Today we’d like to introduce you to Diana Russ.
Hi Diana, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I started baking in high school for fun which led to my love of it and led me to Johnson & Wales University Denver for my degree in Baking and Pastry and Food Service Management. I lived in Denver, CO for 6 years and loved it there but my health was making it difficult to stay since I was diagnosed with 2 auto-immune diseases, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Crohn’s Disease. I moved back to Kansas City and started my business, Butter Bakery KC in 2019. It came about because I had just had my 2nd hip surgery and needed something to do that would keep me busy and that I had control over how much I could do physically. I have always loved decorating cakes, so that’s what I started doing! I would just make cakes to decorate and post on Instagram then give the cakes to family friends to give me feedback. It slowly started to grow from there and has led me to where I am now, making more cakes (and other desserts) and in the middle of wedding season.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
It has been a road full of speed bumps that slow me down but I still manage to live my life and run my business. I struggle with a couple of auto-immune diseases, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) Hypermobility type, and Crohn’s Disease. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome hypermobility is where my body doesn’t create collagen properly which causes my joints to be loose and makes it so I have a tendency to tear tissue and ligaments easily. This is the main challenge I have with running my own business that is pretty physically demanding. In 2020 alone I had 3 different surgeries and starting treatment for my Crohn’s disease that made an already tough year a little harder but I got through it and I am still going. I don’t feel like the surgeries or symptoms ever stop me from doing what I enjoy doing.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I really love decorating and making custom cakes and making sure they are perfect and they make people happy! I am proud that I have been able to make what I love to do into my job! I like to think that I have set myself apart by the quality of my baking and decorating and the happiness of my customers. I love that my customers trust me to help them celebrate their special occasions with a cake and desserts!
Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
I would like to think that I like taking risks, but realistically it’s not the easiest for me when I constantly have so many things up in the air. I think I have played it safe with my business just trying to build up my customer base and getting my name out there. I am working toward hopefully having my own professional kitchen space or storefront which will require some risk monetarily and business-wise. I like to be able to plan what will happen next but I know that isn’t always the option. The way to move forward with my business will be to eventually take some risks to grow and make it the best I know it can be.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.butterbakerykc.com
- Instagram: @ButterBakeryKC
- Facebook: @ButterBakeryKC