Interviewee: Giovanna Pribadi
Interviewer, Editor, Graphic Designer: Pat Sevikul
Hi! My name is Giovanna Pribadi, but I usually go by Gio. I’m 17 and I was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. I’m currently a senior at Penabur high school, and I study Science. I founded Bakes by Gio in 2019 where I found my passion for business.
Tell us about Bakes by Gio!
Bakes by Gio is a small business that runs in the food and beverage industry. It started back in my 3-month summer break when I was in 9th grade. I thought that it would be a good idea to sell some cookies, as I had already been baking for a couple of years. However, establishing a brand took a lot more than just baking. I started by selling cookies to my family and friends and now, we have shipped to thousands of customers all over Indonesia, and even some internationally.
What is the story behind Bakes by Gio?
Baking was always a hobby. I used to bring baked goods for my friends at school and they liked it. Some told me to start selling them and I figured, why not turn my hobby into a business? 14 year old me would’ve never expected it to grow this much.
How has your experience running the business been different from what you expected?
I used to think that this would be simple; all I had to do was bake. I thought that I didn’t have to find customers and that business would always be smooth and have amazing sales. But it turned out that running a business was much more than just that. You have to figure out the logistics, marketing, strategies, business development, the creation of new recipes, and so much more. In the beginning, I was quite shocked, but I took things slowly and learned everything along the way. Bakes by Gio didn’t actually start out with this name. It was actually called Sweet Delights Indonesia up until late 2019. It was then rebranded as Bakes by Gio in early 2020 with a new concept, new products, and a fresh start.
What have you learned about starting your own business at such a young age?
Things don’t always go your way and that’s okay. As long as you keep trying and never give up, it will all pay off. Starting young doesn’t make your business worse than any other business, so don’t listen to the negative things people say. Instead, continue to learn and develop, and prove them wrong.
Starting young doesn’t make your business worse than any other business, so don’t listen to the negative things people say. Instead, continue to learn and develop, and prove them wrong.
- Giovanna (Gio) Pribadi
What success has Bakes By Gio achieved and how have you managed to expand your business in such a short period of time?
Bakes by Gio itself grew very rapidly over the years. We now ship all over Indonesia and have shipped internationally a couple of times. We’ve made multiple successful hampers for events like weddings, birthdays, office events, and other special occasions. It took consistency and effort. You always have to put 100% into everything you do. People are watching your every step and you never know where your next opportunity is going to come from so always put in maximum effort.
What was the creative process behind creating your recipes?
I’ve always been a major foodie, but I am a picky eater so I am selective with what I bake and as well. I bake a lot in my free time and I explore recipes quite a lot. When it comes to curating my menus, I consider a lot of factors and try out many different techniques and ingredients to see which one fits the recipe best. I only sell something that I believe has the perfect formula and taste. Even though it takes a lot of time and effort to experiment with multiple recipes, the final result is always worth it.
How do you balance your school and business work?
Time management plays a very important part of balancing my work and school life. I have a schedule written for when to bake and when to do my homework. School is still my main priority, so if the situation doesn’t support me to bake on that day then I won’t. Although, since my business is usually best during the holidays, school isn’t much of a burden.
What have you been most proud of since starting your own business?
Just the fact that I haven’t given up is something I'm proud of. It’s been three years and I’ve experienced a lot of challenges, but having Bakes by Gio as a place for me to bring my ideas to life is another pride itself.
How does the lack of representation of women in business reflect and impact our society?
Women often hear negative words that can bring us down right? I think it’s better to take it as a motivation to push myself even further. In that way, I can prove not only to myself, but also to everyone else that women are just as, or even more capable than they expect.
I can prove not only to myself, but also to everyone else that women are just as, or even more capable than they expect.
- Giovanna (Gio) Pribadi
Why do you think young people are getting involved in business more recently?
Gen Z specifically, is ten steps ahead of any other generation; they have this mindset that they have to pursue everything quickly, and they tend to want to achieve what others achieve. Especially now that everything is digitalized and everyone is obsessed with social media, teens often think that the videos or pictures they see on social media are the standards of what they need to be. This can lead to some negative aspects such as toxic productivity, which is caused by overworking just for the sake of becoming like others. On the other hand, having teenagers start young allows them to fail and try again. If they start when they’re only 15, they have many years ahead to keep failing and finally discover their true passion. Especially since this generation thinks many steps ahead, an early start will help their career in the future.
What advice would you give to young women entrepreneurs starting their first business?
Don’t give up. Sounds cliche right? It means so much more than just three words. But if it weren’t for that, I would’ve given up when I got my first customer complaint. I would’ve given up when we had a difficult time getting orders. My desire to succeed was higher than the desire to give up. That’s why I kept trying, I did my research, and asked for feedback. Not succeeding on your first try doesn’t mean you’ll fail in the future, so take that leap of faith. Gather up your courage and give it a try. In the end, it’ll always be a win-win situation.
My desire to succeed was higher than the desire to give up. That’s why I kept trying.
Not succeeding on your first try doesn’t mean you’ll fail in the future, so take that leap of faith. Gather up your courage and give it a try. In the end, it’ll always be a win-win situation.
- Giovanna (Gio) Pribadi
Where do you see your business heading in the future?
As a child, I was always told to dream big, so I hope Bakes by Gio can one day become a restaurant or a cafe where people can enjoy delicious baked goods.
It’s never too early or too late to start, so take all the opportunities you have and make the best of it! A huge thank you to the Stick to Change team for inviting me to this interview and to the readers for reading, wishing success for all of you!
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