Dynamic Pastries by Champane – COVID Career Pivot Success

Central Georgia has not escaped the negative impact of COVID. The high unemployment rate is reflected in the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics which show how many people have found themselves unemployed over the recent months. But there are some positive stories of people in Macon who are successfully making the pivot to a new profession.

One of these savvy business owners is Cheryl Mills. Her pivot was to stop making music and start making pastries. Mills opened the Dynamic Pastries by Champane in January of this year.

Cheryl Mills, a lifelong Maconite, formerly worked as a musician. She has been in bands since she was 18 and has worked as a drummer, a background singer, and eventually a lead singer. Most recently she performed with Bo Ponder, a popular musician. “He’s like a legend in Macon.” Mills said.

Macon has seen many changes due to the pandemic, and in March 2020, Mills could no longer perform and she needed something else to do. “We couldn’t gig anymore, so I had to find another hobby.” Mills said. “That’s when I really kinda got into baking because I didn’t have anything else to do”

Mills has always had a passion for baking.  “I’ve been baking for a while, since I was young, I started out baking in the kitchen with my mom.” Mills said. “It was just something that I’ve always enjoyed doing.” Up until last year, she had considered baking a hobby and not a potential career choice. 

It was during the beginning of the pandemic that Mills explored her love of baking and began considering opening her own bakery. “Everybody always told me how good my cakes are, so I just decided to go ahead and try to open a bakery.” Mills said.

Starting a business during the pandemic has been difficult for Mills, but she said that business has been great so far. “I went into it, I really didn’t know a whole lot about opening a business.” Mills said. “It took a minute to kinda get everything going, but it’s going very well now.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have changed their line of work. This COVID-related business change has more lately been referred to as a “business pivot”. The Harvard Business Review defines this as “a lateral move that creates enough value for the customer and the firm to share.” People like Mills are among those who are finding value in the pivot.  

Dynamic Pastries by Champane opened on January 9. The baked goods are made at home, but Mills’ products are sold at the Macon Flea Market at 3640 Eisenhower Pkwy.