Hidden talent brought to life

Fredrica Nagan hails from the Garden Island of Fiji – Waica, Taveuni with maternal links to Naividamu, Macuata. Picture: FREDRICA NAGAN/SUPPLIED

Entrepreneur Fredrica Nagan draws motivation from her family, and she strives to do good for them.

We are all born with a grab bag of gifts and gaps. Identify your true talents, then find out how to use them to make money.

Do you have a passion for baking? The right education can offer the skills and knowledge to turn your passion into a career.

This is what the 22-year-old Garden Island beauty Fredrica did when the pandemic wave hit the second time around.

Her passion for baking developed when the love for making cakes and goodies was always in the back of Fredrica’s mind.

Baking was always been a hobby for Fredrica at home, and she loves to try out new ideas and skills she sees on the internet.

Fredrica started off just baking for her nuclear family, then slowly word got out. Now Fredrica spends most of her days preparing orders for her clients.

The Sunday Times caught up with Fredrica earlier this month and this is what she has to share with our weekend readers.

ST: Tell me about yourself? My name is Fredrica Nagan.

I am from the Garden Island of Fiji — Waica, Taveuni with maternal links to Naividamu, Macuata. I am 22 years of age and a student at the University of the South Pacific attempting a Bachelor of Commerce Double Major in International Business and Marketing with Tourism Management. I am also a volunteer with WWF (World Wildlife Fund), a member of the YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) and a lifetime member & Young Leader at the Fiji Girl Guides Association and a John Maxwell Youth Facilitator.

ST: What got you hooked on baking? I am always looking for new things and challenges to get myself involved in, as I always love a challenge. New ideas push me to seek my full potential.

ST: What were you doing before COVID-19 hit the nation? Before the pandemic, I was out on Kavewa Island just off the Macuata mainland in Vanua Levu for over a month conducting a turtle survey Program for WWF. I was blessed with this opportunity by Mr Laitia Tamata and my WWF family. It was a totally new environment for me as I had no knowledge on turtle conservation at all. I was also on board with YWCA as I am a Young Women’s Representative on the Fiji Young Women’s Association National Executive Board, member of the Finance and Personnel Committee and Young Women’s Steering Committee as we were planning out activities for women and girls and members across Fiji.

ST: What motivates you? My daily motivation is my family and I strive to always do good by them. I always hold on to two particular Bible verses as a daily reminder at the back of my mind to always do everything to the best of my abilities and keep my family at Heart.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I alone know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to bring you to hope and a future”

Philippines 1:6 “God didn’t bring you this far to leave you”

ST: Who inspires you? My parents are the two people who inspire me the most. Seeing how far they have come and struggled to always provide for my little brother and me is something I can only hope to measure up to one day. My extended family and Feedbacks fropm Fredrica’s customers. Picture: FREDRICA NAGAN. friends are my other inspirations as they have always been there supporting and encouraging me in any way they can.

I am definitely grateful and blessed to have such great support systems in my life and my business.

ST: How do you plan your day? I usually close my orders the night before if I have only a few for the next day, but I usually advise my customers for a 2-day advance notice for their orders. I then carefully plan out my orders according to theirdelivery times.

ST: How long does it take to execute an order? Executing an order doesn’t take up much of my time when my family members help out, but if I was carrying out orders on my own, it usually takes about an hour or two for one particular order of brownies, coconut slices, pies, buns or scones. Birthday cakes usually take me, the least of five hours.

ST: Where do you buy all your ingredients from? I usually do my shopping at Shop n Save and RB Patel because I find they have ingredients and specials at great prices!

ST: What’s your favourite hobby? My favourite hobby is volunteering. I genuinely just love to help people in any way I can. It always gives me a sense of peace, knowing that I can make a small difference one person at a time.

ST: Apart from baking, what other creative arts are you interested in? I’m interested in environment and wildlife conservation, feminism, climate action and resilience, gender equality, youth empowerment, especially with young women and girls and capacity building.

ST: Are you adhering to the COVID-19 protocols? Yes, most definitely! When I am carrying out deliveries, I put on double masks with triple filtering and gloves. I sanitize my hands before wearing gloves, when I have the gloves on, after contact with customers upon exchange and after an exchange of goodies.

ST: What are your strengths? I would say my strengths would be my creativity and innovation, especially with using what I have available to me and working under pressure. These are some qualities I feel are what make my goodies taste and look good!

ST: What are your weaknesses? I think my weakness would be time management and sometimes procrastination. I feel these are weaknesses almost everyone has a hard time dealing with and it is what brings out the best of us at times as well.

ST: Describe your most challenging baking project. How did you overcome it? The most challenging baking project I have had been when I fi rst decided to expand out and start with birthday cakes. A friend had asked me to do it for a 1st birthday, and I was pretty nervous as I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. But I definitely executed it well, and I was in awe of what I was capable of.

ST: What experience do you have with respect to baking? My experiences are mostly with my family members and friends and this is the first time I have expanded my business out to other people in the Suva area. Like I have already mentioned, baking has always been a hobby and a great pastime activity for me at home.

ST: What are some challenges that you face? My major challenges would be having to do most of the baking and deliveries by myself. I am usually really exhausted by the end of the day, but I go to bed knowing that I have baked to the best of my abilities for the day and I have satisfied my customers.

ST: Advice to youths? My advice would be to always keep exploring your talents and grab opportunities as they come! Never be afraid of what you think you cannot do, be open to challenges and face them head-on with an open mindset. Trying something new won’t hurt but only expand your level of awareness and knowledge capacity as well! Do things you are passionate about and always keep God at the centre of it all.

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