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1. How did your cake/sweets/business journey begin?
I suppose my journey really began just after I had my first child Owen, 7 years ago. It was my mum's 70th birthday two weeks later and I decided to have a go at making her birthday cake. I made her a fondant covered cake of a pond with frogs (very random). It was the first time I had used fondant and I really enjoyed being creative. Since then I always offered to make cakes for friends kids birthdays or for family, who would tell me I should make a living from it. They were of course being kind, but after having my second child Alex I decided that I didn’t want to return to my nursing career. I was feeling lost and down, my partner bought be a 2 day cake decorating course with Handi Mulyana at the Australian Patisserie Academy making an Alice In Wonderland cake to cheer me up. I loved every second and immediately came home and set up my business. I got better very quickly when I decided my cakes had to be great, as people were now paying for them.
2. What has starting your own business meant for you?
Firstly, it gave me a focus away from the family, something that was just mine again and that I could be proud of. I am of course proud of my little family every day, but my business helped me to feel proud of myself again.
Secondly, I love creating things and seeing all the little details come together. I love hearing customers stories and creating something that reflects them, and I love being a small part of my bride’s big days.
3. What have been/are the biggest challenges you face(d) in regard to starting/building/maintaining your business?
The biggest challenge for me, without doubt, has been working from home. I find that there are so many other things that I feel responsible for too (cleaning, gardening, shopping, kids, school holidays...the usual stuff), and for a long time have been wishing to be in my own shop with designated hours that I can dedicate to my work.
4. What do you feel are the benefits of using edible images?
I love that edible images can be used to add unexpected details to something and are so versatile. I will often just print a pretty floral pattern and use it cover numbers as a pretty cake topper, or even to cover a full cake. The possibilities are endless.
5. What is your favourite type of treat/design to create?
I love novelty cake orders and I like that I really get lost in the details.
6. What is the current trend you’re seeing in edible images?
I had always seen edible images as a quick and easy way to make a kids birthday cake by just using a round cut out of a theme, but I am loving seeing how decorators have more and more ideas on how to use them in their work to give a real wow factor to a cake and make something look real life. A ticket, money, book cover or logo for example.
7. What is the funniest/most unusual creation you’ve been asked to make?
Kids always have the best ideas because their imagination knows no bound, they also don’t have to be the one making it. My best cakes have been when a child said..."and I want it to sing", "I want it to drive", "I want it to actually erupt".
It's my little boy's birthday next week and he wants his Jurassic Park cake to roar, I'm working on that one.
8. Do you have any tips you can share when either printing or applying edible images?
Be prepared and print the image ahead of time. There is nothing more stressful with any print job than needing to print something quickly and your printer playing up on you.
When applying to fondant, paint around the cut edge to match the colour of the fondant.
9. What is your “can’t live without” cake/sweet making tool?
I couldn't live without my silicon modelling tools. It is truly amazing how much easier things are once you know the right tools to use and invest a little in them.
10. What do you do for yourself within your life and business to help avoid or alleviate burnout?
I'm still working on this one but my husband is very good at making sure I take time for myself when I need it. He's been a total legend with the support he has given me to set up my new shop.
11. What is your career highlight to date?
Getting a special commendation at the Brides Choice Awards last year and starting to get orders for baby shower cakes from brides I have previously made cakes for. The joy I get from ongoing relationships with clients is something I never anticipated and has been a real pleasure.