Emily Ham is the insanely creative genius behind handmade cookie business, Bad Batch. Em has that wonderful, but incredibly rare, knack of creating ingenious edible creations whilst building a powerful and sustainable business that pays her a great wage. Emily is not just any cookie creator, she is a powerhouse of ideas (‘SHAKE YA TITS IT’S YA B’DAY’… anyone?!) and has a real sense of what is, and isn’t, good for her business. She is one to watch. We love having Em ‘in the family’.
How would you describe the business you are in?
Bad Batch is a bakery that creates delicious cookie gift boxes with cheeky and fun messages embossed on them. However, do not be fooled, we’re not your average cutesy bakery. We have a really strong tone of voice and we’re not afraid to knock back clients that don’t align with our ethos.
What do you love about your work?
I absolutely love seeing people’s facial expressions when they see the naughty messages on our cookies. Usually they’re shocked, then they smile and giggle. It’s so awesome to bring that sort of joy through my baking.
What part of your job would you gladly give away?
I know this is a bit of a cliche for creatives to say but I would GLADLY give away the numbers! They’re scary and can crush my creativity. Although recently I faced my number-phobia and set up an accounting software as well as sought some professional financial advice. Go me!
If you were starting out in business again today, what piece of advice would you give your younger you?
Oh My! I’d definitely say to treat the business like a business from the start and focus on the numbers first. If you don’t have the knowledge, get help from someone who does. Pretty logos, business cards and websites are fun and all but you don’t want to be setting yourself up for a business that isn’t sustainable and that has no room for growth.
Women start businesses 41% of the time to solve a problem. Sometimes this means we have a great vision but don’t have enough resources to sustain our business for the long term. Tell us what resources you started your business with eg. money saved, business premises, business partner, and how long before you started paying yourself?
Bad Batch is a bootstrapped business. I started with a few thousand dollars and built things up slowly over a long period of time. I was able to set up a certified home-based kitchen and run all operations from there, which really helped to keep my overheads low. I didn’t start paying myself for at least two years.
As you know we are passionate about women #backingthemselves. So tell us about a time in the last twelve months that you’re really proud of.
After seeking professional financial advice and a tough chat with FIF founder Chelsea, I decided to restructure EVERYTHING! I pulled down my bestseller as we discovered it wasn’t serving me and my vision for Bad Batch.
In two short weeks, I totally restructured my product line, pricing structure, marketing strategy and my operational structure. It was the riskiest and the bravest business decision I’ve made.
So far it’s been the best decision and I’m really proud of that.
As we are always growing and learning, what is the one thing you would like to take time to learn more about?
Oh so many things but if I had to choose one, I’d say digital marketing. That’s something I’m really investing my time and money on at the moment. I find it so interesting but so complex. Especially the backend of Facebook Business Manager, it’s a whole other world in there!
The world is changing so fast and technology enables us to do so much more. We’re interested in which app you could not live without and why?
A couple of weeks ago I got onboard the Xero train. I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner, It’s SO nifty! I feel like I am finally (somewhat) in control of my finances. Wow! Never thought I’d say that.
Why did you decide to become a member of the Foodpreneurs Formula®
Females in Food was the first and only group I had come across that was specifically for women who were in the food industry. I loved the idea of being part of a community of like-minded women where I could gain so much knowledge of the industry. Within a few days of signing up to Females in Food I joined the BCAP program. The BCAP program is where I really began to flourish.
We love to celebrate our successes. Can you give us an example of how joining the Foodpreneurs Formula® has positively impacted your business?
Being a young female trying to find my way in the business world can be overwhelming to say the least. It’s easy to fall off the rails.
Females in Food keeps me accountable, steers me in the right direction, makes me feel like I’m not alone. It liberates and empowers me.
Females in Food has helped me turn Bad Batch from a hobby into a kick-ass business.
Thank you Emily.
Want to read more about another successful member? Check out our ‘What’s Cooking’ interview with Inna Kiner, toaster muesli maker.