Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cupcake Central - An online cupcake order business in Melbourne, Australia is born.

Sheryl proudly presents to you all...

On Friday 25th September 2009, Cupcake Central was born.

I arrived (fashionably?) late at 8.31pm when the party started at 8.30pm, thinking that no one would be there yet - but as soon as I arrived 10 people followed me into the function area. That will teach me to think that Mac false eyelashes are a breeze to put on - I don't know how Michelle Phan does it, guess she practices a lot.

So off I went to quickly set up the cupcakes with the help of a few fab friends that arrived early.

Cupcakes on the tower and cupcakes all lined up on the tables. I baked over 170 cupcakes which is a lot of baking for one person. I got to sleep at almost 4am the night before and had to finish off frosting & decorations on Friday morning. I had to elicit the help of mum so we could finish in time.

My dear friend Sam, who is apparently just an amateur at taking photos, took all these amazing cupcake photo shots. He has helped me out with so many photos on my website which I'm truly thankful for! He has a real talent, taking great photos is not as easy as clicking a button.

It was such a fantastic night. Yes I did get a little flustered trying to get everything organised and making sure everyone was enjoying myself. I also got to meet all these fantastic people that either found my invite on Facebook, were brought along by friends or were blog readers! It was an amazing feeling to get so much support from so many people. I think over 80 people turned up as the function room was extremely full and there were people outside at the bar as well. It was a great turn out, much more than I hoped for and I'm so grateful!

I did a short & sweet speech, there was no microphone set up so I had to speak up. When I revealed my website on the projector screen, everyone cheered! What a memorable moment.

I do wish I had more time to speak to everyone there, I did get to go around and give my business cards out and say HI though.

Myself with my new business cards! I wore a bright turquoise Zimmermann silk strapless dress on the night with super killer high Wayne Cooper heels on the night - it was my night to stand out a little.

All in all, the launch party was a success. I hope everyone enjoyed eating the cupcakes - they all disappeared by around 10ish and I received great feedback from people. Thank you so much for everyone's support, it means a lot to me. It still seems a bit surreal to me at times that I'm getting all these orders and building a network for my business. It's been so busy with learning all these new things and baking at the same time.




Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The World Needs You to Do What You Love

4 days to go until my launch party, I'm so excited I could pee my pants but I won't because I want to keep my friends =)

Launch Party Door Prize: I've decided to make it more fun so I'm going to hold a door prize at my launch party - yes that's right not only will you get free cupcakes and champers but you could win TWO DOZEN customised cupcakes. Score! Just remember to pick up a ticket when you arrive, it will be drawn after I reveal the website.

I have been so busy baking almost every day, this will also have to be a short post because I have to wake up to bake tomorrow morning. I think even though I'm exhausted from all this baking, planning and organising - it doesn't feel like work to me. Although today I had to have a rest day and just bum around because the weekend required me to bake a massive 350 cupcakes for a wedding, cupcake order and also a proposal cupcake order!

Some cupcake eye candy.
One of my favourite cupcake orders of all time. Yes I have been dreaming about these cupcakes since I've started taking cupcake orders...I had a vision of making a little pillow out of fondant for the ring. Michael-James was sweet enough to ask me to help him out with his proposal, I feel so privileged to be able to be part of it somehow. It was a perfect love-story ending with his girlfriend in tears and accepting his proposal with cupcakes! Congratulations.

I attempted decorating cupcakes with royal icing, these heart cupcakes accompanied the proposal cupcakes.

Wedding Cupcake Tower - Red Velvet cupcakes and a mini red velvet cake on top. Congratulations Reggie & Priscilla - both of you have been absolutely fantastic with supporting my business and I am truly grateful.
(sorry for the blurry photo, had to take a quick snap as the reception was about to begin and the guests were to enter any minute)

Just one last thing, a friend of mine sent me this article. It rang so true to me and I hope you will find it interesting as well: The World Needs You To Do What You Love - Jonathan Mead, Zen Habits

Here's the first couple of paragraphs that made me go wow..nod nod.

"The greatest change happens because of people that are deeply passionate, and have a great love for the work they do.
If you want to make a difference in the world, the single most important thing you can do is consciously and deliberately choose to do work that you are passionate about."

Also let's go out and spread some positivity, going around blaming people and making others feel like shit doesn't necessarily make you feel any better - it sure won't make you a better person. Before we look to blame others, let's ask ourselves "what am I really pissed off about?" sometimes that's the answer to becoming wiser and to grow as a person. Today I've learnt that some people will blame you for things that might seem unfair and instead of moping on the situation and feeling like utter shit I should thank them for letting me know and move on with my life. Their insecurities should not be mine. I can be the better person. Life is way too short.

Hope to see you at my launch party!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Throw rocks in puddles!

Peek-a-boo I see a cupcake. Cute little noodle boxes with clear windows, perfect for wedding bon bons.

