Minerva Quan Martin is the founder of Jams Cakery and I have personally known her for a very long time.
In more recent times, thanks to social media, we have reconnected and I have with admiration followed her updates.
I got hooked the moment when she decided to make the very challenging choice to cut out sugar and some refined carbs in an attempt to find healing from a health challenge.
I listened attentively to a video she shared but what I really admired was her ability to openly talk about a personal challenge without fear of being judged or criticized.
“Another challenge is making sure that I reserve time for my husband. It I’d easy to become so wrapped up in what you are trying to get done that your relationship suffers.”
CWN: Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
Miverva: I did… I thought I had it all figured out too; Until I upended my plans that is. With a bachelor’s degree in business administration and public management and a Masters in Health Care Administration I knew I was set up pretty straight for the corporate world. I even started working in said world but I couldn’t shake the sense of dissatisfaction i had brewing in me; I felt incomplete.
So, I went back to the drawing board and figured out how I was going to go from where I was to where I am. That path has been very unconventional. I started working as a decorator for a grocery chain, and climbed my way into the company’s bakery management, now I wouldn’t have it any other way.
CWN: When did you realise you wanted to create Life 101 with Minerva and Jams Cakery?
Miverva: I’ve always known I wanted to own my own bakery and was never quite sure of what format it was going to be in. I started JAMs Cakery initially as a way to showcase my skills years ago but wasn’t in the right mind set so I kind of put a hold on my dreams and worked on healing. The name was pretty set in my mind as it is a combination of my angel daughters initials and also my husbands and mine.
It wasn’t until December of 2018 that I felt ready to move on and live again, but I also felt a need to put myself out there and tell people the things I had learned, was told, or wish I was told in those moments when I was in the deepest, darkest place in my life. That is essentially how Life 101 with Minerva was created, honestly it was a conviction in my spirit that brought me to this place, and even when I started it, I had no idea what form it was going to take and the I have been surprised several times over by how it is playing out.
As time went by with Life 101 WITH. Minerva, and i would say within the first 2 months of 2019, I knew it was time to refocus on JAMs Cakery as well. I was ready to really bring her to the world, but in a manner that was different from the standard bakery. I had just implemented certain lifestyle changes and I knew I could integrate those into the CAKERY so that is how she was created.
CWN: Do you think the traditional ‘career path’ is changing? If so how?
Miverva: Yes, absolutely it is changing. I think as a generation we are beginning to realize that there is more to education than just the standard general education. We aren’t all meant to have “conventional” career paths whatever those are. For some of us, we are finding the perfect blend between the general education we received and our passions which are generally honed in technical or art institutions.
CWN: What are the challenges you have faced so far and how have you overcome them?
Miverva: The first thing I would say is learning how to manage my time. With only 24 hours in a day, a day job, a business, and a home to take care of, I have had to relearn proper time management.
Sometimes it means not sitting down when I get off work so I just quickly change clothes and go straight into my kitchen to fulfill orders. It has also meant that learning that things like a TV set can be a major distraction, so it is only turned on when I am in desperate need to unwind. I have had to wean myself off of TV shows and reprogram my mind.
Another challenge is making sure that I reserve time for my husband. It I’d easy to become so wrapped up in what you are trying to get done that your relationship suffers. Overcoming this has meant creating time that is meant for just us. I am also more intentional in every little moment and never hesitate when it is us time.
CWN: What is the best part about being an entrepreneur?
Miverva: Honestly, the best part has been seeing just how far I can push myself. I am able to determine what I need to get done and I know that the challenges that I face will stay challenges until I figure out how to turn them into opportunities.
CWN: How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentor?
Miverva: Mentoring is essential to anyone’s growth. It is often said that you should not reinvent the wheel. I say that while there is no reason to reinvent the wheel, there is always an opportunity to enhance it.
Mentoring is a great way to learn just how well the wheel is running and what has worked for those who have been in your field before you. There is always something to learn and always someone you can learn from.
While I am not “officially” a mentor, there are several people I do spend time talking to and encouraging via my perspective or take on things. I am hoping that there will come a day when I will be able to organize a space for mentoring, but I still have some growing to do and I am currently on the hunt for the right mentor.
CWN: What is the best advice you would give to your younger self.
Miverva: Be true to yourself. Don’t let the magnitude of your dreams frighten you
CWN: What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
Miverva: Growing both Life 101 with Minerva and JAMs Cakery slowly and steadily in such a way that both enterprises stay true to the essence of their creation and serve their intended purpose.