Baker Spotlight: Dana of Dana Yu Creative
Get to know the talented and generous bakers that graciously donated their time, effort, and absolutely scrumptious baked goods to our virtual fundraiser, Baked with Love. In our Baker Spotlight, we focus on one of our volunteer bakers and explore what drives them to not just create, but to give.
We kick off our Baker Spotlight series with Dana Yu, of Dana Yu Creative. Not only is she a talented baker, she is also a phenomenal professional photographer!
What ignited the spark in you to strike out on your own and start your own business?
Honestly, starting my own business was a most unexpected, unlikely decision. Growing up and even until post-college, I didn't think I had a creative, never mind entrepreneurial, bone in my body - I don't recall ever feeling inclined to craft, bake, take photos, etc. But I entered a season shortly after having kids where I felt like I was wandering in the wilderness. I had my first daughter at 24 - earlier than my husband and I had planned for, I quit teaching to stay at home with my two little ones, I battled discouragement and despair while doing ministry in the small church God had called my husband and me to serve, and I had very little community to process, grow, and do life with. It was in this season of questioning my purpose and new identity as a mother that I felt compelled to create. In hindsight, it was this journey into the wilderness that allowed me to conceive the space to cling to joy and beauty - because you can recognize true goodness that much more distinctly in the wilderness. And in that place, I discovered a desire not just to create beautiful things, but to play a role in cultivating and capturing moments of true joy and meaning. Thus, the birth of Dana Yu Creative!
How has baking positively influenced the other aspects of your life and the person you have become?
Baking has helped me to slow down and enjoy the process of creating something beautiful (and delicious!). Each step requires attention to detail and patience in order to guarantee a beautiful finished product. This meticulous process has definitely helped me develop patience and perspective even in raising kids! I know I can't force my girls to be a certain way over night (although many days, I definitely try to rush this process, ha!). But with constant love and patient guidance, I have utmost hope they will grow to be loving, faithful, and selfless women who live to serve others. Fingers crossed.
Any reflections on Zimele's mission that you would like to share with us?
My biggest role models have been the generations of women in my family: my great grandmother who was the first woman in her family to get an education; my grandmother who was a pillar of faith in her community; my own mother who grew up in rural Korea, got piano lessons from a church member, immigrated to the States and earned a PhD in music while learning a new language. Women have incredible strength and ability to thrive if given even the smallest opportunity. Zimele provides that and more by mentoring and empowering women stuck in cycles of poverty.