Today's post is all about Annaliese, a sweet girl, in more ways than one. She's a recent grad with a heart for baking, children, teaching, and more. She lives in Grand Rapids and is pursuing her own baking business called Buttercup Baked Goods. We hope this inspires you to be passionate and pursue what you love as much as she does!
WHAT ARE YOU UP TO RIGHT NOW?
I am currently working as a Special Education teacher doing a full-time maternity leave at Zeeland Christian School. I work with students in grades 1-4th, specifically doing inclusive education. I am also in the process of applying for teaching jobs for next year. I absolutely love teaching and beyond passionate about inclusive education! I am also training in hopes of doing a marathon this fall, as well as the 25k Riverbank race.
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO PURSUE YOUR OWN BUSINESS? A CERTAIN MOMENT YOU JUST KNEW?
There has never been a specific moment in my life when I realized I would like to pursue baking. I have loved baking ever since I was a child. I would bake often with my grandmothers, aunts, and my mom. Baking has been an enduring source and expression of my love. It has been the thread that knits my life together, from memories of my grandmother’s kitchen, to family and friends’ celebrations. I wanted to be able to share that love and passion with people around me!
WHAT'S YOUR DAILY ROUTINE TYPICALLY LOOK LIKE?
My daily routine involves, waking up, eating a huge breakfast (I’m a huge breakfast fan), doing my devotionals, getting ready and commuting to teaching. Once I get to school, my day starts rolling. You can never be prepared for anything that will happen in a teaching day! Its pretty exciting to not know what will come next J After my day of teaching (Monday/Thursdays), I work as a coach after school for a 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th grade running club at school. After school I commute home and typically get in a run before it gets dark. The running is my way of debriefing after a long day, it helps me clear my head and spend some time connecting with God and His creation. After I run, I might be found cooking/baking or nannying before heading to bed.
WERE/ARE THERE ANY OBSTACLES THAT YOU HAD TO FACE SINCE STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
I think the biggest obstacle has been time and space. I have so many other passions in my life (family/friends/running/teaching) that are also a main priority and focus currently. If I could do all of these things full time and never sleep I would! In my ideal world I would have my own storefront bakery in the summers and still be able to teach Special education during the school year. Moving around in college also made my passion for baking difficult. I was moving from location to location so it made it difficult to store all my products and even simple things like utensils.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DESSERT THAT YOU BAKE & EAT?
Funny that you ask this because I am actually 100% gluten free and mostly dairy free. I don’t eat most of the products I make because most of the ones that are requested aren’t gluten free. I have really trustworthy people volunteer to taste test my cakes and cookies. I do taste all the frostings because those are always gluten free. If someone requests gluten free, I am ecstatic because I really have worked hard on creating delicious gluten free cakes and cookies because I know how difficult it can be to have an allergy! If I were to eat any dessert I make it would definitely be my flourless chocolate cake with a chocolate ganache sauce!
CAN YOU SHARE WITH US A SECRET TO BEING A GOOD BAKER?
I would say the only thing to being a good baker is to make sure you have fun! Don’t be stressed to follow directions word for word, because my best baking experiences have been through trial and error. Especially when it came to creating my own recipes. One time I was making a red velvet cupcake and wasn’t reading my own recipe carefully and switched out vinegar for apple cider vinegar. I have officially changed my recipe because of that mistake! The apple cider vinegar does amazing things in a red velvet cupcake. I would have never known that if it weren’t for my own mistake
HOW DO YOU REPRESENT THE TRAIT PASSIONATE? AND HOW DOES YOUR PERSONALITY TRANSLATE THROUGH YOUR BUSINESS?
I love to do everything to the best of my ability. I think that my passion can be seen in almost everything I do. Whether that’s teaching, nannying, God, running, or in my relationships. I am passionate about everything I believe in. I believe that my passion translates into my baking through my interactions with others. I will do everything to 100% my ability, whether that is in my teaching, running or baking. I want my customers to know that I will make them the best possible baked goods and make it as stress free for them as possible. If I don’t like the way something looks or tastes, I will redo it until its perfect. Now this can be both a good and bad thing. I am a bit of a perfectionist.
WHAT OTHER PASSIONS DO YOU HAVE, BESIDES BAKING? HoW DID YOU BECOME PASSIONATE ABOUT SPECIAL ED?
This is a hard question; I have too many passions sometimes! First and foremost, I am passionate about my faith. As mentioned before, I am beyond passionate about Special Education. I became interested in Special education because of my own personal resolve. I struggled my whole life in school with different learning disabililities. I also had a cousin who I was extremely close to in age who had ASD. Growing up with these two major impacts in my life really just gave me the heart to work with students who needed to learn differently in school. Numerous people told me while I was in college that I should be a teacher. I nannyed for many summers and absolutely adore children. My major freshman going into sophomore year was Occupational Therapy, but after much prayer and feeling pulled towards teaching I switched into the Special Education program.
ASIDE FROM BEING PASSIONATE, WHAT ARE THREE OTHER PERSONALITY TRAITS THAT DESCRIBE YOU?
Quirky: I probably laugh at myself about 10 times a day on average. I always manage to do something that would be embarrassing to most people, but I manage to just laugh it off because what’s life without laughter? I am a pretty goofy person when you get to know me well.
Responsible: I have been told that I am “mature beyond my years” by a lot of people. I have always loved responsibility and caring for others. I started nannying back in 7th grade. I believe that’s where a lot of my learned responsibility began. I was responsible for other family’s children and houses. That was a lot to take on, but I absolutely loved responsibility. Even now, I nanny and have the responsibility of being a teacher. I am responsible for a lot of people in my life and I trust myself doing that.
Athletic: My whole life I have loved doing sports and “moving.” My family grew up doing lots of activities outside—kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, hiking, etc. I love being outdoors as I mentioned before so anything I can do outside (and especially on the ocean) I will be doing it. I started running cross-country back in 6th grade and continued to run competitively throughout college. Running was something that came easy to me, especially when school didn’t. Running was/is my outlet. I love being able to breath in the fresh air and run fast. It’s the time when I have thoughts to myself and can spend some quality time with God. Whether that’s exploring some trails or pounding the pavement or the track. In High school I also played basketball, which I loved! There is something in me that loves to compete and gets a rush from competing. I think that has to do with my drive of doing everything 100%..
WHAT'S SOMETHING YOU LEARNED ABOUT BEING PASSIONATE AND HOW THAT'S CHANGED THE WAY YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE?
I believe that passion can be lived out when you find the gifts that God has given you. When you realize what things make you excited! I believe my life has changed because I have found the things that make me excited and happy to wake up in the morning.
Check out more Annaliese below!
Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org