Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reflecting on 2009 and Resolutions for 2010

21st Birthday Cupcake Tower at Blue Diamond, Melbourne

As 2009 draws to an end it is time to reflect on what we did during the year, what lessons we learned, what made us happy, what & who we are grateful for in our lives and if we achieved what we set out to achieve in 2009.

This year has been a very special year for me. I just read my very first blog entry again and I have to pinch myself. In February 2009, I set out to start myself on this journey to fulfilling my dream of baking cupcakes for a living. I didn't know where I would end up, how I would go about it or if it was even possible for me. I just took one small step of running a Cupcake Stall at a festival and even though it didn't make a single cent of profit that day - I kept going and didn't quit. It was a goal of mine to have my own business one day but never would I have imagined that by September 2009 I would have launched Cupcake Central! If at the beginning of the year a fortune teller told me that I would have owned my own business before the year's end, I would have laughed and asked for my money back. I really had no idea it was possible for me and this has taught me a very valuable lesson in life. No goal is too big, no dream is too big.

It sure hasn't been the easiest year but it also wasn't as tough as I imagined it to be. It was more my 'fear of failure' that I had to overcome and which I'm still battling today. It has been scary and it has been stressful but to the contrary I feel alive again, I have a passion in my life that keeps me awake at night, a sense of purpose and a kind of happiness that only comes from knowing that you are being true to yourself.

I often find that I criticise myself quite harshly and feel that I could be doing a lot more, working a lot harder, being a lot smarter but tonight as I write this, I can say I'm proud of what I've achieved so far. I'm proud that I stuck to my plan of running my own business as opposed to jumping into another consulting job because it offered great pay. I'm proud that I DID something about my dream and put it into action. So many times I've said I'll do this and I'll do that with no solid results. But this year I went on the path that would change my life forever. And that is a huge achievement.

To the people who are reading this and are thinking of pursuing a new business venture or wanting to make a career change...I wish you all the best for 2010. Let it be the year that you will make it happen. Take a small step towards it and keep at it. You will know if it is your passion because you won't be able to stop thinking about it. Talk to people about it. Tell them your plans as it WILL start to manifest into reality. Feed your creativity. Hang up a vision board and stick bits and pieces on it which will help inspire and motivate you every day.

2010 is going to be a big year for me. I'm planning to charge full steam ahead and really work on all aspects of getting my business into a shop front. And just like the start of 2009 when I set out to owning my own cupcake business, I have no idea how I'll achieve it yet as I certainly don't have the finances to do so but with small steps and action...I have this feeling it will fall into place.

My other resolutions for 2010 are:
- To live a healthier lifestyle where I make exercise a daily routine. I believe being physically healthy and exercising boosts your brain power and also helps with your emotions. And being in control emotionally is a key factor to success in any area of your life.
- To connect more with other entrepreneurs and small business owners. Working alone can be quite lonely and I do miss my old colleagues and the social aspect I used to have when working in the corporate world.
- To be more understanding of others and stay positive. Sometimes it's so much easier to focus on all the negative bullshit but it doesn't foster growth or success. I need to learn to get over it and move on but at the same time I don't want to see myself exert the same type of negativity. Each to their own.
- Do more volunteer work and become more involved. I've always wanted to do charity/volunteer work but never found the time to do much other than Christmas wrapping, Christmas lunches or raising money for charities. This year I want to really get involved and feel like I'm making a difference.

I didn't really intend to do a whole 'goal-setting' exercise but I think this will keep me motivated because all of you are reading it as well. Yes, goal-setting can be a drab but it's sort of like a map to your success. You can't get to where you want to go if you don't figure out your destination first, you'll just be mindlessly wandering into the abyss and having to deal with the consequences. We all have choices in life. One important thing I've learnt is not to listen to anyone that tells you that you can't do something or that you're not good enough. Instead, you can thank them later on in life because they were the ones that added fuel to your fire to become a success story.

Wishing you all the very best for the new year! Thanks for reading my extremely long posts or browsing the cupcake photos. I just wanted you to know that your support and love makes me all warm with glee.

See you all in two-thousand-and-ten. xox.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cupcake Central Stall this Friday 18th December at Dingley "Twilight" Market

Just a very short & sweet post to let you all know that there is a special "Twilight" market on tomorrow (Friday 18th) at Dingley Village from 5pm till 9pm. The address is 31B Marcus Rd Dingley Village. Besides from our Cupcake Stall there are several food stands and craft stalls (everything is handmade or designed), so there will be lots of goodies to buy as Christmas pressies. I think it's going to be one of the busiest stalls for the year, so come along and enjoy the atmosphere!

Cupcake Central will be selling Christmas themed cupcakes, a special limited edition Mango Cheesecake Cupcake and some other special customised cupcakes which you'll have to come along to see for yourself. We will also have plenty of babycakes to make sure that no one will miss out as we seem to do quite often at the markets.

Hope to see you all there!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cupcake Central Stall this Sunday 6th December at Dingley Market

So yesterday my mum goes to me in Cantonese, "So you're selling at the markets this Sunday?".
Me: "Nope, they don't have a market this Sunday, there's going to be a Twilight market on Friday 18th instead".
Mum: "No, I just read the local paper and it was advertised to be on this Sunday 6th. I just threw it in the recycling bin but I can go get it"
Me: *Searching on the Dingley Village Craft & Produce Market website* "Crap!! It is on this Sunday, I read it wrong".

Luckily my mum had read the local paper and asked me, or else I would've had more disappointed regular customers at the market and I would've kicked myself silly for that.

So we will be at the markets on:
  • Sunday 6th December from 9am till 2pm
  • Friday 18th December for the "Twilight" Christmas market from 5pm till 9pm.
We've been trading at the Dingley Market since May which was months before I launched Cupcake Central and since the beginning I've been selling my cupcakes for $3 each since I didn't want to overprice my cupcakes and deter new customers. However, since launching my business and doing all the cost analysis to ensure that my business will survive and that I'm not making a loss - I settled at pricing my cupcakes at $3.50 each.
At the start of my cupcake stall adventures, I never thought about making a profit and ran the cupcake stalls purely for experience, fun and for motivation to follow my dream one day. I would bake tirelessly for almost 12 hours in the late night/early mornings to ensure that the cupcakes were fresh and I bought the best ingredients (which also meant more costly) so people would taste the difference and at the end of the day, as long as I broke even I was happy. But what really made me overjoyed was the fact that people actually bought my cupcakes and kept coming back!
Now that I'm running this business as a full-time job, I have to make ends meet and ensure that my business will grow steadily.

I have decided it's time to increase the price at the Dingley Market to match the website price of $3.50.

So I really hope all my wonderful customers understand this and won't get upset. I'm really really looking forward to the market this Sunday as we missed the last market day in November as I was in Japan.

See you all soon! xx

Here are some recent custom cupcakes I've had the privilege to create:

Mini 6" Cutting Cake for Michelle's Wedding.
Flavour was Chocolate Orange cake with Orange buttercream.

Tiffany & Co Mini 6" Cutting Cake for Annie's 21st Birthday Cupcake Tower.
Flavour was Vanilla White Chocolate Cake with real Raspberry frosting.

A tower of babycakes and a mini 6" cutting cake for Katie's 21st Birthday.
Cake was Vanilla. Babycakes were Vanilla & Devil's Food Chocolate
with pink vanilla buttercream.

Last but not least "Om Nom Nom" Cookie Monster. I just made these today as a sample for a customer
and thought they were just too cute! I took a quick snap so quality isn't that great but will take more photos
when I create the final batch.