woman entrepreneur– Roshani Subbarao who started Furball Barkery which is now the place to go if it is your pet’s birthday, or you wish to buy a cake for them or maybe just pick up a few treats. Plus point is they are made with good quality ingredients. Roshani Subbarao began her venture of Furball Barkery– a one stop solution to yummy homemade cakes and treats for your babies. Read on to understand her journey as a woman and a pet lover in an Interview with JD Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore.
Tell me a little about your venture and how you started this journey?
“I was always a pet lover and the one to feed the strays in my area, but when I got my second dog- Goldy Rao, I did not know what to feed her and what not to as the doctors in India don’t really give out details as to the diet chart and everything. I lost Goldy 5 years into us having her to kidney failure and I was completely broken post her death. When I got my next dog, Bubbles from a shelter is when I began understanding the do’s and don’t to feeding them. I began baking for Bubbles and for some friends now and then but never made it into a business until the end of 2019, so it has been 3 years to baking goodies and cakes for the fur babies and I love every bit of what I do.”
Can you talk a little about the Furball Barkery menu that you have and what it entails?
“Everything is made by me and I am a ‘one man show’ but I try to give my all to whatever it is that I make. For the treats, I have got a vegan base, chicken liver base and a fish base treat option, along with which I add cinnamon, pepper and all the goodness we otherwise give to our babies. I have frozen treats as well made out of Greek yogurt and then there is also a new thing I have introduced called the red cloud which is a jelly base treat. I am creative at heart so I tend to try new things,which is why I make donuts and cake-sicles. For the vegan lovers, I have a coconut milk option so yes, I love what I do and give my all to it.”
Did you have prior experience to this?
“I was an operations Manager with Hibiscus and did a few jobs before that but no long term as such. I am a remission from cancer, and I was diagnosed at 19 so I began post my diagnosis along with my treatment. I did various jobs, but my heart was never with them because when you are undergoing cancer treatment, you are just like what is life even about, so I planned to do something where my heart is and that is how I started my own business”
Did you happen to take a professional course to learn these cakes?
“I did not do a course to learn their cakes and treats but I did do a class to learn how to bake biscuits for humans but for them it was trial and error at home and with friends. I kept practicing and practicing and here I am.” Isn’t she a result of Practice makes man perfect? We think so!
What is your price range and how quick can you make an order?
“So, for hard treats it is Rs.250 for 150gms and they are made to order so once you tell me you need hard treats and I keep them ready by evening. For my frozen treats I take a few extra hours as they need to be kept in the freezer for a bit. Same goes for cakes, I just need a day’s heads up (however I mostly get last minute orders with 2 hours to make which is often too tight since I need a minimum of 4).”
If given an opportunity, would you plan a pup shower in the future?
“ I have never done a pup shower, but yes I have made cakes for girls who have conceived and special birthday menus. I have even catered a birthday party with cake, goodies, treats, etc. however, I would love to plan a pup shower if given the opportunity!”
How many repeat customers does Furball Barkery get?
“My business usually works with word of mouth so customers usually come to me saying they heard about me from someone who has gotten a cake from me. I do get repeat customers for treats but for cakes, if someone has multiple pets at home, they do come back.”
What are your plans for expanding your business?
“To be honest, it has been pretty hard to run the show solo and to find someone with the same passion for what I do as well as for pets. What I do solely runs with love for what I do for the fur babies and it is quite difficult to find someone and train them while running the show. I do plan to expand it, yes. It is in the works.”
As a woman entrepreneur did you face any difficulties in starting your venture?
“In starting? Not as such. So I was offered to run a dog café along with a human café last year. It did get a little difficult as a woman since no one took me seriously and it did take a toll on me. I am in my 30s and people looked at me like ‘hey where is your husband?’”
What would be your message to young girls and woman entrepreneurs?
“Honestly, just do it! For me, I thought of doing this for the longest time and it was those nagging thoughts that would always pop up with regards to how will I sell it, How will I do this, How will I do that? I planned to call it B & B bakes but I mean you can always make these small changes along the way. Just start! Take that first step and just overcome that hesitance.” Furball Barkery is an ideal example of what it means to push through all hurdles of life and soar high!
Roshani Subbarao is a perfect example of a woman entrepreneur who follows her heart and builds that dream of hers despite any hesitation she feels within. As a woman, we may get discouraged for starting our own venture but hey, just go for it! Like her you too can start your own business with our M.SC in Fashion Business and Management.