A Stranger in A Strange Land - Vivian Wong
I am thoroughly enjoying the interviews that I am doing for Women's History month and I hope you are too! One of the things I find interesting about talking to women about themselves is that it really is not very easy for many of us.
We can tell you about our children, jobs, or even the weather with more enthusiasm than we have for ourselves at times. Looking at what we do, how we do it, who we do it for and whether we like doing it is necessary. Acknowledging the good, bad, and occasionally ugly are beneficial to our overall growth.
These stories are needed to impact the future for not only women and girls, but for the world!
My next interviewee, Vivian Wong, is a mother, wife, business owner and woman on the move. Her love for a sweet treat helped her to define her passion. When decided to make a huge life change, it brought her to a new calling as an entrepreneur.
Let me introduce you to the owner of the Cheezcake Lab, Vivian Wong:
Me: Why do you think it's important to celebrate Women's History Month?
Vivian: It is important because if you think about it, its been in recent history that we have begun to receive recognition for things as basic as being able to vote. That is actually recent history, in our parent's lifetimes for sure. And I think it's just important to acknowledge women who are doing good things.
Me: What woman in history has influenced your life the most?
Vivian: I would say my grandmother. She loved baking and cooking, so that's the obvious thing. She would always say "Eddie, you are too good for people. Make sure you look after yourself." My first name is Edlia but I go by my middle name - Vivian. I don't think she meant it in a snobby way. She wanted to be sure I didn't let people get me down or allow them to veer me off of my path.
Me: What is your profession and why did you choose it? OR did it choose you?
Vivian: I own a niche dessert bakery that specializes in gourmet cheesecake. I started about 20 years ago. I would say it picked me because I was a big cheesecake fan - HUGE. It was my all time favorite thing to eat! But there seemed to be a lack of variety and quality where I was from. I lived in Canada and we did not have a Cheesecake Factory there back then. You were stuck with what you got from the grocery store or restaurants. So I started making them myself and taking them to work for people, It just went on from there. When I moved here (to Ohio) in 2020, I told my husband that I was not going to work for anybody and that I was starting my own business.
I see my kids watching me. -Vivian W.
Me: What impact would you like to have on women's history? And what story do you want people to look back and tell about you?
Vivian: I don't know how much of an impact I am really going to make in the big picture, but in the small picture, I see my kids watching me. My daughter sees me accomplishing things I did not think that I would accomplish. She sees my confidence. For my son who is 19, he is also watching me and has been encouraged to start his own business. I may not be directly influencing other women but what I do does run over into influencing other males like my son. If my son has a daughter one day, it could impact her. I want people to say I was tough. I stuck with it. It may not have started off easy, but I finished a little smoother. I want others to just acknowledge the journey.
Me: What are some of your favorite things?
Vivian: I really don't know. I kind of lost that. I was so caught up with my kids for and working for so long. What do I like or what do I like to do? I am in the process of figuring those things out for myself right now. A part of the journey in being a woman is you lose sight of you sometimes.
Me: Name one fun fact about yourself that most people may not know.
Vivian: I am an immigrant (smile). I am from Canada.
Me: Why are you a phenomenal woman?
Vivian: I am learning to morph as I have gotten older. Before, I was more like this is what it is. This is who I am. But now since I have moved to a new country, I have had to adapt to a lot. In Canada, I lived in the same house from the time I was two years old until I was forty! I have grown. There I things I have done that I did not think I would accomplish and even was afraid to accomplish. But I have done them. I am DOING them. I have learned to believe in myself and that in itself is an accomplishment.
Me: Describe yourself in ONE word.
You can find Vivian and the CheezCake Lab at the District Market in Downtown Dayton, located at 200 Wayne Ave., Wednesday through Sunday, from 12pm until 5pm. She owns one of the dessert businesses in the market. You can follow the CheezCake Lab LLC on Facebook and IG: cheezcake_lab.
Please follow her business and join her entrepreneurial journey!
Love and blessings,