I’m A 23yo M’sian Who Left My Baking Business To Study Vet Science In Indonesia So That I Could Better Animal Lives

Sonea says she loves Indonesia and that life is simple there.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic’s uncertainty, Sonea Edwards’ journey emerged as a beacon of resilience and determination.

Her story began in 2020, when she was just an 19-year-old transitioning from pre-university graduation to waiting to be accepted by a university.

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It was during this period of anticipation that Sonea found herself drawn to the art of baking, driven by a desire for independence and a curiosity to explore new avenues.

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Sonea edwards with her own baked cake
Photo provided to WeirdKaya

I actually do not know how I picked up baking. There was a lot of times where I had to stay up late to learn various baking techniques.

Starting with making humble cupcakes, Sonea’s baking journey was marked by determination and a willingness to learn. Armed with little more than YouTube tutorials and TikTok inspirations, she embarked on a culinary adventure that soon blossomed into a thriving business.

With each batch of treats, she continuously honed her skills by experimenting with various flavors and techniques until she perfected her own art of baking.

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M'sian entrepreneur's baking business orders
Photo provided to WeirdKaya

A setback that pushed her forward

When asked what was the catalyst that led to her meteoric rise in success, Sonea said that it was thanks to a order gone wrong.

Three people had ordered a cake for a girl from me, but the rider accidentally delivered it to the wrong address, where the recipient ended up eating the cake.

Little did I know that when I shared this mishap on TikTok, it unexpectedly went viral and marked the beginning of my baking career,” she said

Almost overnight, Sonea’s baking venture quickly gained traction, attracting a loyal following and a surge in orders. What began as a project purely out of passion quickly evolved into a full-fledged business.

Sonea with her cake again
Photo provided to WeirdKaya

However, the success also came with a fair share of challenges, which were especially during a global pandemic.

My business was at it’s peak when Malaysian influencers, such as Isa Isarb and Cupcake Aisyah started ordering cakes from me.

Throughout the two years of her business, Sonea told that things were not always smooth. As a one-woman show, it was hard for her to manage, but thanks to her friend Vesha and her parents, Sonea persevered on.

With this support, Sonea persevered through the long hours and sleepless nights, fulfilling 10 to 20 orders per day and expanding her customer base. Sonea added that Vesha would even keep her company till 4am during peak seasons such as Christmas and Mother’s Day

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Sonea with her friend vesha
Photo provided to WeirdKaya

“Without this support system, I don’t think I’d be able to pull through,” she added.

Looking towards vet science

Amidst the whirlwind of managing her growing business, Sonea remained steadfast in her pursuit of higher education. However, she was unable to make up her mind on whether she should pursue veterinary science ever since she was in high school.

“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pursue veterinary studies, but when I worked at a vet clinic before Covid, that was when I started to develop an interest in it.

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“Later on, I worked as a volunteer at Mypetshaven run by Aunty Aileen, who continues to be my inspiration to this day,” she said.

Sonea with a dog
Photo provided to WeirdKaya

After much setbacks and delays, Sonea finally embarked on her journey towards realizing her childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian. Inspired by her love for animals and fueled by a desire to make a difference in their lives, she set her sights on a future filled with a purpose and endless possibilities.

Life in Indonesia

Fast forward to today, Sonea’s currently pursuing her vet science studies in Bogor, Indonesia, where she has completely fallen in love with the simplicity of rural life and the beauty of nature.

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Despite the challenges of adjusting to a new environment, she embraced the opportunity to immerse herself in a culture that is both enriching and inspiring.

In KL, I didn’t know how to ride a bike but here in Bogoi, I have a motorbike and often travel to class with it. Life is so simple here and I really love it.

Sonea riding her bike with her friend
Photo provided to WeirdKaya

When she was questioned why Indonesia, Sonea explained that moving abroad to study wasn’t her plan at all.

“Initially, I applied to be admitted into Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) but I couldn’t get in as I didn’t take the STPM or Matrices paper. Later on, I turned my focus into studying at the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB) in Indonesia.”

As a person who often thinks ahead, Sonea said she didn’t want to settle down with her business and decided to dive deep into veterinary science as she felt that she is still young and there were more things awaiting for her to explore.

Sonea in her helmet
Photo provided to WeirdKaya

A dream to chase

Looking ahead, Sonea’s aspirations are as bold as they are ambitious. With plans to establish a one-stop center for pets in Malaysia, she envisions a future where she can combine her passion for animals with her entrepreneurial spirit.

Dreaming of migration to countries like New Zealand and Australia, she seeks new horizons and opportunities for growth in the upcoming years.

As she reflected on her journey, Sonea said she is filled with gratitude for the opportunities that have come her way. Her story serves as a reminder of the power of perseverance and the importance of staying true to one’s dreams.

Sonea in her college attire
Photo provided to WeirdKaya

While Sonea’s currently studying in Indonesia, her baking business is still up and running and she would helm it whenever she is back in Malaysia. If you wish to know more about it, you can follow its Instagram account at @cupcake.season.


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