“Getting out of your dreams” turning your dreams into reality is the overall goal right? That’s exactly what Cheo DaDon the Harlem native has done recently by opening Bakery Harlem New York. Justabrooklyngyrl got a chance to have a one on one with the owner and founder of Bakery HNY, and was able to snag his secret recipe to success.
We covered pretty much everything under the sun from advice on how to turn your dreams into reality, to his secret ingredients on how to start a business while still being a great dad, and of course discussed the sneaker guru favorite pair of kicks of all times! So take notes future business owners while Cheo lets justabrooklyngyrl get a glimpse into his world!
“Bakery HNY is the brainchild of Harlem sneaker legend CheoDaDon. DaDon’s kick game spans from the illustrious and iconic Marty McFly Air Mags to the rarest of Jordan releases. Marrying his love of design, Bakery HNY is equal parts custom clothing center and rare sneaker source. The mission of Bakery HNY is not only to bring quality kicks to clients, but also to cultivate amateur designers by bringing their ideas from conception to execution.” —Bakery Harlem New York
justabrooklyngyrl got the chance to pick the sneaker collector/entrepreneur brain, just days after his grand opening!
What ignited the spark in you to start Bakery Hny, like how did the idea for your business come about?
“Well, my sister felt I was wasting my talents with a 9-5. She knows me well she knows my drive, so why steer someone else to success when I can do my own thing. Getting fired from my job also lit the fire under my ass !”
What is Bakery HNY?
“Bakery Harlem New York is a bakery with clothing as the ingredients. It’s a place where independent brands live! You can come here pick certain ingredients whether it’s a hat shirt or jeans to bake up an outfit.”
What 3 pieces of advice would you give to someone who want to become an entrepreneur/open a store?
“If you do something really well get paid for it! 2: Now see if the market is missing your talent or if you can improve on an idea that’s all ready out 3: Now let’s execute see if your study/research paid off find ways to bring your cost down this way you can maximize your profits!”
If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
“My career started in 2001 my mother had a store from 2000-2004 she didn’t want to sell shoes any more I would go back to that point in time & value what she gave me a lot more! I didn’t know what I had I was a young boy with my own store my mental wasn’t how it is now! I would of had the market sewn up!”
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
“Research! You have to know who’s your competition ! Second you have to love what you do! When you love it you won’t get tired of it. Because when your passion becomes a job it seems like to much work. Last you need a great support system, least amount of stress as possible. This was one of the main things for me, being that I have a daughter I didn’t worry about her as much knowing that my mom her aunts & my sister would make sure she was fine while I was out working or pursuing my dream. My mind was cleared, I was more focused.”
How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
“I stick with it as long as I feel it in my heart! If I’m feeling it I’m gone to go with it I trust myself more than any one. With that being said I stick with it until it’s executed for the world to see! “
How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
“My family sees me more which is great they come by the shop any time they want to. My daughter loves it, she wants to own her own business which is great! She has a cookie line that we are producing & her first store location is Bakery HNY of course. The next step is to get whole foods to carry her brand we have a lot of hinge happening in 2016. This year was really great but I can’t wait till the new year”.
What motivates you?
“People who want me to succeed. I’m one of those guys people expect to be doing good that right there motivates me, I don’t want to let anyone down. Then there’s the haters or jealous guys, these are the ones that will actually pray to the Gods above for you to fail, I love to disappoint those type of people that just warms my heart”
How do you build a successful customer base?
“By really reaching out to the customers and hearing their ideas! Especially in a new neighborhood, they have been there all their lives so if they say they are missing something, try to incorporate that into your business. Also having great price points you have to have something for everybody.”
How did you decide on the location for your business? Why Harlem?
“Location is everything I wanted to be the only store on the block which I am, I also wanted a fresh start. I’m from Lenox ave everyone knows me over there, Amsterdam is its own beast. I wanted a challenge wanted to start fresh plus being over by City College & a few other schools. I felt it was a great move. Harlem is a beautiful place I want my flagship to be where I’m from! I’m not from the Bronx Brooklyn or SoHo I want this in my community around my people! They deserve this before anyone else does!”
Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
“Yes I do! & that’s called drive! You need that will, that passion. If it’s not their your dream will only be a thought!!”
What’s your favorite sneaker of all time ?
“This is really a hard question! I’m from the air max 95 era! Jordan 8 & 11’s. But Imma narrow it down to the Jordan1 where it all started! Those fit great & look great with my slacks or chinos definitely sweats. The color schemes are special. So yea, the Air Jordan 1. I know your surprised!”
I really wasn’t lol!!!!
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
“My mom! I’ve seen her work everyday to make sure I was a spoiled lil kid! She use to make items when I was a kid it was called “Wendy Wear” she would put stones & quarters on shirts take that to shows. I never attended but jus knowing she was out selling her items was great for me! Like yea! My mom made that! “
What’s your top three designers ?
“Nike, Levi & my self!”
What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
“Waking up without an alarm clock!”
What would you say are the five key elements for starting and running a successful business?
” Financial Cushion! Also, Family! I say family because you may not have enough money to have a paid staff they can come by & donate some time to help you get off your feet! The third element having enough product or inventory! You don’t want to have 10 shirts or pants when you could sold 40 of them. Staying a head of the wave will help you! You have to know what’s the next hot thing before it gets here And last but not least your paper work has to be straight! Your behind the scenes business will define you! Make sure all your paper work is straight! You can have the best business in the world but if your taxes aren’t straight your business insurance isn’t paid, these things will come back to haunt you!”
What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Not every one is a boss! Some people need that paycheck security! I take risk so I would say 99.99% of entrepreneurs are risk takers! Not every one can take a leap off a cliff & land on their feet!
How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
“Social Media is a beast! It can make you or break you! It’s been pretty good to me! Word of mouth is also great! For me I’ve always been a stand up guy people like me! When you have good aura people gravitate to that! You can’t be killer or burglar & expect people to fuck with you! “
What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
“Hanging out! I don’t hit the block as much! I jus work and take care of my daughter! “
Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
“Apple! I love them plus the marketing is phenom”
Where you see yourself and your business in 10 years? 20 years?
“I should be on my 5th store at least by then with 2 vacation homes!”
“If a kid walked up to you asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give ‘em your best tip, what would It be ? “
“My exact words would be! Kid if you want all the money women & clothes in the world narrow down what your good at & turn that into money! What your good @ what you think your good at are two different things! Focus on that & you’ll be very successful !”
Be Sure to follow @cheodadOn on Instagram! Stop by Bakery HNY 1457 Amsterdam Ave NY, NY 10027 shop the latest fashions www.bakeryhny.com!!
And be sure to tell them justabrooklyngyrl sent you ! Use the code “justabrooklyngyrl” at check out for discount
Special thanks to Cheo DaDon for the interview!
Tag justabrooklyngyrl_ on Instagram while shopping/visiting BakeryHNY for a feature!