by Mary Frances Cavallaro
Time management is a skill that seems to be a “must have” in this day and age. Between working, going on errands, making calls and scheduling appointments, it is difficult to find time for every thing you do let alone find time for yourself. Well, Mt. Airy resident Kioshi Baker, 39, manages to tackle each of life’s tasks and societal demands for both of her careers as a business owner and a mother.
Baker was born in Philadelphia but raised in South Carolina by her grandmother. Baker says, “My mother was a single mother and Philadelphia police officer, but she sent me down south to be raised. I visited my mother in Mt. Airy during the Christmas, spring and summer breaks.”
Baker, owner of a home-based business called Pink Lotus, decided in 2009 that she wanted to start a business for mothers and wives to realize they need time for themselves after so much giving to their loved ones day to day. She explained, “Dealing with being a wife and mother is what led me to start my business. It’s a running joke that once you have children, you no longer close the bathroom door. Well, I realized for me that it was true, so if it was true for me, I was certain it was true for other mothers also.
“So I started thinking of ways to steal ‘me’ time. And once again that led me to the bathroom. We all have to take baths and showers, so why not make that time as pampering, luxurious and blissful as possible? And that’s how Pink Lotus was born in August of 2009. I set out to create fabulous salt and sugar scrubs, soaps, creams and body butters that would create a spa experience at home for busy wives and moms.”
And if being a mother of five and business owner was not enough, Baker was also in the U.S. Air Force. When asked how she wound up joining the Air Force, Baker said, “I actually wanted to be a teacher when I was in high school, but after high school graduation, I returned to Philadelphia and began working to save for college. I was a server at a Red Lobster.
“The next thing I knew, years had passed, and college was nowhere on the horizon, so on my 22nd birthday I took the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test) to join the military. I blew the test away with a 96!” The recruiter immediately wanted her to come in to take an aptitude test to work in Intelligence/Linguistics, which she also passed. She left Philadelphia for basic training in December of 1997 at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
She graduated and went to technical school at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, MS. “Here’s where the story takes a funny turn,” she said. “I found out in tech school that I was pregnant and had been pregnant during my entire basic training. So I ended up getting married June 1, 1998, at the Justice of the Peace, in Gulfport, MS, and having the shortest honeymoon ever — try six hours! — on the Gulf of Mexico. “After graduating from tech school with a new last name and a baby on the way, I was assigned to my first duty station at Randolph AFB in Texas. Yup, I was headed back to Texas! I spent the entire rest of my enlistment at Randolph working in Information Management and Document Security. I was in the Air Force for 4 and a half years, and it was one of the best and most fulfilling experiences of my life. It showed me what I was made of!”
Baker has been and continues to be a very busy woman. She and her husband, Eric Lynn Baker, who were married in June of 1998, are the parents of Erika, Isaiah, Ebony, Isabella and Eric. Kioshi says that being both a mother and business owner is difficult, but “in the difficulty lies the reward! Believe me, some days and nights there was worry, doubt and tears, but the joy, happiness and sense of purpose far exceeds even my worst day. My words of encouragement would be to never put yourself or your goals on the back burner, or everything else will lack also. If you feel whole and complete as a woman, everything else falls into place!”
Baker is no longer in the Air Force, but she still has the passion to teach, and she gets to fulfill that very need, desire and passion by leading a class as the owner of Pink Lotus. Her course, called “Cocktails and Cupcakes,” will be her third class taught for Mt. Airy Learning Tree. This course will teach cupcake and cocktail recipes and a template to host a soirée or any small-themed gathering at your home such as “Girls’ Night In,” book club, movie night, bridal shower, etc. The course will take place March 12 and 19, 7 to 9 p.m., at the Project Learn School on the 6500 block of Germantown Avenue.
For more information, call 215-843-6333.