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Amy Rutherford of Cakes by Amy Rutherford is the purple locked lass taking the Dubbo, NSW cake world by storm - one delicious cupcake at a time. If you've seen any of Amy's Insta stories you'll know she is one passionate, bubbly and talented cake maker. Here Amy shares with us a little of her back story and some healthy insights into how she keeps small business burnout at bay.
1. How did your cake/sweets/business journey begin?
I’m a chef by trade and have always worked in hospitality. I love food & especially sweets! I started decorating cakes for family & friends. People kept saying I should sell them so I decided to start a Facebook page and it just took off from there - that was about 3 years ago.
2. What has starting your own business meant for you?
"Having my own business & being my own boss allows me to be flexible around my small family. I also get to be creative & do business the way I want to!"
3. What have been/are the biggest challenges you face(d) in regard to starting/building/maintaining your business?
Being a small business owner is one big (rewarding) challenge! The hardest thing has been having to ‘wear all of the hats’ and do all of the things! I outsource where I can & get help from family & friends but for the most part, it’s all me! Admin is my least fav part of the job, accounting & replying to all of the enquiries. I give myself a few days to reply to cake related messages and I don’t beat myself up if some weeks it takes me 7 days to reply to someone. I’m lucky I have very understanding clients! :)
4. What do you feel are the benefits of using edible images?
I have loved using my EIS products! An edible image is another way of adding customisation to cakes and for someone who doesn’t use fondant edible images are a great alternative!
5. What is your favourite type of treat/design to create?
I love making ‘face bark’! Printing a clients image onto chocolate transfer sheets & using a thin layer of chocolate to create the bark. It’s a great novelty product and something no one else in my area does.
6. What is the current trend you’re seeing in edible images?
"Customising cakes & treats with peoples faces!
Not only that I’ve also created a lot of corporate treats using logos on cupcakes & cookies."
7. What is the funniest/most unusual creation you’ve been asked to make?
I once got asked to make a ‘pimple popping’ cake. Like a cake with a squeezable pimple where the (edible) puss comes out.... I respectfully declined the order....
8. Do you have any tips you can share when either printing or applying edible images?
There are lots, I’m also still learning along the way! I’m super lucky that I actually get my dad to print all of my edible images for me so he’s got that side of it sorted!
As for applying the images, I use a little water or edible glue to attach the edible images onto cupcakes & cookies.
9. What is your career highlight to date?
My edible image printer coincidentally played a big role in my career highlight to date! In October 2018 Harry & Meghan visited my home town, Dubbo.
Dubbo City Council got businesses & locals involved in the Royal visit by encouraging us to decorate our shop fronts & attend the Picnic in the park with Harry & Meghan.
I decided to make ‘Picnic packs’ full of sweet treats for locals to purchase and take with them on the day. The pack included cupcakes & cookies with edible images of Harry & Meghan (amongst other tasty treats!)
"From a single image posted on Instagram with the hashtag #royalsindubbo I received media covered from around the country & around the world! A few of the people who visited my shop during that whirlwind of a week were from The Daily Telegraph, Sky News, Channel Seven and our own local radio station, Hit FM."
I printed a LOT of edible Harry & Meghan’s that week!!
10. What do you do for yourself and/or within your business to help avoid or alleviate burnout?
Scheduling down-time or time for self-care is super important to me. It always has been but even more now that I run my own business.
As much as I love my little shop I always try to have a few days away from it. Sunday, Monday work best for me and my family and if I can have Saturday as well its a bonus!
When I first started making cakes there was this idea that I would have no weekends because most special occasion cakes are for the weekend. I slowly started to figure out that I could have most of my cakes ready for pick up Friday arvo/Saturday morning. Leaving me the rest of the weekend to spend time & adventure with my little family! Running my own business as well let’s me schedule in things like nail appointments, PT sessions, coffee dates with friends and hair appointments (I have to maintain my purple doo!