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Layla Sanders '29 holding her business card

Layla Sanders has always enjoyed helping her mom bake sweet treats in the kitchen. After being inspired by an intricate dessert table at a party, she wanted to make and sell her own treats!

Where did you get this idea from?

I have always loved helping my mom as she baked in the kitchen. Since I could walk, you would be able to find me helping my mom. Whether I would scoop dough or taste her creations, I loved every moment I spent with my mom! 

A little while ago, my parents attended a party where there was a table full of treats, which they brought back for my siblings and me to try, including chocolate-covered pretzels and marshmallows! I wanted to create something like the treats my parents brought us, so my mom reached out to the baker to see if she would be willing to help develop my passion for baking!

I really am incredibly lucky that my parents are so supportive of me. They always encourage me to try new things, and I am glad they believe in me and Layla’s Sweets and Treats.

Top: Her father, Layla, two sisters and brother. Bottom: Her brother and Layla

Can you tell me one of the hardest things about running your business?

I have had some difficulty when it comes to managing the finances of my business. I want to ensure that I spend my money wisely, and as I do not have a continuous source of income, it is important that I do not buy too much or too little. I tend to buy a bit more supply and ingredients than necessary to guarantee that I do not run out!

Other than that, it can be hard that Layla’s Sweets and Treats is only me–I have no verified employees. But my family is super involved with my business. I have my dad, who is the wrapper, my little sister to eat the leftover chocolate and broken pretzels, and my brother, who claims he is the official taste tester, but really is just sneaky and steals any treat he can get his hands on! 

Where do you see this pursuit going in the future?

I want Layla’s Sweet and Treats to be a well-known and respected small business. The first step is to expand my clientele. The main buyers are from the PD Community, but I am slowly getting more unique buyers. My family has been supportive, and my grandma loves to brag about my business. 

What is your favorite part about having a business?

Without a doubt, decorating my treats is the best part of my business. My mom has an amazing sense of style, so she is constantly helping me learn and inspires many of my designs. Decorating is my favorite part of the whole baking process, too. Whether freestyling or decorating based on a client's request, I love decorating and making a vision a reality. 

What is something you were not expecting?

I was not expecting Layla’s Sweets and Treats to be as popular as it is! I was shocked the first time I sold out of my inventory, and so many people continue to return for seconds or spread the good word about my products!

What is your effect on PD and the wider community?

I donate 20% of my profits to Levine’s Children’s hospital because I find it so important to support these adorable kids while they are fighting various diseases. I hope to volunteer at the hospital in the future as I have a passion for working with kids.

What is one piece of advice you would give to other students?

Always put your best foot forward and be confident in both your business and your product. Once you do that, people will enjoy your product and keep coming back for more.