We had the good fortune of connecting with Trerrell ‘TJ’ Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Trerrell ‘TJ’, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
I would say the sacrifices made to make all the magic happen. Considering we live in a society that has almost everything instantly available on command, it’s definitely not the case with the food/bakery industry. Majority of my clients have inquired for custom items with very, very limited time for me to prepare. And it’s sometimes a bit heartbreaking to turn down an order due to not having an adequate timeframe to create/prepare. Although I do try to accommodate as many clients as I can – within reason. However, I am still human (not a machine) ergo I still need certain things to be able to create – i.e. sleep, food, etc.

What should our readers know about your business?
Sweet Nothings & Pastries (S.N.A.Ps for short) started out as an idea while I attended culinary school for my associates. 3 semesters in I realized I didn’t necessarily NEED a degree to run a bakery, plus I already knew majority of the curriculum I was being taught. I had been working in the culinary industry for a few years by then & decided to pave my own way into the biz. Ergo, I dropped out, continued to work various full-time jobs – all while creating S.N.A.Ps. There were a lot of tough times trying to figure it all out (especially without any entrepreneurial guide on my side), but I managed working through them by connecting with other entrepreneurs & doing my research.

Ultimately, I’ve been in business for a little over 7 years & have have learned so many lessons along the way. Granted I’m not where I’d like to be, but I’m definitely waaaaay past where I was in the beginning. Two lessons that has always stuck with me since the beginning: don’t be afraid to make a mistake & continue to give yourself grace, It takes a lot to be human, let alone a business owner – so I try to always remain humble with myself & others in all that I do.

I say to anyone who is even remotely thinking about becoming a business owner: DO IT! Don’t let your doubts control what you do, even if someone else is already doing it. They’re not doing it like YOU! You are your brand, so treat your business like you would treat yourself.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As a native of Dallas, I’d definitely take my best friend to the Dallas Arboretum to see all the natural beauty it holds. And of course we’d have to take a little stroll around White Rock Lake which is literally next door. If we were to have a picnic there, I’d say let’s go to Jimmy’s Food Market off Bryan St. first to collect some yummy authentic Italian goodies to munch on. But, if Italian deli doesn’t sound good, we could always shoot down the road from White Rock to Smoky Rose – a delicious, rustic smokehouse with great outdoor seating (if Texas weather decides it wants to be nice that day).

After taking a little siesta at the house, we’d get dressed up and do some bar hopping around Uptown. First we’re hitting The Standard Pour for some scrumptious apps like spinach & artichoke dip or roasted garlic hummus. And washing it down with a couple of Cucumber Gin Smashes or Watermelon Margaritas. Then we’d skip over to Parliament & continue to our bar hopping with even more refreshing craft cocktails. And of course no night is complete without a little dancing – to Deep Ellum we go. We hop out the Uber & make b-line to The Nine before the line gets too long to grab some decent cocktails & hit the rooftop to jam out to the DJ spinning some hip-hop throwbacks. Before last call is announced, we’re definitely heading over to Punk Society to do some more dancing and catching the bar before it shuts down. On the way home, it’s mandatory we stop my favorite late night taco joint – Greenville Street Tacos. They have some of the best authentic streets tacos in Dallas. And the best part is…THEY’RE 24 HOURs!

Then it’s back home for some z’s. And round. 2 begins the next day.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’ll “try” to keep it short:

Firstly, I have to definitely thank the Most High (aka the big man upstairs). I certainly didn’t acquire these set of skills by my lonesome. I’ve always felt they were divinely given to me as a gift to share with others.

Secondly, of course I have to thank my mommy dearest. She’s been one of my biggest supporters ever since SNAPs was just a thought in my brain. Also, she gifted me my first Kitchen Aid mixer – I’m eternally grateful for that. YOU’RE THE BESTEST & WILL ALWAYS BE MY SUPERWOMAN!

Thirdly, one of my greatest (and unexpected) mentors has been Val (from Val’s Cheesecakes). Long story short, the 4 years I worked with him helped me not only grow as an entrepreneur – also as a human being. He has shown me that integrity & respect are pivotal to being a good human & business owner. THANK YOU SO MUCH VAL!

And to save the best for last, I definitely want to thank the rest of my family, friends & all the new people I’ve come across over the years. You guys are super awesome for constantly lifting me up & supporting me. I appreciate every kind word, suggestion & re-post. THANK YOU!

Website: www.snapspastries.com

Instagram: @snapspastries

Facebook: Sweet Nothings & Pastries

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