From America with pasteries
BY CHIEMEREM UMENNE
YOU could easily conclude they are models at first sight because of their height and fine statistics. These twin sisters, Regina and Dominica, are not only beautiful, they are good entrepreneurs. From age 10, they had begun to manifest such attribute in America.
The 19-year-old twin — fondly called Gina and Nica by their father — are one of the famous entrepreneur kids discovered by producers of Public Broadcasting Corporation Show (PBS) in Bremerton, United States of America through its Bizkids Club; a competitive platform for skilful minded kids.
At the age of 17, on July 6, 2007, PBS made a trip to the twins’ kitchen, hence, turning it to a television studio. One of the local newspapers, Bremerton Patriot, had the headline Twin Sweet goes national with PBS filming. There, they displayed their love for pastries and other baking and decorating talents.
In March 2008, PBS made another trip. This time, the twins had a dollar sign on the finished cake
The focus of the girls at the Bizkids Club, however, attracted so much attention and is currently published on www.bizkids.com.
THROUGH their father, Chief Dominica Ogazi , I was able to link up with the twins from Mbieri, Mbaitoli Local Council of Imo State.
Gina and Nica Ogazi had launched ‘Twin Sweets’, a joint business which they hold with so much passion.
On what they offer, “we bake, decorate, and sell a variety of cakes for different occasions. From where we manage the money realised from the sales.”
What was their starting point?
“Our love for baking dates back to when we were kids, when our mum, Joan, used to do lot of such activities. We always enjoyed making Christmas cookies and many other treats with my mum. My sister and I would sometimes fight over who got to add the ingredients to what my mum was cooking,” states Gina.
This zeal grew stronger until they were 12, when their first working gift came from a cousin, in the form of a decorating kit. After this, they were enrolled for a decorating class by their aunt. Their instructor initially felt they were too young to take the class. “Once we got started, our instructor was much impressed with our maturity.”
The prices of their cakes range from $15 for a small birthday cake to $500 for a wedding cake. Here, they ensure that the cost of the ingredients and overhead to make the cakes are covered. “We are really not motivated by the profits but the learning experiences and exposures that are accrued in the processes of making all the Twin Sweet cakes. The cakes are made either for people’s sweet tooth or for a special occasion.”
“So far, it has been on pricing the cakes. It is labour intensive to have a well-garnished cake and most customers don’t want to pay very much for a cake, and are shocked at the initial price. But they end up liking it at its taste.”
Can anything separate this joint business? Marriage?
“No,” Gina says. “We don’t really want to split up.”
Other business plans?
They hope to specialise in baked goods that are healthier for consumers. They owe their success to their mum, who they say has been the major supporter of their venture, both financially and instrumentally. Their role model is God.
GINA graduated from high school in Bremerton, Washington in 2008 and has started her college at Seattle Pacific University, US where she plans to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics and become a registered dietician. Nica, on her part, is currently at the premier cooking school, the Culinary Institute of America, in New York, where she also plans to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Baking and Pastry to become a master chef.
They were born in Great Falls, Montana, America but grew up in the Puget Sound area of Washington State.
They said they embrace their Nigerian-American heritage gracefully and are looking forward to relating with their Nigerian relatives during the summer break in July or perhaps, the winter period, December 2009.
BIZKIDS Club and Twin-Sweet is a television show that promotes financial literacy amongst young people. The show interviews different kids that have started their own businesses.
Nica initially met some of the producers of the Bizkids programme, while they were running a television segment for Kitsap Credit Union, where she volunteered.
“One of the administrators at the Credit Union thought the Twin Sweets cake business would be great to film for a television segment and told Bizkids about us,” says Gina. “When they caught word of our business, they did an interview and then came to our house for a day to film us making a cake. It was quite exciting.”