I am literally so excited about this blog post. It’s an all new blog post idea for Wedding Tattle and it has already had lots of interest from some rather wonderful suppliers. When I read a magazine, I prefer the interview questions I can relate to. I already post about wonderful suppliers providing couples with gorgeous inspiration and services for their weddings and other exciting events; these fall under my talent posts. These posts focus on the business whereas my new coffee and a chat posts will mostly be about the individual or individuals behind the business.
Today we get to chat to the rather lovely Natalie from Cuppies ‘n’ Cream. The perfect business to kick off these posts. Not only does Natalie design the most stunning cakes but she also runs lessons at ‘The Cake College’ teaching others her beautiful skills. At the end of the classes the students get to take away cake- sounds like a win-win scenario to me. Where do I sign up?! Actually you can find out more about these cake classes which are based in Berkshire right here. The Cake College was set up and is run by lovely Lucy who wanted to teach as many people as possible the art of cake making- sounds like a beautiful mission to me!
♥ First things first- what would your coffee shop order be Natalie?
A flat white – every time! I love good coffee, unless it’s a hot day then a cold filter over ice goes down a treat.
♥ A little bit about your business and where it all started?
I have been baking since I was young. As well as cakes, I have always loved baking pastries, bread and concocting new recipes. I have learnt how to bake the old-fashioned way and still use tips and tricks that my grandma passed down to me. During the summer of 2011, I made a set of 24 cupcakes for a friend’s daughter after she had been let down by her original cake maker. Baking them was absolutely fine but doing the fancy decoration was a totally different experience; I spent hours on them! It then spiralled when friends and family began asking me to bake for them. A couple of months later, I decided to get myself registered, thought up a business name and that was that!
♥ How long have you been running your business?
Cuppies ‘n’ Cream has been running since October 2011 – it’s nearly our 4th birthday!
♥ What is your favourite cake and why?
This is a very difficult question to answer as I tend to love every single cake I make. When I’ve finished I just want to keep them and admire them for as long as possible. I try to put so much effort and love into every cake I create. I guess the most favourite would be a cake I created for one of my oldest friend’s little sister in my hometown of York. It was a classic beauty, 4 tiers and each a different flavour, ivory with hand piped stencilling, ruffles and a pretty sugar flower to finish. I was more nervous than I had ever been as I had to witness everything with the cake. However, the cake cutting was especially fun and then seeing it all sliced up professionally and hearing the lovely compliments was a real treat.
♥ What has been your favourite designed cake for a wedding?
A technique I have always loved is painting on cakes. It’s still original enough to have that wow factor and have something a little unique. A bride called Sophie contacted me asking for a 3-tier painted cake to match her Summer Garden them and I was instantly drawn in. The invites, the colour scheme, the amount of fresh flowers she was decorating the marquee with was immense and I really wanted the cake to match exactly. I spent quite a few hours researching the flowers, the colours and then applying them to a freshly iced cake in a watercolour technique. It was a total dream setting the cake up and upon arrival seeing that it matched perfectly. Both the bride and groom were exceptionally happy with the cake, even more so that it was gluten-free and the bride was able to have a slice (she has Coeliac disease).
♥ How do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration from so many different things! Only a cake decorator can go for a walk and take regular photographs of the most random things-they may just come in handy for a new design. I take photos in shops, cafe’s, the local park…anything can strike at any time. Online I do love a little Pinterest session and quite often will find some unique photos to work from. I have a wedding cake booked in for October which will have painted lavender fields, I have taken a quite a few country view photographs for this one so far.
♥ Favourite social media platform and why?
Now that’s a difficult question as I do love them all for different reasons! I’ve always loved Facebook and my page has been very successful, but recently I have found it quite difficult to get a decent reach since Facebook introduced new rules and expect you to pay for every post to reach your target audience. So in that respect I have turned towards my Twitter account and Instagram both of which have the advantage of being live and current. I have opened a Periscope account but I am yet to be brave enough to do a live broadcast! Eek…scary.
♥ How do you juggle a work/life balance when running your own business?
Lists, lists & lists! I have to be organised! I have children and a family life plus I teach cake decorating too at The Cake College in Berkshire so I have to be super organised for everything to run smoothly. I love to travel so I am a firm believer in the ‘work hard play hard’ ethic. I will work non-stop long days for weeks, with only one day off then I’ll take a week off to have some time-out. I get up early before everyone else does and get certain jobs out of the way so I can enjoy breakfast time with everyone. The same happens at dinner time, I drop everything so I have a spare 20 minutes to read my son a bedtime story.
♥ What would be your advice be to another entrepreneur starting out running their own business?
Make sure it’s something you enjoy. The nicest thing is actually being able to say, “I love my job.” Don’t be afraid to try new things, be original and look at doing something a little bit different to your competitors.
♥ Your thrifty tip for wedding planning?
Get your family and friends involved and make things at home with them when you can. They’ll mean so much more on the day. Even if it’s something really simple. I once had a mother-in-law make the sugar flowers for one of my cakes. She met me at the venue on the day and was so happy to be able to help and contribute towards something so special.
♥ What is the next project you have for your business?
I have some pretty unusual designs coming up which are really going to test my skills so I will be fully concentrating on them and planning their every detail. I also have a new Christmas cupcake class to design and launch for the college.
♥ Favourite Quote:
Cheap cake ain’t good, and good cake ain’t cheap!
♥ The key to a long-lasting relationship is…
I can’t choose one! So I’m going with having fun, communication and trust.
♥ What are you currently reading?
Funny Girl by Nick Hornby – it’s beautifully written and hugely enjoyable. I predict it will be made into a film soon.
♥ Favourite magazine choice?
Lonely Planet & National Geographic Traveller – mostly so I can daydream about all the exotic places I want to go to.
♥ Five things you just love in life?
Family, friends, food, travel and an afternoon nap…
♥ One thing no one probably knows about you?
I’m a vegetarian and I have coeliac disease too. This helps me fully understand how important it is to my customers when creating a particular food intolerance cake.
♥ What are your plans for the rest of the day?
It’s an admin day today. Emails, messages, invoices and returning calls. Quite satisfying when it’s all done though.
How much did you love those answers? Natalie did a beautiful job with answering them all. I am also yet to use Periscope- the account is there but I really must make the leap as apparently it’s set to be big. I find Natalie super-inspiring: a working mother running her business so very successfully. Her attention to detail is quite beautiful- you can see why she has attracted such a huge Facebook following. Natalie clearly followed her heart and took the leap into a business she loved and oh how this has paid off.
I am definitely justifying my next coffee shop cake purchase with Natalie’s quote.
Lots of Love