When you walk into Boise’s Bakery, you step into a shop full of heart-shaped cookies, colorful vintage mixers, and flowery aprons. But perhaps the most delightful part is the owner, a Boise teen who’s owned the bakery for three years.
Isabelle graduated from high school at age 15, and wrote a business plan and secured funding for her bakery as her senior project. Her family already owned a local business, so they were able to provide the space—and guidance—for Isabelle’s new venture.
“My mom told me to research what I didn’t know, and she also walked me though a lot, like costs for rent and ingredients, and how to keep up with spreadsheets so you’re not losing money,” remembers Isabelle. “I had to figure out how much an oven would cost, and where it would fit. A lot of it, we figured out as we went along.”
Isabelle grew up helping out in her mom’s catering business, which provided her opportunities to experiment and learn her craft. She continues to make time for creativity. “I like taking an hour or so and experimenting, just to see if there are better ways to do something, to make a cookie even better,” she says.
Owning a business has helped Isabelle become more confident, especially in the social arena. For the first few years, she struggled with customer service but has learned to embrace talking to people, receiving feedback, and staying calm under pressure. “I’ve been really shy ever since I was a little kid,” she says. “It’s not like I couldn’t talk to people—it’s just that I didn’t want to. We laugh about it now. It was a challenge, but a good challenge.”