I resigned from my old job in August 2007. The two month notice period that followed was pretty much the most nerve wracking period of my life. I did not have job to go to and had made up my mind to start my own business. The fact that I had a disastrous interview at TFL had little to do with my aversion to being interviewed for another job. In fact, it had nothing to do with wanting to start a business, nothing at all.
Anyway, would you believe, the cupcake mania had not quite started in 2007. Not as we know it anyway. So I got myself a baking tray, my parents sent over their ancient hand held mixer from India (talk about expensive) and after my kitchen cupboard was stocked up with caster sugar and self raising flour, the world was my oyster. Or so I thought.
It’s not easy baking cupcakes. It certainly is not easy decorating them. It definitely is not easy getting people to buy cupcakes from you! So as business starts go, mine was pretty wobbly.
Fast forward six months, I landed a big order for 120 cupcakes for a civil partnership celebration from friends. I got up at 5am to bake fresh on the day. Seeing my cupcakes take their place right next to a fabulous jazz band and glamorous guests was amazing! Here it is, my first big order in all its glory!
Once I had one order under my belt, my confidence grew. By spring 2008, I had a small website and brides could find me on the internet. I got a few wedding orders and I was well on my way.
More fast forward (this is a long story, I will write more episodes later) to 2009. Someone on Facebook suggested that I start classes to teach people how to make cupcakes. By this time I had churned out more than 25000 cupcakes from the oven in my flat and had plenty of confidence. My classes were a hit and I was super busy – always good.
Moving really quickly to May 2011, I got the keys to my workshop on the bank of river Thames. I could not be prouder. Then started the month long workshop build. We stripped the old office out and replaced it with our workshop. This is what it looked like mid-build. It was fabulous to see the oak worktops being fitted, the Miele ovens installed and the new floor smooth over concrete.
In a month, with the help of some amazing builders, the workshop was ready. This is what it looked like when I got the keys. I took particular care with specifications – from the decidedly non-wobbly option of a solid oak worktop to state of the art Miele ovens to some amazing Kenwood mixers. The workshop is my workplace and it is the best office I have ever had. For sure.
Now (2013) – We have now been in the workshop for two years. We have welcomed students from as far away as Las Vegas and Malaysia. We have welcomed teachers from as far away as Australia and San Francisco. Our students have gone on to set up their own successful businesses all over the UK and the world. As far as work satisfaction goes, this is the best job anyone could ever had.
I will talk more about the business in other blog posts, this is just the beginning!