Monday, February 22, 2010

Buried on the other side of frustration is success

A beautiful Hydrangea cupcake tower setup by Shirin from for a 40th birthday using our cupcakes and featuring a custom request for a three tier flower cupcake. A close up of a three tier flower cupcake is below in a different colour scheme.

It has been an insanely busy few weeks with all the Valentine's Day celebrations and Chinese New Year celebrations.. it's been great though and I'm so thankful for all the orders I've received of late. But running a business on your own is not easy...with the influx of orders I've had to juggle my time, rush a few orders and lose hours of sleep. I've felt frustrated, fearful, overwhelmed and disappointed quite a bit over the last few weeks.

I always pride myself in making sure that my customers are 100% satisfied with their orders and as of lately I think I've been letting them down because I've just taken on too much work for myself and have not been able to give 100%. I've made mistakes, silly mistakes. I feel frustrated because I know I could be doing so much more but I'm tired. I know I need to make progress but I'm scared to fail.

But today I realised that even when things go wrong, which they will, there are ways to make amends. To turn a negative into a positive.

Firstly, you have to take ownership of what has happened. Don't blame others, don't make up excuses. If you've stuffed up, then admit it and do it quickly.

Turn frustration into fascination. Frustration is what pushes us to succeed. Why? Because without it, it means we couldn't care less about what is happening and therefore it doesn't compel us to take further action. But frustration can be crippling as well. If you let frustration overcome you, you can feel as though you can't break through it and give up instead. So when I get frustrated, I am now going to turn it into fascination. If someone else is doing better than I am, instead of being frustrated I will ask myself in wonder "How did they get to where they are and succeed? What am I doing differently? How can I achieve what I am failing at now?". As Mr.Robbins says, "Very few people understand that buried on the other side of frustration is success".

Now onto more exciting news on what Cupcake Central has been up to.

On 13th and 14th February we held our most successful Cupcake Stall we've ever experienced. If it weren't from the high I was experiencing from all our amazing customers buying cupcakes, passing on wonderful compliments, coming back for more cupcakes and then selling out ALL our cupcakes halfway through the day...I would've probably passed out from the hours of baking I did (on my own!) and lack of sleep.

Busy working away, I didn't even get time to take a good look at the display till we were almost sold out so I didn't get to see how nice it really looked from the customers perspective.

We also got a custom made babycake display and they all looked so adorable lined up like that. We had some special Valentine's Day babycakes with conversation heart candies on top. The girls loved them and picked out their favourite quotes that ranged from "Email Me" to "You are cute"

I also felt that my cupcakes were being paparazzied as so many people took photos and I'm not over exaggerating when I say I witnessed over 100 individual people took photos or video taped them. And yes, I understand there are businesses out there that forbid people to take photos of your shop/stall/product due to copy issues and people stealing your ideas but really the majority of people taking photos is not because they want to steal your idea but it's because they admire the work you've put in and find it nice to look at...I didn't invent "the cupcake" and I am more than happy to share my creations with the world. That's the whole point of why I bake.

And I always hate it when I'm not allowed to take photos of food inside a shop when I want to go home and show my mum or friends, it's even worse when they tell you off and make you embarrassed for taking out your camera. I'm going to vow never to be one of those business owners that are so pretentious to think that people take photos to steal your idea or are trying to imitate your business. They should all get over themselves. If they believe in what they do, they shouldn't worry about others about imitating them because they'll be busy thinking about the next step to keep themselves in front of the game.

Okay, it's been a while since I've blogged and have tried to cram it all into one post. My apologies!

One last thing I want to announce...or two.

We'll be at Glen Waverley (Kingsway) Chinese New Year Festival this Sunday 28th February with another Cupcake Stall! I'm going to try to bake as many as I physically can as well as fulfill all my other orders so I don't have disappointed customers. But just in case try to come early in the arvo. It starts at 11am and ends at 8pm.

