Next in line for our September Muslimah of the Month is a sister by the name of Aneesah from Cleveland, Ohio! She is the owner and founder of Pretty Cakes in Atlanta and is a woman who knows how to work hard and play hard. So grab a snack or two and let’s chat!
UK: Tell us a bit about who you are? Where you are from? Your background?
A: I was born in raised in Cleveland, Ohio . I come from a family of 9 brothers and sisters. I am a single mother of 5 children (Brian Jr. 17 , Amir 16, Alayah 15, Amari 12, and Breon 9). I have pursued an academic career at Cleveland State University in order to broaden my horizon in the field of computer engineering.
UK: Wow, so how did you make the transition from computer engineering to baking? Those are 2 very opposite sides of the spectrum.
A: I always was a great cook but it all started when my son requested a PAC man cake for his 8th birthday that wasn’t available at Publix; a local supermarket. So I thought to myself I can make that!
UK: Baking for your children is one thing but what actually inspired you to take the entrepreneurial route and start your business PrettyCakes?
A: It all started as a bake sale fundraiser for my sister’s daycare, Tiny Hands Big Steps Childcare Academy. We wanted to raise funds for a playground. My sister, Kenisha, suggested that I create an Instagram to promote my business. My talented and artistic daughter, Alayah, created my logo for my business cards and Pretty Cakes was born. I always said my food has to not only taste good but look good too hence the name Pretty Cakes.
UK: Venturing out to start a business can be very stressful and overwhelming! What were your initial fears when starting?
A: I really did have any initial fears I was just kind of thrown into it.
UK: Oh ok, so you went were just making lemonade from lemons lol! Were you born and raised practicing Islam?
A: Yes, I was born into an Islamic household. However, my parents separated when I was in elementary school and we didn’t practice as we should. As an adult, I always had a spiritual connection with Allah and I try to instill that in my children.
UK: We thank Allah for His guidance! What comes to mind when you hear the words Islam and sisterhood?
A: Islam – My gratefulness to Allah for giving me my gift! It is truly a gift because I have no culinary experience and also for giving me my creativity. I keep this in mind when I design my halal sweets that all can enjoy.
Sisterhood – an unwavering bond.
UK: Our faith is definitely the key for any success in this life. How important is faith and what things do you do to stay spiritually connected?
A: Faith is extremely important because it is the foundation of my life. Without faith I would not be here celebrating the success of my business. I stay spiritually connected by praying, providing my time to charity every week performing good deeds, and remaining mindful of Allah’s mercy on me everyday!
UK: Yes, Alhamdulilah! I also see that you are actively on a fitness journey, tell us more about that?
A: After having my fifth child, I was at my heaviest and the weight did not just fall off like with the other children. I had to really work for it. In 2014 I think I was in the best shape of my life! I got down to my high school weight, but I think I was toooo skinny. I was in beast mode and doing a little bit of everything from cardio, jogging, Zumba, Pilates , Hot Venetian Yoga and lifting weights. Unfortunately, I gained 30lbs pounds from indulging in my homemade sweets made with love ❤️. Now I’m currently almost at my goal weight and I enlisted the help of a trainer to reach my goals.
UK: I’m proud of you because it definitely takes discipline! What one health tip would you give to those sisters looking to start working out?
A: Be consistent!! We all have busy lifestyles but you have to make time for yourself. I always start my weight loss journey with a fruit and veggie Detox which consists of juicing for 5-10 days for breakfast lunch and dinner. Weight loss is 20% exercise and 80% diet. Health is wealth Ladies!!
UK: I TOTALLY agree! Making it a priority is very important. I always like to end with this question…What is an interesting fact about you that most people don’t know?
A: I’m an adventurous spirit and I’m always down to try something once just to say I did it lol!
Make sure you follow her on Instagram @prettycakesatl and @the1andonlyeve! Thanks so much girl! Can’t wait to get my hands on those sweet treats!