I’d like to welcome you to listen to my short story about how I got where I am today and how baking and financial planning go together like chocolate and peanut butter. Perhaps you will even find a few crumbs in here to help you on your journey! See, I’m a Capricorn. Capricorns are grounded people who need to know “why” we are doing what we are. Capricorns tend to be detail oriented, have great ambitions, and work hard. Of course, there are some not-so-favorable traits as well, including stubbornness and being picky! So, “Why” am I telling you this? Because, years ago I started a baking business and now I’ve started a financial planning business. Guess what? They really fit hand-in-hand!

I started baking in 2008 when the economy was tanking and a good friend of mine asked if I would bake a few sweets for his new coffee shop on island. I thought it was a grand idea since my kids were in school every day, we could use a little extra money, and I loved being in the kitchen. I started with classic recipes like banana bread made with local bananas (sometimes from my backyard!) and Mom’s old fashioned sour cream coffee cake with cinnamon, pecan streusel on top. Are you drooling yet?

I worked hard and built a solid successful business. I made some mistakes too. Over the years I enjoyed the creativity of baking new recipes, making adjustments and refining different sweet treats. The taste testing part wasn’t bad either 😉 ah yes, the tasting. Friends, neighbors, husband and kids all gathered ‘round for tasting, to see how a new recipe came out, and try out the imperfections. Remember how I said Capricorns are picky? Yep. My standards were pretty high. But, there’s always a bright side to what may seem a failure at first. It only took me a short while to realize the smiles that arose when I had imperfections at the days’ end. I began keeping some extras aside just to see the smiles. People came from all over. Sometimes I would hear a friendly chee-hoo from a car, a bike bell ringing as it went by, or a friend who happened to be very slowly sauntering by at just the right time. People loved the imperfections, and I loved the smiles!

After baking for some years, making everything you can dream up, from cupcakes to scones to everyday cookies it was time for me to throw in the towel. The business had gotten too big. I couldn’t find the perfect location to expand the bakery on the westside of Maui, and it was hard to keep employees with strenuous part time work. The work was labor intensive and in 2012 I received a job offer in financial planning. Since I had a background in accounting, financial planning made good sense to me. It fit my “Why”.

I started in finances learning the ropes by updating investment performance for clients. I felt a comfortable similarity with combining measured ingredients and be rewarded by watching them rise. We constantly made small adjustments to get the best results. I enjoyed making sure every number was accurate and properly reporting what had happened in the market that quarter. Quite like baking, when you added the proper ingredients, a well-rounded portfolio tasted as delicious as a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter cups on top!

I moved up the ladder from preparing for meetings to handling financial situations that needed resolving. We worked to find solutions for clients and then communicated the steps it took to get there. In this work I was occupied with a different kind of recipe – a recipe for success.

I am so very excited to continue putting smiles on people’s faces, maybe sometimes by delivering a sweet baked treat, but most of all by helping to shape remarkable futures, one family at a time, using good old fashioned financial advice!

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