Sunday, May 26, 2024
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Wednesday Wonder Woman: Delisa Leonard

Growing up in South Louisiana, Delisa Leonard never thought that baking would be her calling, but for five years she’s been the owner of DTD’s Sweetz and she hasn’t looked back since. The 29-year-old spent her younger years wanting to follow in her hard-working father’s footsteps and go into the business of construction. After moving from her birthplace of Violet, LA to New Orleans, Delisa fell in love with art all forms of art and the way it brought her a sense of calm and happiness. She attended Grambling State University for some time before deciding that she would like to follow her talent of doing hair. From there, Delisa enrolled at Blue Cliff College and received her Cosmetology license. It was during her time at Blue Cliff that Delisa would realize that baking and creating treats was something that she loved doing and wanted to build a business around.

There was a time when the wife and mother became depressed not knowing which way to go when her husband gave her the encouragement and inspiration she needed to step out on faith. One day, she made some candy apples from scratch and took them with her to Blue Cliff to sell. She sold out in no time and decided to come back the next day with cupcakes and those sold out as well. It was then that the stay at home mom realized that she loved creating treats and bringing others joy through her creations. Delisa began using her out of the box ideas and love for creating to build the foundation for an empire that she doesn’t plan on letting go of any time soon. The talented wife and mother of two has even made treats for star of FOX Network’s Empire, Yazz.

She believes that she does her best work when her clients allow her to just do her thing and come up with different creations. Two of her favorite cakes to make are drizzle cakes and 3-D cakes. Her cakes and treats have been tasted and loved from the west coast to New York and all over her home state of Louisiana. Some of her most popular treats are her alcohol infused cupcakes such as Hennessey Caramel or Pink Champagne. Since Delisa isn’t a drinker, she pours until she can smell the alcohol and then uses her husband as the taste tester. Her menu consists of a variety of cupcakes, cakes, brownies (regular and specialties such as lemon or cookies and cream), pralines, cake pops, cakesicles, and dipped strawberries. Though she ships her products anywhere, she doesn’t ship cakes or cupcakes. She also takes large orders and caters events such as weddings. Aside from being a baker and talented individual in various other areas, Delisa is also helping others learn the art of cake baking and decorating by teaching classes at Southern University in Shreveport and has dreams of one day owning her own shop.

With an unsurpassed support system and fan base, Delisa Leonard is on a mission to be Louisiana’s Queen of All Things Sugary. If she isn’t baking and creating, then she’s spending time with her family and soaking up as much time as she can with her two young daughters. Baking and music are forms of release for her and when she places the two together, she’s in her own happy world right there in her kitchen. Her daughters are even watching her and following in her footsteps when it comes to taking an interest in cooking and baking. Delisa is consistently learning and honing her craft in order to grow in ways that she never imagined. The business owning creative’s advice for others looking to start a business revolves around 3 key points; Keep an open mind/never be afraid of change, humility is key, and don’t forget to show the support to others that you would want to receive in return. She also notes that knowing your worth and sticking to the prices you’ve set are crucial. Check out her Q & A and get to know the founder and blessed hands of DTD’s Sweetz!

Ursula: Tell us a little bit about yourself? Who is Delisa and what makes her unique?

Delisa: I consider myself to be a creative. I’m a product of Violet, LA, and New Orleans, LA, the best of both worlds, which makes me a country and city girl! I’m a tomboy who models, does hair, survived losing everything in Katrina, and rebuilding in Monroe. For the past 5 years, I’ve poured my heart into creating sweet treats as the owner of DTD’s Sweetz, LLC in Shreveport, LA. I think all this makes me pretty unique and such a Louisiana girl. 

Ursula: What made you want to go into business for yourself?

Delisa: My husband gave me the confidence to start my own business. To be honest, he saw the vision way before I did. I was a stay at home mom and wanted to go get a job, but my husband chose to invest in me and the talent he saw in me.

Ursula: What’s your overall vision for your business?

Delisa: I want to become the place that people HAVE to come to when entering Shreveport, LA and one day the place that people HAVE to come to when entering Louisiana. I want to build and invest in other entrepreneurs through my business by showing them what some people didn’t want to show or help me with.

Ursula: Are you self-taught or did you have schooling in professional cake baking and decorating? 

Delisa: I’m self-taught and now I even teach others. I think I’m actually falling in love with teaching! 

Ursula: What was your first business venture and how did it pan out?

Delisa: My first business was DTD’s; it started as an accessories and DIY kind of thing. It was fun! Then, one day I made a candy apple and became the sweets lady. 

Ursula: Do you have any other talents or business avenues that you explore? Are you self taught on those or did you have schooling? 

Delisa: I’m very artsy! I can draw/paint, do hair and makeup, model, and dance. I took art to manage my temper while in school and it worked wonders. I received my cosmetology license in 2013. I’m an internationally published plus-size model thanks to VonRay. I used to dance and I’ve even done a play, but I didn’t have training/schooling in those areas. 

Ursula: Have you always seen yourself as an entrepreneur or did you initially want to pursue something else? 

Delisa: No, I didn’t. I actually wanted to go work for/with my dad in construction. I attended Grambling State University for Architectural Engineering, but that wasn’t my path. I still want to finish and build my own shop one day.

Ursula: Do you have a particular motto that you live by or base your business around?

Delisa: Proverbs 18:16, “A man’s gift will maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.” This has helped remove so much stress, doubt, and worry. 

Ursula:  What’s your secret to juggling your roles as wife, mother, and business owner?

Delisa: Prioritizing and time management! Sunday is family day. We also make sure we give our children undivided attention and show them healthy relationships. I make sure to schedule my orders around my family and not the other way around.

Ursula: Where do you see yourself and your brand in 5 years?

Delisa: If GOD sees fit, in five years I plan on already having my storefront. I see me with more teaching opportunities and maybe even a new addition to our family.

Follow Delisa Leonard and DTD’s Sweetz on Facebook, Instagram, or email.

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