Dubai: 12-yr-old girl buys iPhone 14 after selling home-made bread in school for Dh10

Some students looked down on her, questioning her family's financial status — but Bianca kept going until she reached her goal


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Supplied photos
Supplied photos

Published: Fri 24 Mar 2023, 12:51 PM

Last updated: Fri 24 Mar 2023, 10:26 PM

Twelve-year-old Bianca Jemi Wariyava won't ever forget the day her iPhone 14 was delivered to their home. It wasn't a gift nor a prize she won — it was the fruit of six weeks of hard work.

Bianca, a seventh-grader in Dubai, wanted a new phone but, due to current circumstances, her parents couldn't buy her one. In February, a brilliant idea dawned on her.

Her Filipina mother Gemini Wariyava once made some bread that she packed in her lunchbox and shared with her friends. “They loved the taste and fluffiness of the bread. They loved it so much they asked me to bring some again the next day," Bianca told Khaleej Times.

Then one of her pals gave her an idea: Instead of giving them away for free, why not sell them? "And that was when I realized I could buy iPhone 14 with the money I could earn,” she said.

Bianca’s parents are both expert bakers who have worked at five-star hotels in Dubai. In fact, she grew up seeing them bake in the kitchen. When they learnt of her plan to sell bread, they supported her all the way. Her Indian father Jemibhai Wariyava gave her the initial capital of Dh100, and her mother offered her baking expertise.

“She had been helping us bake at our pizza parlour when she was five years old. She has been interested in baking since then," said Gemini.

How she did it

Bianca sold four pieces of bread for Dh10, and on the first day of her venture, she received only two orders, but she kept going. The next thing she knew, she was selling over 60 pieces a day on average.

“It's not just plain bread I baked. I have flavours like plain soft roll, oreo, ube, cheese, turkey salami with cheese, and chicken franks — which my teachers and schoolmates fell in love with,” said the seventh-grader.

She baked in the evenings after completing her homework. She would take note of orders and prepare only those on her list.

"Bread is a very fast-moving commodity, and with the secret recipe of my parents, I had fast turnovers,” she said.

By the second week of March, she had enough money to buy the iPhone 14 worth nearly Dh3,000.

Big challenges

Selling in school wasn't easy, she said. At one point, she was even made fun of.

"A few students looked down on me. They spoke among themselves, saying 'why can't she ask her parents directly for a phone rather than selling bread?' They even questioned our financial status," Bianca said

“But I was focused and continued until I reached my goal. My parents, classmates, teachers, and neighbours motivated me, and I am thankful for them."

Bianca vows to continue her entrepreneurial journey. And her next goal? To open her own bakery and coffee shop.

Gemini is a proud mother, saying Bianca's story can inspire younger generations."She truly values the new phone because she has worked hard for this."


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