Featuring suppliers on the blog that operate from the beautiful county of Cornwall is one of my favourite pastimes.
What was your inspiration for starting your business?
I have always loved baking, and have made many celebration and wedding cakes over the years… including my own! I always dreamt of starting my own business but was unsure how to go about it!
After starting my own family three years ago, I realised it was one of those ‘now or never’ moments in my life, and, with the help of the Princes Trust Enterprise Programme, made the giant leap into the world of self-employment!
A few years ago I started to see a big increase in vintage, homespun and eclectic styled weddings, with couples choosing to make a statement about their individuality and creativity rather than conforming to traditional standards. I have always been inspired by all things vintage, especially vintage textile prints and vintage china. Coming from a background in art and design, it seemed only natural to start to experiment with merging my two great passions in life – baking and painting!
My business specialises in creating bespoke, hand painted, vintage inspired cakes and individual hand crafted edible tea cups and saucers filled with delicious sponge for couples who are looking for something a little bit different for their big day.
How long have you been operating, and who’s ‘behind the scenes’?
I officially launched my business in October 2012 and can’t quite believe the amount of interest I have already received! I create all of my cakes from scratch myself, but I do have a very patient husband who helps me deal with the paperwork side of the business and reigns me in if I get carried away! I also don’t know what I would do without my wonderful network of friends who do school runs and babysitting duties if I am at meetings or up to my elbows in icing!
How would you describe your business ethos? What do you hope to achieve?
I love to have things around me that reflect my personality. Your wedding day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate those things that make you and your fiancé individual and unique. I create wedding cakes that are not ‘off the shelf’ but are beautifully bespoke in every way. I suppose my ethos is: be yourself and be creative… that goes for my life as well as my business!
My biggest business achievement to date is having got my business up and running! It has been a slightly scary but hugely exciting journey! In the future, I would love to see more of my work featured in magazines, showing brides that there are alternative wedding suppliers out there! Eventually I would love to have my own kitchen studio where I could run workshops teaching baking and decorating techniques to other people!
What’s the most satisfying part of your job?
I find the most satisfying part of my job is seeing a cake through from the client’s initial brief to initial idea sketches and finally the finished product. Occasionally I get the honour of seeing the look on a couples faces when they see their cake for the first time, and that is really special!
My edible tea cups and saucers seem to create quite a stir! I am starting to get quite a collection of photos sent to me of guests eating their teacups and saucers! They do make me giggle!
It is the best feeling, knowing that you have made a special memory for someone. That gets me every time!
And the most challenging?
I do find it a challenge to keep on top of my endless email and admin pile! I do have to remember that running a business is not just about playing with icing and paintbrushes all day long; sometimes the paperwork has to come first!
Can I be assured of the quality of your products? Is everything handmade?
I bake all of my cakes, macaroons, cookies etc. myself from scratch in my lovely little kitchen. I really do believe that the better the ingredients you use the better the cake will taste. I try to source many of my ingredients locally, using Cornish butter, free range eggs and Cornish chocolate to name but a few!
All of my painted designs are done completely by hand… I use a mixture of water based edible gel colours and edible powdered pigments mixed with melted cocoa butter for a more vibrant effect.
Very occasionally, I use silicone moulds to create items to go on my cakes… for example I am reproducing a small Victorian cameo brooch from icing and using it to decorate some teacups for a client at the moment. The mould is the best way to achieve the right look. I tend not to use cutters and moulds very often as I find them quite limiting, I am a perfectionist and generally prefer to do things my own way!
Can I find you at any events this year?
I am really excited to be taking part in the WED Magazine Fair at the Headland Hotel on the 24th March! This will be my first fair (so please be gentle with me!). WED magazine have been really supportive since my business launch, featuring my work in two of their recent magazines! There seem to be so many exciting wedding and vintage fairs out there I am sure I will be exhibiting at some more very soon!
Want to find out more?
If you’re interested in using Emily as your wedding cake designer (and let’s be honest here – why on earth wouldn’t you be?!), then you can find more information and contact details on her company website and social networks.