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Each small business owner has their own reasons and inspiration for starting their business. For Candice Brown starting her Cakes by Candi B business, it is financial independence and the ability to be her own boss. The realisation that she possessed the skillset and energy to run her own cake business pushed her in the right direction.
1. How did your sweets business or journey begin?
I have four young children and I love to create different cakes for their birthdays. One year at a party, I made a cupcake caterpillar. Looking back now I thought it was pretty basic but seemed like I possessed the skills that some did not, so I was asked then and there to make a cake for one of her friend's birthday parties and it went from there. I realised I could make money out of it, so I started a business.
2. What has starting your own business meant for you?
It is financial independence and being my own boss that has kept me doing what I do. I have worked for some great people and some really horrible people, and I realised that I possess the confidence and stamina to have my own business and run my own life really.
3. What have been/are the biggest challenges you face(d) in regard to starting/building/maintaining your business?
Staffing issues are always a huge issue. Finding the right people and hoping they like you enough to stick around but also supporting them in their own dreams. I am lucky to have one person who has been with me since I started and is such a great worker, but then we also have some we want to keep but will be leaving us to go to uni, etc. Also, customer demands. I know the majority of people don’t understand the cost of making a custom cake. From images to paint, cake boards to boxes, the costs can add up. I have found a way to educate people by having a few cake decorating supplies in-store so people can see what items actually cost.
4. What do you feel are the benefits of using edible images?
Edible images are time-saving and, in some instances, money-saving. If a client doesn’t have the budget for a hand-painted cake, we can offer edible images on top or on the sides. You can also get any image really. So if a client would like an edible image of their loved one or maybe a company logo, it is a much simpler option.
5. What is your favourite type of treat/design to create?
I really love decorating 3D cakes. I also love hand painting on cakes.
6. What is the current trend you’re seeing in edible images?
Business logo’s on cupcakes are a great way to promote businesses. I think these are really taking off as a promotional tool.
7. What is the funniest/most unusual sweet creation you’ve been asked to make?
A year or so ago I made a huge 3D pokemon cake with brains coming from its mouth. The poor client nearly had a panic attack transporting it back home because it was so big.
8. Do you have any tips you can share when either printing or applying edible images?
Don’t apply until the last minute. Where you can, purchase the icing sheets, not rice paper as you will get more longevity out of the image and they are easier to apply. Don’t put them in the fridge overnight uncovered or the image will wrinkle. And make sure you clean your printer regularly. I do so about once a month.
9. What is your “can’t live without” sweet-making tool?
Paintbrushes. 100%. I have bought that many from Cakers Warehouse and Sweet Sticks. But you need quality.
10. What do you do for yourself within your life and business to help avoid or alleviate burnout?
I don’t.... I am burnt out all the time haha. No, I have learnt to say no to people. I create desserts that I have love for. I would hate to say yes to a creation that I really didn’t like just to make money. It’s not worth the stress.
11. What is your career highlight to date?
Opening my shop in 2019. Next to that, winning Brides Choice Awards in 2020 and 2021.