I'm also sooooo very excited to announce that we'll be part of the Loreal Melbourne Fashion Festival
which is an exciting event where renowned designers and labels take part in a fashion festival that everyone can participate in by attending workshops, shows and campaigns run by the different labels. We have an opportunity with HUSSY to be able to have our designer babycakes in their GPO store for customers and VIP's to enjoy. The details so far is that it will be held on March 18th but I'll update all you guys closer to the day. Just make sure if you're working that you pop by HUSSY at lunch or after work to check it out!

Lots of love xoxo


  1. Wow you're really out-doing yourself with those stalls..looks like such a variation of flavours, I'd imagine each flavour would take ages to make?
    If you are time strapped, I'd cut down the variations, especially if you are a 1-man show.

    In terms of criticism, I'd take it on board as something to learn from. And everyone makes mistakes. Only human. Just realise your strengths and don't over commit if you want to improve on quality and customer sat. :)

    I think these photos are showing that you are getting better at it! Keep it up :) x mel.

  2. I adore the Hydrangea cupcake tower...

    It's great to read that you're turning all these frustrations into something positive... and I'm so glad that with all these orders, you're still on top of things and haven't burnt yourself out yet...

    Hire help if you need too, don't put it all on yourself cuz your business is just gonna get bigger and bigger... I mean come on!! LMFF!! What an achievement!!

    Oh and thumbs up on the car pimping LoL!!

  3. I think you are doing really well, with a smart and savvy business idea, coupled with what looks like a great product.
    It is great to see a bit of personality behind a "brand" and I feel this will only benefit you in the future growth of your new business.

    You are however putting yourself "out there" for all to see and I think you should be careful wearing your heart on your sleeve,
    business IS business, after all.

    If you are happy to let people take photos of your displays, you will find people will copy your ideas, which in turn will dilute your target market, and eventually affect your bottom line. Ignorance of this seems unprofessional. Mockery of others seems a little offensive.
    I think it is important that you don't negatively affect your brand with careless statements, and consider the bigger implication of your role as the brand leader.

    You do have a great product and some great ideas it seems, and I wish you all the best for the future.

  4. @Mel - Thanks, it does take a little longer to create the different flavours but I like to add variety where I can to my stalls as so many of my customers often ask to order more than one flavour which I'm unable to for a single dozen order. I'm getting better at time management though and multi-tasking so baking a massive amount of cupcakes is starting to become easier for me.

    @Trang - Thanks darling!Hope to see you on Sunday!

    @Anon Thanks for feedback, I always like to hear the good and more importantly the bad because it gives me another perspective. I admit I am still naive about running a business so am probably still thinking from a 'customers' view. I can completely understand why businesses and companies keep their products and trade secrets confidential. My view on this whole "copy" issue is, yes I understand that people will see this product and imitate it but with baking a product it is a little different to just producing something that looks the same. The secret not only lies on how it is presented but how you bake and create it. I keep my recipes and methods confidential and dear to me. I know that wearing my 'heart on my sleeve' does have it's setbacks as it shows others how I've been able to achieve this, which in turn can inspire others to become competitors of mine in future (which I am humbly adding that it has already but I am actually glad that it has!). I am not ignorant of this fact and I do try to be careful to draw the line of how much information I share to the world.

    I also feel that if I stop my customers from being able to take photos, this not only will offend them and potentially turn them away from my product but it will hinder my business' ability to grow through word of mouth.

    I apologise if my view on others that disallow photographs of their products/shop is offensive and it was certainly not intended to sound like mockery. I'm sure other bloggers & food bloggers out there will understand the frustration all too much when they are turned away from being able to share their experiences through photos on blogs.

    Again thanks for your feedback, you've given me food for thought.


  5. Ever since you made those cupcakes for my 21st, it seems your business has really sky rocketed! I love the new designs and ideas. The recent photos on your flickr are absolutely gorgeous!

  6. nice blog<3 i love it <3
    but its on norweagan

  7. Thanks Leanne! It has been quite busy lately so I've been neglecting this blog a little. I'm going to try to update it once a week with more pics. x