I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit since a very young age. Both my parents worked hard at their own businesses for many years and although both have moved on from their own businesses now the lessons they've taught me, the success and failures I've experienced with them all have helped me to strengthen my entrepreneurial skills. My parents have been very supportive of what I'm doing. I know my Dad is a little bit worried about me leaving my IT career, after all I did spend many years studying hard to develop my knowledge and skills to create a successful career that will enable me to have a comfortable life. I understand that running your own business means that there will be many sleepless nights, stress and the risk of failure - perhaps Dad is trying to protect me from those things.

I don't want them to worry, I know what I make now is peanuts compared to having a stable IT Consultant job, I know that I could possibly be making $500 - $600 a day as a contractor but it's not what I want to do, not right now. We all know money is important, some might say it isn't as important as happiness but we can't deny the fact that it contributes to some of our happiness. We have bills to pay, mouths to feed. I know many of us wish to be millionaires, retire by 40, have holiday houses in Fiji and enjoy life. So my rational thinking is...well can we really become a millionaire by working for someone else? How many years will I need to work at a day job before I can say I'm a millionaire? Can I retire by the time I'm 43 by working as an IT Consultant? Long story short, I came to the conclusion that I need to own my own business to achieve financial freedom.

Having spoken to several entrepreneurs that have started their own businesses, starting a business means commitment, perseverance and positive attitude. Most did not see results, profits, successes until months and years down the track. It does not come overnight.

"In order to succeed, we must have long term focus" - this quote applies to anything, whether you are aiming to lose weight, to learn an new instrument, to finish a sudoku puzzle. If we don't have long term focus and only focus on what is happening now and give up after a failed try, then we will never succeed because we won't keep moving forward.

All the time and effort I'm spending on my business, I know I may not see the results monetarily right now but I believe if I have the passion and perseverance, it will come later. So my little bit of advice is for those wanting to start a business after coming out from a day job is, don't become too focused on making profit right now, don't think that for a small $30 order of cupcakes that you'll be spending 3 hours on is too small of a order to make - spend an extra hour on it, go that extra mile and make it really special for your customer, learn from that experience, be grateful they have chosen to do business with you. Focus on what you want to achieve, not the dollars, once you get that right you'll be on the road to financial freedom. (Yes I speak as though I'm already there but I really do believe this is true, I will read this post again in 5 years time to validate that this is true)

So why throw rocks in puddles?

I got this quote from a book "How to Make Money Out Of Thin Air" by Brian Sher. Yes I did initially get sucked into buying this book for its title but it did turn out to be a fantastic book. So the quote is really to describe taking action - big action so instead of throwing a pebble in a pond, throw a rock in a puddle to make a big impact. Taking action means you are creating energy which will give momentum and life to what you are doing. A quote from the book.."The most successful people know that to do nothing is worse than doing something, even if 'something' turns out to be the wrong thing." You need to take action to learn, to learn from successes and to learn from failures.

"You learn nothing from doing nothing"

So get outside of your comfort zone a little and say "yes" to the next new experience or opportunity that comes your way. Take action!!

My first attempt at a mini cake for a wedding cupcake tower, I previously thought that I completely fail at baking cakes, but I was amazed at how I pulled this off. After reading websites & forums on how to cover a cake with fondant, I prepared myself with the right tools and gave myself plenty of time to decorate it - no cake decorating classes at all! It was a mini cake though and was only about 18cms wide but still, a lot larger than a cupcake!

Anniversary Cupcakes.

Spiderman themed cupcakes for a little boy's birthday.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Cupcake Stall Menu this Father's Day Sunday 6th September at Dingley Market

I'll be at Dingley Craft & Produce Market this Sunday. The address is 31B Marcus Rd Dingley Village.

Cupcake Menu

  • Vanilla & Vanilla Buttercream
  • Vanilla Chocolate
  • Black & White
  • Devil’s Food Chocolate & Chocolate Ganache
  • Cookies & Cream
  • Strawberries & Cream
  • Hummingbird Cupcake
  • White Chocolate Raspberry (new flavour!)
I've got these new cute peek-a-boo takeaway boxes so buy one for a friend or your Dad this Sunday!

It has been a busy week and I finally feel as though I’m making progress and things are starting to fall into place. With positive thoughts, come positive energy that manifest into positive actions and events! I've finally got my Certificate of Registration for my business name which I am very excited about. The website design is almost complete. I've organised my launch party. I've had the council complete their final inspection. I've found all my suppliers. Things are getting done, even though I think I'm suffering insomnia because every time I try to sleep I keep getting all these ideas for my business and they keep me wide awake at night.

I have had the most unbelievable amount of support from family, friends, ex-colleagues and people that I have not met. I feel so wonderfully fortunate. I hope one day I too am able to support you in your own dreams, tell me what your dreams are, what your goals are – no matter how ridiculous it sounds, drop me an email because I want to hear about it.

Whenever someone tells me that they feel inspired by me, I feel extremely flattered and at the same time I find it…odd. I find it odd because in my own mind, I am not worthy of being an inspiration - not yet anyway! People that are inspiring are the amazing people that have done the unachievable, the people that have gone against all odds and done something extraordinary. I still feel as though I have a gazillion steps in front of me before I get there.

Hope to see you guys at the stall - rain, hail or shine. The weather has been schizo lately and can't make up it's mind whether it's Winter or Spring.