11 July 2024

“Being able to feel good from within is empowering… It makes you feel more powerful, and makes you feel more confident [about yourself].”

Desserts VS Empowerment

“I started this bakery because I have two passions; one is baking, and the other is female empowerment.”

The moist and soft cookies, butterfly cakes and creative ice-cream flavours all come from Pinn Janvatanavit’s strong passion for desserts, which turned into her online bakery called “The Rolling Pinn”.

Apart from its indulgent sweetness, this bakery also aims to empower women to be “bold, sexy and free” and to feel good about themselves while eating desserts. 

Interestingly, Pinn’s mission began even before she started her own business. Back then, she was outraged by a negative comment on social media, after she posted a picture of herself eating her favourite cookie.

“My friend commented ‘Are you trying to sell yourself, or are you trying to sell your sweets?” she said. “That made me quite upset, so I made it my mission to show that women can be both sexy and free, and should not be judged by others.”

This is also reflected in how Pinn names each of her sweets, as well as how she describes the eating experience, such as getting a “cookie-climax” or “chocolate-gasm”.

Love and passion for baking

Pinn’s love of baking began when she was only seven years old, when she was flipping through her father’s cookbooks and found herself wanting to make these recipes herself.

“So my parents knew that I love baking so much,” she said. “They know I’m crazy about baking, because I always talk about food, I talk about sweets and they always support me.”

She started baking seriously when she turned 11 and her parents fully supported her and invested in making her dream a reality. Apart from her parents paying for all her chosen ingredients on each supermarket visit, one of her most memorable moments was when her mother invested in her first electric ice-cream maker, while her father would give constructive feedback on how to improve her recipes.

“My mom invested in my business, she really wanted me to succeed and she didn’t want anything back from me. So I really appreciate that she supported me unconditionally.”

Another source of encouragement for Pinn came from her experience of sharing her baked goods with her friends, which empowered her to become a stronger and a more confident person.

“Because, after I baked them, I shared my sweets with my friends, and that’s how I learnt to socialise,” said Pinn. “After I received critiques from my friends, I took that feedback and made sure that I improved without giving up. So it really helped me to build a stronger determination to become better.”

Image Credit: The Rolling Pinn’s Facebook

Sweetest escape

Sweet temptations, however, are commonly associated with weight gain, which often discourages women from eating desserts. Despite that, Pinn strongly believes that everyone should be allowed to enjoy what they want to eat, as long as it makes them happy.

“It’s like a sweet escape, you know? You should not be thinking about your calorie intake,” she said. “I think that it’s normal for people to think that they’re going to get fat because it’s sweet, but I think that they should not body-shame [themselves] and, instead, should embrace who they are and eat sweets at a moderate level.”

As a sweet-lover, the 25-year-old founder admits that she eats them every day.

“Now, I try not to eat too much because it would give me health problems for sure. So sometimes I try to make healthier sweets, with less sugar.”

Image Credit: The Rolling Pinn’s Facebook

Getting the same respect

Of about 30 employees, Pinn said that the majority of them are women, which emphasises her mission to empower women through her business. Being a female entrepreneur, however, still comes with a number of challenges.

Despite being the founder, Pinn admits that sometimes she didn’t get the same respect compared to her male business partner, who is also her boyfriend, particularly when she had to recruit more people.

“Even though I’m the founder, when I interview new people and they don’t know that I’m the founder, they treat my male business partner with more respect,” she recalls.

“At first it discouraged me and it made me feel sad, but now I try not to think about it. I try to overcome the bad feelings and try to improve myself by reading more, so I become better.”

Despite the struggles, Pinn also revealed that her boyfriend always encourages her to become a better person. At the same time, he also played a huge part in her business, and helps her with her website.

With its success over the past three years, Pinn aims to expand her business internationally and is trying to place her products in supermarkets.

“[I knew] that would be hard, but I think I can try,” she said.

Image Credit: The Rolling Pinn’s Facebook

Be brave, be yourself, be confident

When asked what her advice is to all women, Pinn’s motto to self-empowerment is to “be brave, be yourself and be confident”.

The Rolling Pinn founder did not forget to give due credit to those who truly empowered her to become a stronger woman; her mother and her grandmother.

“They empower me through being good role models,” she explains. “My grandma is already 87 and sometimes she still goes to the office to sign some papers, so that’s how hard she works. It made me feel like I’m going to work until I’m that old too.”

By Nad Bunnag, Thai PBS World