"I'm never going to put boundaries on myself ever again," said Nadiya in 2015 ©Getty Images
"I'm never going to put boundaries on myself ever again," said Nadiya in 2015 ©Getty Images

How to build a brand like Nadiya Hussain

6 October 2017

Reality TV stars fade faster than they appear but the superstar baker seems to have created something a little longer lasting

Two years after claiming victory on one of the nation’s favourite shows (currently heading towards its 2017 finale), a positive spotlight still shines on the 2015 Great British Bake Off winner. Having won over the public with her passion, determination and honesty – topped with an emotional acceptance speech – Nadiya Hussain has used the same traits to become a business phenomenon.

“I’m never going to put boundaries on myself ever again,” she said, clutching her winning bouquet. “I’m never going to say I can’t do it. I’m never going to say ‘maybe’. I’m never going to say ‘I don’t think I can’. I can and I will.”

With no prize money or guaranteed contracts for the win, Hussain has managed to create a portfolio as diverse as it is exciting. Regular appearances on TV chat shows, including a guest presenter spot on Loose Women, gave her the platform to share personal stories that resonated with audiences. Fearlessly opening up about her arranged marriage, struggles with panic attacks and life as a young mother have made her an inspiration thanks to her authenticity.

Paul Hollywood, host of GBBO, admired Hussain’s style in the kitchen: “Her ideas, her flair, her emotion and her passion were in all of her bakes.” These great culinary skills transcend into challenges she sets herself to expand her portfolio beyond cooking.

She signed a book deal with Penguin Random House and released a collection of her favourite family recipes in her debut cookbook Nadiya’s Kitchen. Soon after that she penned a children’s book, Bake Me A Story, blending fairy tales with illustrations and child-friendly recipes, and earning a nomination for the Children’s Book of the Year prize. Signing a three-book deal to publish female fiction novels using a ghost-writer showed she isn’t afraid to venture into unknown territories or too proud to ask for help.

Remembering her roots plays an important role for the businesswoman. Her award-nominated TV series The Chronicles of Nadiya saw her travel to Bangladesh, her parents’ birthplace, and cook for a long-distance relative’s wedding. “When I was young, my dad wouldn’t eat anything unless his relatives were eating with him,” she said. “That’s something that I’ve learned again in Bangladesh. Every time I turned up with the crew, somebody had something to offer. Food is so much more than sustenance. Food is love.”

She even baked a three-tiered drizzle cake for the Queen’s 90th birthday. Her energy seems boundless. “Everything to me is a job and I want to do every job really well – my marriage, my children and what I do now when I write. I want to do each job well.”

The proof of Hussain’s success is clear. She has recently signed a contract with the BBC to develop a range of new projects and has loyally announced that she plans to make the broadcaster her “home”.

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