Cakes, Candles & Masks: Meet The Irish Teen Entrepreneurs

“People started noticing my Instagram page and I just started getting more and more orders."

We all know how impressive young Irish people are. They are so impressive that some are even running their own small businesses.

Taking time out of their very busy lives, we spoke to 14-year-old Ella Conlon who runs her business Ella Conlon Bakes and Molly Kennedy (19) and her sisters Anna (22), Lisa (21) who run their business Mask Your Face together about how they got started, what they’ve learned along the way and much more!

Ella Conlon Bakes

At just 14 years old, Ella Conlon has turned her much loved hobby into a small business for herself. Ella started baking when she was just 10 years old. She now finds herself part of people’s special occasions including birthdays, christenings and even weddings! And there’s no doubt why as her cakes are picture perfect and delicious too.

What was the inspiration behind Ella Conlon Bakes?

“I got my first cake order when I was 11 and after I made that cake, I decided to make an Instagram page just so my close family and friends could see what I was doing.”

During lockdown 2020, Ella found herself with more time to perfect her baking and decorating. She started posting more frequently on her social media accounts.

“People started noticing my Instagram page and I just started getting more and more orders as the year went on,” Ella explains.

“What I always find so amazing about the start of my Ella Conlon Bakes journey is how it pretty much happened completely on its own and totally unexpectedly. But it has truly been the best thing that has ever happened to me! I really never thought I would be making so many cakes and cupcakes for so many people and celebrations at just 14 years old,” Ella says.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by ELLA CONLON BAKES (@ellaconlon_bakes)

What have you learned from running your own business?

“I think that owning your own business is constantly a learning process. Not only do I learn from my mistakes and fails. I also have to keep up with what’s popular in the baking world as it is forever growing with new designs and techniques and to keep up with all the new advertisement trends with Instagram, TikTok and Facebook,” Ella explains.

Ella is clearly social media savy and has recently started her own TikTok account. Ella has also realised the importance of having a support system while running a business.

“It took me awhile to realise just how important it really is to have that support system, not only through the triumphs but of course through the rough patches,”

Ella continues, “Honestly, I couldn’t ask for better support from my family and friends since I started my business. Without a doubt in my mind, I know I wouldn’t have been able to get to where I am today without them and their continuous support, help and guidance and I can’t thank them enough for everything.”

@ellaconlon_bakesZoe’s 12th Birthday Cake💖 ##birthday ##bakingtiktok ##cakesdecorating ##caketiktok ##cake ##fyp ##foryoupage ##fypツ ##fypp ##ellaconlonbakes♬ original sound – Ella Conlon Bakes

What is the most rewarding and difficult thing about running a business?

“I would say the most rewarding thing about running my business is the look on my customers face when the receive the cake/cupcakes that they ordered from me. It’s such a rewarding and fulfilling feeling when I know that I’ve created something special for someone’s special day or celebration. It really gives me such a great feeling of accomplishment and pure happiness knowing that I made them the cake/cupcakes of their dreams,” Ella says.

Ella admits that, “The most difficult part of running my particular business is when a cake or cupcakes doesn’t go essentially how I had planed or had hoped. The hardest part of this is picking myself back up and continuing to either make it work or choosing to redo something of start again. It takes a lot of will power and determination to be able to keep going when I know I’ve messed up.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by ELLA CONLON BAKES (@ellaconlon_bakes)

Have you any advice for someone who might want to turn a hobby into a business?

“Never be afraid of failure! Without failure, there’s no success or progression. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, grow and learn from them and don’t give up if your business doesn’t set off as quickly as you might have liked,” Ella advises

Ella also reveals that social media is the best place to promote and start a business.

“You can reach so many people on so many different platforms such as Instagram, TikTok and Facebook, for free! So, I would highly recommend this as an excellent starting point for any business.”

But above everything else this baker encourages others to ‘enjoy every minute of the experience.’ Great advice Ella!

What’s your plan for the future?

“I wouldn’t say I have a definite plan for the future just yet but one thing I know for sure is that I want baking to be part of my life forever, whether that’s expanding my business as I get older or maybe getting my own place or if it’s just a small business like what I have at the minute. But right now, I am just enjoying the beginning of my Ella Conlon Bakes journey and seeing where it takes me.”

Mask Your Face

Mask Your Face is a small business run by young creatives, Anna (22), Lisa (21) and Molly (19). They started their business amidst the Covid-19 pandemic when they noticed the demand for fashionable and sustainable masks. The sisters have since branched out to candles by the name of Mo.Li.An.

What was the inspiration behind Mask Your Face?

“During the pandemic, we voluntarily started making masks for our friends and family and then once masks were made compulsory by the government, demand grew and it sort of unintentionally snowballed into a little business,” Molly explains.

“I suppose it was just right place, right time, right product! There were never any solid concrete plans for it, it all just came together and luckily it all worked out well! We think once we had our website established it really turned into a little cottage industry and we got a bit more wind under our wings. However, our sewing skills were always very much for personal creations, so to think about where we are now is sometimes incredible,” the 19-year-old admits.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mask Your Face (@mask.your.face)

What have you learned from running your own business?

“If there is one thing that we can all say we have learned, it is that a business, no matter how small requires a great amount of time to become successful. Between social media, an online website and producing the products ourselves, we definitely had our work cut out for us,” Molly reveals.

“On top of all that, it can be difficult to balance our own work, studies and social life with the business. We learned to take time for ourselves, how to manage our time efficiently and most of all, how to work together,”

Through the creation of Mask Your Face, the trio learned how to create a website and how to manage customer service.

“Customer service was another totally new facet that we had to grasp quite quickly. Even though we are an online business, we were surprised to see how often we interacted with customers,” Molly says.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mask Your Face (@mask.your.face)

What is it like running a business together as sisters?

Lisa admits: “Running a business is one thing but running a business with your family is a completely different ball game.

“The responsibility of a small business was much bigger than we anticipated. Therefore, it is a major benefit that we have each other to share the responsibility and to know that we can rely on one another.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mask Your Face (@mask.your.face)

“We had arguments and disagreements, but we were always able to bounce back and put the business first. It’s somewhat easier to boss each other around too! And because Mask Your Face is family-backed, we have great support. If it weren’t for us working together, out little business wouldn’t exist. It’s definitely a team effort and we could not do it without all three of us playing our part.”

What’s your future plans for Mask Your Face?

“We would love to keep expanding. There are a few plans for some small things but with Covid-19 supplies, deliveries are very unreliable. On top of this expanding requires great time and thought. But we are open to the great possibilities for sure,” Anna says.

“We are continuing to drop new styles, patterns and shapes of masks for the summer months, and we are developing our dog bandana and hair accessories collections. There are plans along the pipeline for our own sweatshirt range and we are so excited to share it with everyone when they are ready,” Anna reveals.

Dog bandanas and a sweatshirt range? Say no more, we are already sold.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mask Your Face (@mask.your.face)

Ella Conlon Bakes and Mask Your Face are just two examples of inspiring, and successful businesses run by young women in Ireland.

We can’t wait to see what the future holds for these creative businesswomen!

If you’d like to be featured on KISS with your story or business, DM us or email editor: Megan@kiss.ie. Follow us on Instagram here

Read More: 

7 Questions With TikTok’s Venus Patel 

It’s World Wellbeing Week! Here Are 21 Ways You Should Treat Yourself

By Lauren Allen

 


More