Hira Umer: Baking Towards A Breakthrough

Scrumptious By Hira started in 2011 as a hobby, and five years later expanded into the friendly neighborhood bakery known by the community today. Hira originally operated from her mother’s kitchen at home, maintaining her client base through social media and word-of-mouth. By 2016, Hira had established a loyal client base and with demand for her halal desserts on the rise, Hira decided it was time to expand out of her mother’s kitchen and officially create a storefront.

 

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Exactly four years ago while I was about 4 months pregnant with my son, and about 5 months before my divorce, I remember sitting at the dining room table in my parents’ house feeling completely defeated — my life was literally the worst that it had ever been. I didn’t know if I’d end up divorced and a single mom or if my husband would fix his ways and come back for us. All I did know at the time was that I wanted to do something for myself and for my soon to be born son, something where I wouldn’t have to rely on the inconsistent support of my now ex husband, or go back to relying on my father for everything.

That was the night I decided that Scrumptious by Hira was going to be an actual business. It was something I was good at, it was something that would be solely mine, it was something that would allow me to take care of and be with my son while supporting ourselves financially eventually.

My intention was to do something good, first for my son and then for myself. Our intention is literally our foundation for anything and everything that we do. The reason why we will do something, why we will react a certain way to something that happens to us, the reason we start or stop something.
Intention: “a thing intended, an aim or a plan”. Such a simple, but strong word.

My intention was to provide my son with a stable life. To provide my son with anything and everything that he could possibly ever want. To make my son proud of me. To give my son the best education that I can possibly provide for him. To not rob my child of his childhood just because my life was bad. To give my a child a good upbringing. To raise my child as a good person. All of this with the help of Allah of course and then my hard work and efforts.

On April 23rd, 2013, on my 23rd birthday, Scrumptious by Hira was launched. My beautiful baby boy, Muhammad, was born about 2 and a half months later. Our journey had officially begun. Cultural taboo and judgmental people aside, I focused just on my son and my business. Having a new business is challenging, being a single mom is challenging, combine the two and you have double the challenges.

For me, my son was and is my inspiration, my motivation to move on and keep trying to do great things, literally the reason I wake up every morning. Especially when he was an infant, this tiny human needed me, relied on me, cried to me. I was his world and he was mine. He’s my strength, he makes me feel safe, he’s a reminder that everything in life will be okay. My business was my sanity. Something that would distract me in the wee hours of the night when I potentially could have felt vulnerable and lonely. And my faith tied everything together. I knew I just had to trust Allah to guide me and I’d be well on my way.

Slowly the general community started finding out about Scrumptious by Hira, people were interested, people were amazed and orders began rolling in. There were a ton of ups and downs the first year, a lot of new things that I learned: Time management, correspondence, customer service, work load, scheduling, skill set, limitations. I had many breakdowns, many successes, many great days and many bad days.

Year 2. We grew even more. We made our first ever dessert table display for a wedding. Business took off so much more, life was great and now I was ready to focus more on the growth of my business. I was ready to challenge myself to push my own limits, my own boundaries. Broaden my skill set. Take on more orders.

Year 3. We were now doing larger events, working with big name companies, doing mostly weddings and things were going amazing.

Year 4. I was growing out of my parents’ basement and my moms’ kitchen. I thought of what could potentially be ahead for me. I decided that I needed to organize my life, my thoughts, my goals and aspirations. I did all of this at the end of the year and had a clear plan of what I would like to happen going forward.

Year 5. We took the plunge and found a storefront, signed the lease, began and completed construction work and here we are today. This was most definitely a learning experience. I knew what I wanted, I set my mind to get it and went after it. I didn’t know how to achieve it, but I learned on the way, and got through it, Alhamdulillah.

Most days, I wake up feeling on top of the world. I’m going to conquer anything and everything that crosses my path. A little into the day, I start feeling like a failure thinking, “I’m so behind in getting back to people”, “I have so much to bake”, “I have so many people relying on me to support their organization”, “So much to do, so little time”, “My son needs quality time with me, I haven’t fed him a proper lunch.”

Still, when you have good intentions going into anything at all, you have the peace of mind that God will take care of you no matter what the outcome of that situation is. If I’ve learned anything in my life, I’ve learned to surrender myself to my Lord and trust that whatever He has planned for me is better than anything that I could want for myself.

I see other business owners, other moms in the same industry with multiple kids, a household, a husband and, despite everything, they seem to have it all together. They claim that their lives are just as chaotic, if not more. Still, I look at myself and ask why I’m such a mess. But, by the end of the day, when I’ve had a chance to unwind, I realize that I gave it all I had and I gave it my best. It was the best I could do that day. Come tomorrow, I know I will push myself to do better.