Nakia whips up indulgent treats
September 19, 2023
Nakia N. Ard whips up delectable creations as the founder of N’Dulge Luxe Treat Boutique, a recent graduate of the 6888 Kitchen Incubator’s Sharpen the Axe program. We recently caught up with Nakia to learn more about her journey.
Introduce yourself — who are you and what is your company?
My name is Nakia N Ard, and I am the Owner, and Confectionary Artist for N’Dulge Luxe Treat Boutique.
How did your company start?
My company began out of a desire to be reminded of who I was as a person after divorce. I found myself in a place of not knowing who I was anymore, because my identity was immersed in being a wife/mother. I found that I needed to “indulge” in life, and the things that I once enjoyed, so that I could get back to the me I used to be.
Why this idea?
I’ve always loved confections since I was a child. My stepfather owned a candy store, and I went there most days after school. I also used to bake cakes for my mother’s birthday every year, and followed this same tradition when I became a mom. It was sheer accident that my baking became a business. I had an idea for an argyle sweater cake, and with no formal training decided I was going to make it. I DID, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Did you always want to be an entrepreneur?
I think deep down I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur, but never thought it could be a full-time pursuit. My mother was an entrepreneur, as well as a business professional, so watching her, I always had the desire in me to be one.
How was your experience in the 6888 Kitchen cohort?
Being a part of the 6888 Kitchen Incubator has helped me to improve my business model and understand the dynamics of manufacturing and business development to pursue strategies such as retail/grocery store placement. I would recommend all food entrepreneurs and business owners take the Sharpen The Axe Program, even if you do not have the desire to launch in other retail spaces, because of the valuable information within the course.
The Launch Dayton community values are: 1. Be Bold 2. All Are Welcome 3. People First 4. Give First 5. Remove Barriers. How do you embody one or more of these values?
By nature, I am a bold thinker. I believe that one’s uniqueness can encourage others to embody their own. I am also a people first leader, as I am attempting to encourage other women to utilize their innate abilities to change their circumstances. This is what my business has done for me, and I know that when barriers are removed and a woman is able to see her potential in ways she hasn’t before, she can move mountains.
What identities or life experiences do you bring to entrepreneurship that helped prepare you for this lifestyle?
As a divorcee and mother of 4, I have had to wear many hats to prepare for life in general, but the pursuit of being an entrepreneur has stretched me in ways I couldn’t have imagined. It actually helped shape me into the person I am today, because it allowed me to be independent, and provide for my family at a time that I was in despair. Being an entrepreneur has strengthened me and given me a desire to empower others to do the same with their innate abilities.
What is the biggest barrier you’ve faced on your entrepreneur journey?
The biggest barrier I’ve faced is having capital to fully pursue my dream. I’ve been able to have some wonderful mentorship that has led me to some resources that can assist me. However, the time between the pursuit and progress has been daunting at times.
Why do you love what you do?
I love what I do because it gives me creative freedom and allows me to present an unmatched experience to my customers. I enjoy the interaction with them and hearing how they enjoy the products that I am offering. There is nothing like the feeling of presenting your idea vs customer perception, and then getting positive feedback.
What advice would you offer fellow or aspiring entrepreneurs?
The advice I would give is to be like Nike, JUST DO IT! You can mull over ideas, and talk yourself out of what you want to pursue 1000 times. Don’t overthink it. Present what you have and perfect it later. You’ve got this, now go get it.
Connect with Nakia @ndulgeluxetreats.