DeVille.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
A little over a year ago, I almost lost my home due to financial circumstances. I was taking on extra hours at work but it just wasn’t enough to make ends meet and get caught up. I was trying to figure out how to keep myself from drowning, but I began to lose all hope. I saw a preview of a movie about a woman who baked and sold cakes to save her home. She calculated how many of her homemade apple cakes she could sell in a 30 day period to raise the money needed. I thought that would be a good idea. I wasn’t sure if It would help me raise all the money I needed, but I was willing to try. I set up a GoFundMe campaign for myself, but I didn’t want to only ask for donations. I wanted to be able to give people something for their hard earned money.

I began posting on all my social media accounts, promoting “Buy A Cake, Save A Home.” It gave people who were local the option of donating or purchasing my homemade bundt cakes. I also started selling cake by the slice at work and my coworkers loved them. It was such a huge hit that my coworkers would meet me at the gate in the morning, asking if I had cake today. Between the cake sales and the donations, I was able to raise the vast majority of the funds needed to keep my home from foreclosure; Fortunately, the demand for my cakes continued. I decided to make it a side hustle, creating a second stream of income, and that is how “DeVille’s Bundt Cakes & More” was born. I now sell bundt cakes of various sizes with a 10+ flavors. DeVille’s has catered small parties and events and currently catering for various movie sets such the Space Jam 2.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
In the beginning, it was definitely a struggle. Being it was only myself with no assistance, it was a very bumpy ride getting started. Not only did I choose to sell cake, I also included banana pudding and peach cobbler. I had to figure out a way to create a routine for myself that would allow me to work my day job and come home and continue baking without overwhelming myself. No longer able to frequent the various poetry spots, all my extra time was spent in the kitchen cranking out orders left and right. I was getting as little as three hours of sleep every night, making sure I could keep up with the incoming demands.

While on my breaks at work, I would post numerous photos of my desserts on all social media platforms with the attempt of building my clientele. I began getting orders from locals who saw my Instagram and Facebook posts and from word of mouth. It was very stressful for me, still is, but eventually I was able to relax more by prioritizing my orders and making sure not to take on more than I could handle.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Currently, I work for The County of Los Angeles as a Mobile Classroom Driver, but I am known as a poet, writer and spoken word artist from Long Beach, CA. Poetry is my life and poetry is what saved me in so many ways and helped me build my brand as a baker. The poetry community was very instrumental in helping me with saving my home by promoting my cakes, cobblers and puddings and spreading the word to their friends and family. Soon after, I went from being LaLa DeVille, The poet to “LaLa The Baking Poet.” I am most proud of the woman I have become. After struggling on my own and having to put together a game plan for myself, I discovered I am a lot stronger than I gave myself credit for. I was able to take something so simple as baking a cake to start my own business, doing one of many things I love. I am proud to be a “survivor.” What sets me apart from others are the gifts and talents I have been blessed with. I am a creative individual, always have been, but as I got older, I discovered I had so many more hidden gifts that were crying to be released. I am a visual artist, I hand crochet dolls and clothing, I am a writer, a baker; A real renaissance woman who has learned to use all skills to make me unique.

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
For anyone who is starting out, I encourage you to do your research, educate yourself on how to effectively build your brand or business, there is so much that goes into starting out and you must take the time to learn all you need in order to get yourself on the right track. Keep your eye on the prize and never lose your focus or allow others to keep you from accomplishing your goals. One important thing I ask is that you continuously remind yourself: “Failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.”

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