Second Life Podcast: Meet the Mathematician Who Created L.A.'s Trendiest Bakery

Welcome to MyDomaine's Second Life podcast, a series spotlighting successful women who've made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief innovation officer at MyDomaine's parent company, Clique Brands, each episode will give you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields. Subscribe to Second Life on iTunes, and stay tuned—we'll be releasing new episodes on Mondays.

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Second Life

Before Christina Tosi started Milk Bar—the trendy bakery known for its covetable, playful desserts—she was studying math and Italian in college with dreams of becoming a mathematician, a UN translator, or a perhaps a truck driver (yes, really). "I like to be uncomfortable," the entrepreneur tells Hillary Kerr on episode 36 of Second Life.

Drawn to restaurant life with a passion for baking, Tosi moved on from her mathematical endeavors to pursue cooking at culinary school and (with a lot of hard work) went on to found her very own wildly successful bakery. Here's how she made it happen.

Once Tosi made the bold decision to move to New York and enroll in culinary school after graduating from college, she found herself an unpaid job in a restaurant and got to work. "I think more than anything, I loved the hustle," she explains. Tosi also managed to find time to bake for the sake of baking, rather than technique, when she wasn't on the clock or in class. "Passion drives early mornings and middle-of-the-days and late nights and days off," she states.

By going above and beyond in all of her many occupations during her early years in New York, she found herself working with the legendary restaurateur David Chang. It was his belief in Tosi (and a bit of seed money) that allowed her to start Milk Bar back in 2008. "I just kind of blinked my eyes and opened the store," she remembers.

A decade later, and her store openings still garner throngs of people lined up around street corners. "My real mission at Milk Bar was the spirit that my grandmas gave me, which was: You bake to take care of people, you bake to make people happy," Tosi explains. Her advice for others looking to turn their dreams into reality? "Your instinct, what you bring to the table, how you see the world, how you know your business is your greatest power… You should never second-guess what you know in your heart," she says.

Head to iTunes to subscribe to Second Life and hear the full episode.