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During my years in business with Southern Suga by Mel and now with the Cake Decorating Studio, I’ve realized the following:

- If you try to do EVERYTHING everyone else is doing, it will stress you out to the point of giving up. Do you, do what you are good at and what you are able to do! The Jone’s are long gone. I’m doing me. Not trying to keep up with everyone else!

- It’s okay to say No, every customer isn’t your target customer and every audience isn’t your target audience. (Thanks Kalli from Social Pal Kal for helping me understand this to the core)

- Plan AHEAD- DO NOT WAIT TILL THE LAST MINUTE to get things together. You are bringing stress onto yourself!!! Make a plan And execute it.

- Self care is the BEST care. Set aside time for you physically, emotionally, and beyond. If you are not mentally and physically well, you won’t be able to do anything for anyone. Your body WILL shut down. I’m speaking from experience.

- KNOW YOUR WORTH. Again, KNOW YOUR WORTH and don’t ever allow anyone to tell you any different.

- Your PRICE is your PRICE. Stop allowing people to nickel and dime you. They don’t go into Target, Nike, Nordstroms, Saks, or Gucci asking them if this the lowest they will charge. Remember ever customer isn’t YOUR customer.

- Comparison is the thief of all joy and elevation. Focus on being better than YOU were yesterday. Everyone started from somewhere. Be proud of YOUR journey! You will be where you want to be before long. Work on building that solid foundation first.

- Educate yourself. Knowledge is something NO MAN can take from you! Read that again! EDUCATE so you can ELEVATE!

- Positive affirmations. Write them down on sticky notes, your mirror, at work, in your purse, wallet, anywhere! You are your greatest motivator. Set systems in place to keep you motivated and encouraged.

- Ok- so this one may be hard to take in BUT it’s a real GEM! YOUR FAMILY and even some Friends are NOT going to support you the way you expect. They are NOT your target audience so DON’T be gettting all in your feelings over it! Please understand this SOON on, otherwise you will be very bitter and angry. Some may support but not all and that’s OK y’all! There’s a world of strangers out there ready to support your business.

- Family and friend DISCOUNT! Ahhht ahhht- don’t you even think about tricking yourself into thinking that there is such a thing. Refer above to the YOUR PRICE IS YOUR PRICE note! You give discounts because YOU want to- because in your heart that’s what YOU want to do to bless someone; not because someone is your family, your homey, your colleague. Anyone truly supporting your business should not be looking for a hook up or hand out- they will support you 100%.

- Things will NEVER be perfect, so if your are waiting to start at the perfect time, release at the perfect moment and beyond- stop doing that to yourself. The PERFECT time may not come. Go with it! Believe in yourself and your vision.

- There is no such thing as BAD DAYS or months or years! We have bad moments, but do not allow that one bad moment to predict the outcome of your entire day, month, year or future. Figure out how to turn it around and keep it moving on a positive note!

- Learn from your mistakes. LEARN, problem solve, troubleshoot, brainstorm. Invest in yourself, your brand, your product. It takes some amount of money going out to make more money coming in.

- Surround yourself around atmospheres, people, business, levels that you attain to be at. Elevate yourself. I may not be there yet, but I will set myself in situations and settings to where I can learn and get to where I want to go and be.

- Stop rushing into things without knowing the foundations. Learn the business side. You will need the knowledge. - Have a plan and goals. - It’s not how much you make. It’s how much you save. You will need it to continually invest in things you need.

- Consult with a professional before you jump into something you are not familiar about. Taxes, licenses, permits, expenses. I know you might get excited because you want that storefront, but it’s worth educating yourself about. I thought I was prepared and still had lots of tears shed. Learn the process.

- Know that even if I don’t KNOW you I am wishing the very best on your dreams, goals, and business. You have what it takes, don’t doubt yourself. You are your greatest motivator. You are not your situation. Speak up, people will help you, but you have to ask. God bless you and push forward.

Love, Mel from Southern Suga by Mel Cake Decorating Studio

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I absolutely adore fall y’all! It’s not quite fall yet though. Its that time right in between summer and fall that teases you with clear skies and cool breezes, then BAMMM💥 the heat hits you hotter than fresh chicken out of the fryer. Y’all know what I’m talking about! That chicken you think is cooled off when you pick it up and then you try to bite into it but it’s too hot 🥵 but it’s so good so you are….aaaahhh’in’ and just burning up! Maybe it’s just the Southern Girl in me and maybe that analogy isn’t the best… But y’all it’s true! I walk outside and it’s so beautiful and cool then the heat and humidity just boots that breeze to the side. You go inside- look out and the trees slightly swaying in the wind… yesss I can go back out it must be breezy- ohhhhh siked ya- it’s hotter than that chicken like I said! Goodness that’s how hot this Louisiana heat is! I’m ready for full blown fall- no more teasers! Anyway, one thing I realized while enjoying the nicer breezy part of the weather is my love for pretty coffee cups! I can appreciate a hot cup of coffee (Pumpkin Spice, Peppermint Mocha, or King Cake preferably) in a super cute, festive, or stylish, coffee cup. I love cups that have florals, anything sparkly and flashy, Baker themed, or fun quotes and sayings! It makes me happy. It brings joy to my soul!

Do y’all have any favorites when it comes to coffee flavors or mugs? What brings joy to your soul during this time of year?

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My husband purchased me this bike I had been begging for. Well, I wanted a bike like it, but not necessarily the one he purchased. It wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t the color I wanted. It had a little rust on it, the tires needed to be replaced and more. I thought to myself, “Whew this looks like a lot of work!” My husband reassured me that he would transform the bike into what I wanted it to be. I’m thinking this bike is black, I want turquoise sparkly paint. This bike is rusty- I want new. This bike is not what I want. Anyway, long story short my husband delivered. He transformed the bike into something better than even I envisioned. So now I have this bike. I get on and look in front of me and think about this journey ahead… a journey to the unknown. It reminds me a little like life. We hop on a path not certain where it will lead us to. Sometimes we get afraid and turn around, but then there are the times you feel adventurous and travel to the unknown. I say that to say… don’t miss out on great adventures and opportunities in life because you turned around because of the unknown. I’m currently on a path to the unknown, but my faith is so great that I know it will lead to blessings beyond my imagination. Make sure in life your faith is bigger than your fear- that way you continue down those paths that lead to greatness. Get on your bike and keep rolling!

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Hey Ya'll!

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