Caribbean Entrepreneurs: St Lucia’s Kishna Wells, Owner of Dessert Shop ‘Kish Konfections’
by Karen Rollins Nov 7, 2022
Kishna Wells was fascinated by cooking and baking at a young age after watching the Food Network. She would eagerly write down recipes, try them out, and get her parents to taste what she had made.
Kishna has a natural talent for cakemaking, but she did not think seriously about a career in the food industry until she was at secondary school.
After leaving college, Kishna jumped straight into establishing her online business ‘Kish Konfections’, providing various homemade sweet treats, including cupcakes, cookies, and cheesecake jars.
Yello asked Kishna to tell us more about how and why she started her small business and her plans to expand her brand.
Describe yourself using three words.
Persistent. Intelligent. Generous.
Tell us a bit about your background.
I’m a St Lucian national from the small community of Aux Lyons, Mabouya Valley in Dennery. I am the younger of two siblings. I attended the Aux Lyons Combined School, then the St. Joseph’s Convent Secondary School, and later went to the Sir Authur Lewis Community College, where I graduated with an associate degree in Food and Beverage Management.
When did you develop a love for cooking and baking?
I acquired a love for baking at a very young age. Growing up, the Food Network was my absolute favourite TV channel. I vividly remember sitting close to the television with a notebook and a pen or pencil in hand, ready to record recipes while the chefs cooked/baked.
I also had a small collection of recipe books that I loved dearly. I would often source ingredients and tools from my parents to try out the recipes and then get them to sample them.
Did you always know you wanted to make a career out of food?
I always figured I’d be a doctor or an accountant. It took me some time to realise that those weren’t occupations that I was passionate about. I didn’t decide on a career in food until my teenage years when I was at secondary school.
Please tell us about your small business ‘Kish Konfections’.
Kish Konfections came about in December 2020. I had recently graduated from college and needed a means of income, so I practiced a few recipes and decided to create social media accounts to offer my treats to the public.
Kish Konfections is based completely online, but I have distributed posters and flyers to a few community shops to reach potential customers who aren’t on social media. I’ve also offered cheesecake jars and cake samples to introduce customers to my treats.
The feedback I have received has been positive and extremely encouraging.
What products do you currently offer?
I presently offer doughnuts, cheesecakes, cupcakes, and cakes.
Who are your typical clients?
My clients are generally persons looking to satisfy their sweet tooth. Specifically, women aged 18-34 from the Dennery, Castries, and Gros Islet districts.
As I said before, Kish Konfections is based online, so persons reach out via social media platforms or through a direct call.
What is the unique selling point for Kish Konfections?
Unlike most small businesses, Kish Konfections does take last-minute orders, although customers are strongly encouraged to place orders at least three to seven days in advance. I always endeavour to fulfil customer requests once the necessary requirements are met.
Where do you get inspiration for your desserts?
Most of my inspiration comes from Pinterest.
What are your favourite ingredients to work with?
Sprinkles! I enjoy working on any dessert that requires sprinkles.
What has been your proudest achievement so far?
My proudest achievements so far have been being featured on Loop News and FindYello.com.
Are there any entrepreneurs that you admire?
I follow quite a few entrepreneurs, and while I think that they do great work, honestly, there are no entrepreneurs that I look up to.
What are your business plans over the next 12-18 months?
I aim to introduce vegan treats to the current menu as well as offer catering services.
What do you love about St Lucia?
The people. The support I’ve received from complete strangers across the island has been nothing short of amazing, whether they are making purchases or just reaching out to offer a few words of encouragement.
What do you do to relax and unwind on your days off?
I listen to music or view online sermons.
What advice do you have for aspiring Caribbean small business owners?
I’d tell them to go for it. Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from doing what you truly want to do. Failure is a must. It is a much greater teacher than success. I started a business not fully knowing what I was getting myself into and several failures later I’m still here. I’ve acquired knowledge that no business course could have given me.
So, don’t overthink it and never compare yourself to others. You’ll learn as you go along. Just start.
What is your philosophy/motto in life?
Investing is better than saving.