Always a Panther: DJ Shifts from Mixing Music to Baking to Earn a Living During Pandemic

Rachel Harvey

Before the pandemic, Duncanville High School alumna Rachel Harvey worked full-time as an in-demand Dallas DJ with regular gigs at local clubs, private parties and corporate events.

But when the first wave of COVID-19 hit the country in March, her job as DJ Ursa Minor became obsolete.

“Every single DJ gig I had was canceled because everywhere I played was not essential,” Rachel said.

Fortunately for Rachel, she already had a side hustle baking and selling cookies. In March, it became her lifeline.

“I’ve been baking for a long time and always dreamed about owning a bakery, but with my back against the wall due to COVID, I had nothing to lose,” Rachel said.

During the last nine months, Rachel ramped up her baking business – naming herself ‘The Butter Fairy,’ and posting her products on social media. In the kitchen, she has expanded her offerings. Once focused on selling chocolate chip cookies from a backpack at her gigs, Rachel now offers several varieties including honey lavender, the frosted flake and a recipe that uses Oreos for its cookies and crème flavor.

“My favorite will always be the frosted flake due to its uniqueness, but I’ve been in love with the vegan cookies I’ve been making,” Rachel said.

Though baking is helping her pay her bills, Rachel plans to restart her DJ career when the pandemic is under control. She credits her years in Duncanville ISD for helping her grow her love of music. Rachel fondly remembers playing the flute in the Duncanville High School band.

“My favorite memory is definitely being in Dr. [Tom] Shine’s last Wind Ensemble and playing ‘The Planets’ at the Meyerson,” Rachel said.

After graduating from Duncanville High School in 2010, Rachel originally pursued a degree in music education at the University of Houston. She left college to move back to north Texas when she became more interested in becoming a DJ.

“I feel like if I didn’t have the resources available to me like they were provided at DHS, I would have never forged a path to follow my dreams,” Rachel said.

Rachel acknowledges her dreams look different today than they did when she graduated high school. Having to shift paths during the pandemic has refined her goals even further.

“I’ll definitely still be baking when the pandemic is under control because I was before, but I’m hoping to make enough money to open my own location and start offering classes and events of my own,” Rachel said.

“I want to teach the community I serve and show them that they can have multiple interests and follow them all. You can have as many dreams as you want and they can all be your reality with the right resources, and I want to be that resource like how Duncanville was for me.”

If you’d like to contact Rachel to order cookies, you can find Rachel on her website at www.thebutterfairy.com.