2017 Scholarship Finalists: Caroline Colberg

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scholarshipThe following essay was written by Caroline Colberg, a finalist for the 2017 SuretyBonds.com Small Business Scholarship. You can vote for Caroline to win one of three scholarships here.

As I gazed down at my last eight hours of hard work, the imperfections, cracks, and creases seemed to be screaming at me. Tears rolled down my cheeks, and everything in me wanted to give up. It was nearing 1am, and this was my fifth attempt at creating my envisioned cake masterpiece. In my mind, it was the farthest thing from a masterpiece, but my 14 year old heart had big dreams to be as great as the Cake Boss one day. Countless failures, tears, and sleepless nights shaped me into the woman I am today with the same dreams and fire burning in me to open my own bakery storefront after college.

Even though failure is often seen as a damaging blow to its victim, Robert F. Kennedy put it best when he said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” It wasn’t an overnight process to be able to create thousand dollar wedding cakes with precision and immense detail; it was a slow, failure-filled, but successful journey. As a little girl, I always loved to bake delicious treats in the kitchen with my mom. This was where my love for baking all began. When I was fourteen years old, my little sister, Ava, wanted an extravagant three-tiered cake for her luau birthday party, and it was my first time attempting to create a multi-tiered decorated cake. I will admit, I had no idea what I was doing, and there were many mistakes along the way, but this is when my dreams for a business began taking shape.scholarship

Nothing was easy in the beginning, and while my friends were out shopping, or at the movies, I was in the kitchen trying to figure out how to ice a cake in one piece without it crumbling into fifty pieces. Many times my failures and tears made me want to give up, or think that my dreams of being a successful decorator were too far out of reach. But, I was determined to keep trying, because my dreams were bigger than my failures. After starting up my business at fourteen, I was interviewed and featured on the front page of the Frisco Enterprise Newspaper, and customers began eagerly contacting me for a custom cake from Caroline’s Cakery. Little did I know that those countless hours spent crying and stressing over cake mistakes would incite my determination to open my own bakery storefront in a few short years. After running my own business for five years, meeting the Cake Boss, hired as head decorator at a prestigious local bakery, and recently being filmed by Food Network, I am so excited to see what my dreams lead me to after college. If it weren’t for my crumbling cake failures along the way, my willpower and drive would crumble far too easily to pursue the dreams burning in my heart.scholarship

In order to continue my education and plan for the future success of my business, I see it crucial to pursue a degree in Business Entrepreneurship. I might have been able to learn how to keep a cake from falling apart on my own, but second chances are not as easily found when managing the business and financial side of a small company. After I receive my degree, I plan to open my bakery storefront in my hometown of Dallas, Texas. Throughout this difficult and time intensive journey, I have learned how important failures are to reaching success, and that owning a small business will not always be smooth sailing. Thankfully, after graduating college, I believe I will be equipped with the skills necessary to run a successful business, inspire other young entrepreneurs, and do what I love most, making people happy.

Caroline will attend Baylor University in the fall, majoring in business entrepreneurship.

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About the Author

Melanie Baravik
Melanie is a senior at the University of Missouri - Columbia studying English with an emphasis in creative writing. She is a member of the marketing department and outreach team for SuretyBonds.com, a leading provider of online bonding for clients nationwide.