We had the good fortune of connecting with Karen Romero Valdez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Karen, looking back, what do you think was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make?
One of the biggest and hardest decisions I have had to make was – changing my prices on my desserts.

It may not seem like such a drastic change, right? But oh my goodness, it was tough. For starters I had a million and one thoughts running through my head. I was constantly fighting myself mentally. Yes do it… no don’t do it.. Maybe you can wait.. You must do it ASAP.

I had to brainstorm how I was going to implement changing my prices and not upset my current + new customers. I had to mentally prepare myself for the “That’s a lot for just strawberries.”, “It will be that much for a cake?”, “Can I get a discount?”, “Do you know someone who can do it cheaper?”

Luckily, I received NOTHING but love from my customers. I got so many messages stating – “It was about time!”, “I am so proud of you for doing this!”, “Yes, your stuff is so pretty, its about time you raise your prices.” And so on, NOTHING BUT LOVE. It warmed my heart that my customers saw ALL my hard work.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I currently am 23 years old, I work for Bank of America as a Bilingual – Credit Specialist. I have been with them for almost 2 years and I absolutely LOVE my job. Before working for the bank I was having a hard time in my personal life, I was battling a lot of personal demons and had so much stupid, petty drama going on. Once I started working at the bank, my whole life changed and I could not be prouder of the woman I made myself into. I stopped paying attention to all the childish things and people in my life and started focusing on my future + foundation. 5 months later, I started my small business during the COVID-19 pandemic because I was losing my mind doing nothing and being home ALL DAY. My goal with Cakes and Karen is to expand it and bake desserts for other small businesses to serve. I have a registered LLC and I’m currently looking at the next steps to be able to serve at stores/shops. 🙂 My over all career goal though is to become a teacher, I haven’t decided what age/grade I would like to teach. But I have always had a passion to teach kids and I LOVE learning. I’m constantly learning everyday – about myself, my business, my partner, life. Nothing is easy, but I appreciate it more because of that.

I would love to tell everyone – No matter the obstacles in life, there is and always will be sun at the end of the tunnel, the hurt or pain doesn’t last forever. Don’t ever give up on yourself. Sometimes your dreams may seem unreal, but the impossible is possible, just keep pushing yourself. You will be grateful you did. <3

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Honestly, I wouldn’t know where to start. I have always been a homebody, my husband is actually the super outgoing one out of us, haha. He is constantly planning dates and trips for us to do or go on. He showed me so many new things, foods, and places. I guess if I had to make up an itinerary I would do places I have never gone to in Arizona – The Grand Canyon + Sedona. I love swimming, so we would definitely go to NightSplash. I love food – I am obsessed with Sonora hotdogs, Starbucks, and any candy with tamarindo. I also love going to the movies – Marvel fanatic! I’m also huge on hiking so I would definitely hit Camelback mountain and show them our beautiful Arizona sunsets.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Yes, I definitely have to give credit where it is due!!! I wouldn’t be any where near where I am today with out these rockstars!

For starters –
My amazing husband, Anthony and my spiritual mentor Gladis – without their continuous love, support, and constructive criticism I wouldn’t have a small business. Thank you for always pushing me to be the better version of myself, never letting me give up on anything, and for always being 100% honest, you guys are deeply appreciated. <3

My little sister and aunt – Jessica and Amayrany, thank you for always buying the left overs (LOL!), sending me videos of inspiration, and ALWAYS telling me “I like it, but I think you can do better!” I hate to hear it, but I love to do it. 🙂
Lastly – I’d love to give a huge thank you to two of my favorite customers who became some of my BEST friends – Briana and Sh’von you guys are SO sweet and super amazing, always filled with love to give me.

Website: CakesandKaren.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cakesandkaren/

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