We sat down with the incredibly talented NCS grad, Naomi to talk about her life after NCS. Read on to find out about what she's doing now, how NCS gave her confidence to start a business and why she loves baking so much!
Tell us about yourself
My name’s Naomi! I just turned twenty-two. I grew up in east London and I studied law but never really enjoyed it. I wanted to drop out and try something different. I finished university but throughout second year, I kind of wanted to make cakes. Since finishing I’ve been doing it full time!
What about your experience on NCS?
I did NCS in 2012 and that was when the Olympics were on. There was a lot going on in terms of opportunities. Lots of free tickets and stuff. I signed up to NCS with my friend but she dropped out. I was thinking, “oh my gosh, I want to do this but there’s going to be all these faces that I don’t recognise”. I did it anyway and really enjoyed it. I made friends with so many people! We went camping – which I had never done before! Since then, I’ve gone camping a few times. We did a lot of social action projects. I really enjoyed it!
Why did you decide to start a baking business?
During sixth form, I was baking a bit but they were kind of rubbish and just for friend’s birthdays. All my friends told me that I should start my own business but I wasn’t in the business mind-set. I didn’t feel fully equipped to do that. I was at uni at the time but didn’t enjoy it and I was working too… it was alright to have money but baking was the only thing I really did enjoy. All my mates asked me, “What are you waiting for?” My boyfriend took my phone one day, snapped a picture and just started an Instagram account for me. That’s how it all kicked off!
You’ve started your very own business! How did you get the confidence?
I think NCS contributed massively! My confidence – I wasn’t the quietest person but when meeting people, I was a little sceptical. I got used to travelling to NCS daily and having to make conversations with people. I really had to build up the courage to talk to people. It’s kind of helped now when it comes to giving people my business card and promoting my business. I’m definitely less shy when it comes to approaching people.
Has been hard as a young person to run a business?
Yeah, recently someone tagged me in a post looking for a baker but then they said I had to be over twenty-five. Sometimes I feel like there’s a division for age groups in business and that can be a little frustrating. I’ve also found that costumers can be very condescending when they find out my age, especially when I’m a lot young than they expected. They make assumptions as they go along. Either way, I have to find a way to meet everyone in the middle somehow.
What’s the highlight of running your own business?
Seeing myself develop! When I’m baking, I don’t notice when I’m getting better but when I look back on old pictures, I can tell I’m developing. I can tell that all my hard work is paying off!