• Madeleine Bonser

Spotlight on - Adeola Omole

We put the spotlight on Adeola Omole, Owner of Dee’s Basement.

A background into you and your business?

I’ve been baking for a while now. From a young age I was always baking with my mum and over the years grew my skills and have been professionally baking for over 3 years.

I always knew I wanted a career in food in some capacity and as I grew older, I found myself drawn more to desserts and baking, plus I have a major sweet tooth!

Dee’s Basement started as part of my university course. I studied Business Management with Entrepreneurship at the University of Westminster and we had to create a whole business as part of our final project. Dee’s Basement was in its early days so used the business for the project and continued it after graduating.

What has been your biggest challenge or setback during your career?

I would say finding my unique style. It’s something to this day that I still question but I’m finding I’ve found my style and need to be consistent with it to create a true brand identity. 3 years in and only just figuring it out, haha.

If any, can you tell us more about how you overcame those setbacks?

It took time but I had to stop comparing myself to others. I would get distracted by what others were doing and see their cake styles and what they were up to and neglected my own business and me personally as months would have past and I would have achieved/developed basically nothing because I was so focused on what others were doing.

What do you think gave you the drive and determination to succeed?

I think having not necessarily bad experiences but unpleasant (at times) experiences working in a kitchen, retail and generally for other people gave me more determination to work for myself and start my own business. My family also have been instrumental in my success as there would be periods of minimal sales and I wouldn’t utilise that time efficiently and they would give me the push I really needed and keep me motivated.

What is the biggest lesson that you’ve learnt along the way?

STOP COMPARING YOURSELF AND YOUR PROGRESS TO OTHERS. Everyone is at different stages in their career and businesses and it isn’t productive to compare your new business to a business that has been opened for 10 years.

What three tips would you give to those starting their careers?

1. Don’t expect your first job to be perfect

2. Don’t be afraid to try something new

3. Remain professional

What is your advice to people who are wanting to start a business?

1. Ensure you can finance this new career whether it be having money saved or even working full/part-time alongside your business.

2. Make sure the business is something you are passionate about or you won’t stay motivated during difficult periods.

3. Don’t overthink it! Start with a product/service and get it out there. From there you can expand and improve upon the product/service and get your business name out there early on.

What is the best bit of advice that you have ever been given?

Everything happens for a reason. At that moment in time/situation it may look like everything is going wrong, but you learn from it and grow.

What advice do you have for people aiming for leadership positions?

Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and speak up when you need to.

What’s one key leadership lesson you’ve learned along the way?

One leadership style doesn’t suit everyone, and you may have to cater it to individuals.

What would your advice be to someone managing a team?

One leadership style doesn’t suit everyone, and you may have to cater it to individuals.

What’s the best part of your job?

Seeing customers reactions either in person or by video/pictures to my creations.

Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

Not necessarily. I feel motivation is key for any successful entrepreneur but everyone and their businesses are different so don’t feel there is a formula for a successful entrepreneur. But that’s the risk of it, it’s something you have to discover for yourself and most likely have setbacks along the way.

What has been your strategy for your business during corona?

Use this time for R&D, creating new products and experimenting as once lockdown is over there won’t be as much free time.

What top tips do you have for businesses struggling with remote working?

I now have a unit so I have to commute and leave my house, but whilst my kitchen was at my house, I heard a good tip. When you wake up and get ready go on a 5-minute walk as if you were ‘commuting’ to work and start your day right.

How has your business adapted to deal with such uncertain times?

It gave me the push to launch my postal orders nationwide. I was always tweaking something and just putting off launching it and when lockdown happened it meant no events which also meant no income and finally launched a range of traybakes and cookies.

Thanks so much to Adeola for chatting with us. You can check out the Instagram for Dee’s Basement here.

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