When I met Mike Kim and learned his story I was blown away. This was a guy who had a successful financial planning business.. had a new promotion.. a bright future ahead and he have it all up. It was a decision he made after a visit to China. It was originally just to see the country.. the Great Wall among other things. Then he met a girl who changed his life. She was 16.. from North Korea.. and had been sold across the border to a 50 year old Chinese man as a sex slave. After his return to the US Kim decided to return to the border and with friends help North Koreans find their freedom by using a modern 6,000 mile underground railroad to escape. Here is his story…
Home bakeries: They’re a booming trend that can make you big bucks. I checked in with some women finding financial success from the comforts of their kitchens.
Courtney Demers‘ Alexandria kitchen.. has quickly become her corner office. Cake pans, cookie cutters sprinkles.. supplies fill the cupboards.
Add taking care of two kids to the mix.. she’s got the ingredients for cake baking success at home.
“One led to another led to another and very quickly I was booked through the summer not even knowing this was something I was gonna do!”
Demers is part of a booming trend of home bakeries- people making stuff at home-using social media smartly to sell it.
It started when she made a birthday cake for a kid’s birthday party.. a string of orders followed- she found no storefront necessary.
“It’s been entirely online… all back and forth via email.. all word of mouth.. through Facebook likes and re-posting.”
Through her website Sweetest Soiree Demers turned her love of baking into a money making home business.
Profit possible because she lives in Virginia…one of nearly 40 states with a Cottage Food Law or restricted law that allows bakers to sell food made at home. Maryland has a limited law.. and just last month the DC Council introduced legislation to make it legal.
“It’s a really nice opportunity especially having children. Being able to work on my own schedule work in the evenings or work when they’re in school.”
One town over, Michelle D’Ettorre does the same but for the dogs. She started Aunt Sasha’s Barked Goods- an online bakery for pets featuring dozens of all natural treats made at home. In less than 3 years D’Etttore says engagement online has helped triple their profits. No paid advertising, no marketing, just pushing petworthy products and contests through tweets and facebook.
“There are so many great ways to interact with our customer without having them have to walk in our door!”
Baking at home obviously comes easy for a lot of these women but when it comes to running a business there’s definitely a big learning curve. Cheryl Savastano says she now drives like her grandmother… so her creations don’t get squished. Savastano is learning the tricks of delivery after ditching her cush corporate sales job for cupcakes. She’s also becoming an expert on driving traffic to her site Savvy Treats.
She says she started doing SEO or Search Engine Optimization. In other words, she found ways to make her website rank higher in search engines like google and yahoo. So when people like Judith Koritsas searches for cupcakes here…Savvy Treats is one of the first to pop up.
“If I have a special request I can do that also online and it’s so easy for me, Judith says.”
With International orders now coming in and business growing Savastano is looking to the next level- renting a commercial kitchen.
“I’m so comfortable taking that next step!”
She’s well on her way.. and like the others finding sweet success working from home and using the web to ge the word out.
Watch the story as seen on NBC4
So here are the two workouts I discovered in the area that are really becoming a hit with expecting and new moms. There’s the Belly Barre class at Mommy Bootcamp where you use a ballet barre for exercising and Interval Training to burn the fat (at a modified pace) at MASE Training!
Watch the workouts in action!
Dr. Seuss is one of my favorite authors. As a child I found he made reading fun. I remember reading his books and poems by Shel Silverstein cover to cover. It brought so much joy and laughter into my life. That’s why I love Read Across America Day so much. Students celebrate the art of reading while remembering one of literature’s greats.
PHOTOS: Read Across America in PGCPS
Today the News4 Today Team visited different schools in Prince George’s county. As someone who spent some of my childhood years living in Fort Washington I was so happy to return to the area to read Miss Lacey Greene’s 1st graders at J Frank Dent Elementary. We chose which Dr. Seuss book to read based off their applause. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” brought the house down. So there we had it.. Christmas in March!
Photographer Irene shows kids at Spring Hill Elementary the LIVE Truck. Tony Tull read to them today!
Watch the shout-out on TV!
More than a thousand girl scouts from our area headed to the Newseum for Girl Scouts Get the Scoop! It’s a huge event where the gals have a chance to spend the day learning about news and media. I was asked to sit on a panel along with other great women in our profession including Danielle Ivory, Debbi Jarvis, Angela Keane and Andrea Stone! We took questions from the girls and their parents. It was really a neat experience… and you can see below there were perks!
We caught up with David Gregory about what is expected from the President’s State of the Union Address. We also talked about the heated debate in Congress over drones.
Here are some of the best apps I found.. helping people reach their fitness and diet goals!
In case you missed it on the news.. here’s my story I put together after visiting the awesome set of SMASH in Brooklyn. It was cool to sit down with cast members between their takes. From the sounds of it Season 2 is going to have a whole lot of drama and good share of surprises. Enjoy!
Dr. Chris Carskaddan from Clocktower Animal Hospital stopped by the studio to day to chat pet safety this Winter. Did you know you still need to give your pooch his flea and tick meds through the cold months? There’s a few things that may surprise you. Check out our interview on NBC4.
You knew it was gonna happen… soon that site known for all things beautiful.. gets political! What better way to try to send a message than to package it all up in a pretty picture or quote. I take a look at how both sides are pinning away to get their message out. Do you think politics belong on Pinterest?