Sibby Barrett learned how to find “cake” on a Sunbeam mixer before she could even read. A love of baking and take-charge personality led the neighborhood resident to start Dallas Affaires Cake Company in 1986, offering specialty cakes and desserts.

Barrett started small, just baking at home and purchasing equipment one piece at a time as she could afford it. She marks the turning point in her business as coming after one year: “I had to move to a bigger house – no more room to bake,” she says. Today, the bakery has its own space at 2307 Abrams.

There have been challenges along the way. Barrett says. Like many small-business owners, finances have presented hurdles. As a woman in business, Barrett has had to fight stereotypes.

“I find it hard sometimes to get people to take a woman seriously,” she says. “That includes food brokers, repair people and suppliers.”

Still, Dallas Affaires has persevered and become a good neighbor to many.

“We get to know families as they grow and go through the holidays,” Barrett says. “There is a good feeling of continuity and familiarity. That’s good in a neighborhood.

Q: Someday, I’m determined to:

A: Stop working so hard.

Q: My greatest asset is:

A: I’m not afraid to try new things; I have a great deal of confidence.

Q: I’ve never understood why everyone is so crazy about:

A: Martha Stewart.

Q: If I could meet any famous person, it would be:

A: Martha Stewart. I’ve got a few questions for her…

Q: The hardest part of running a business is:

A: Not enough hours in the day.

Q: I love what I do because:

A: It is creative and different every day.

Q: Businesses succeed when:

A: You know your product; know your customers.

Q: Most people don’t know I:

A: Do sit still sometimes…

Q: My advice to anyone trying to start a business is:

A: Be young and energetic! Don’t be afraid to fail.

Q: The best advice I ever received was:

A: You can do it.

Q: If I won the lottery, I would:

A: Probably still work.

Q: I’m not afraid to:

A: Try anything new.

Q: By the end of the year, I hope to have:

A: Some more good employees and a vacation!