Sunday, October 24, 2010

Living the dream and more

Our cupcake display is a specially designed glass cabinet that minimises airflow to make sure that cupcakes don't dry out. I actually dreamt about how this would look for at least 3 years. I still can't believe how it's turned out more perfect than what I envisioned.

We're onto our ninth week of trading and it feels like it has just flown by, yet at the same time I feel like I've been doing this for a lot longer. It doesn't really make sense but I feel as though my sense of time is a little warped, it's most likely because every waking minute (and even in my dreams) I am consumed with my cupcake store. The last two months have been amazing, the highs, the lows and the learning curves. There's so much I want to share and I have no idea where to start.

When it has quietened down and there's a few spare seats upstairs, I normally sit in the top right corner typing away and responding to emails, orders and preparing for the next day. I love that corner. Plus, I get to sneakily hear what my customers reactions are when they eat cupcakes and drink our coffee =)

Every moment that I am working, even though I may be far beyond tired, stressed out or frustrated, I love every moment of it. I finally have that fire lit again, that driving force that makes me want to achieve more and grow. I haven't really felt like this since I was 19 and started working in the IT industry...and even though I started my online business last year, I was doing it on my own from home so I never felt like it was a truly a real company as I got to make up my own hours and slack off whenever I wanted. Now, I have others relying on me to run this company properly, to grow this business, to take great care of my customers. I can't slack off at all because as soon as I do, there are repercussions. Each mistake I make is crucial for me to learn the lesson so I don't make it again. I have to learn the skills of being able to manage people and a team of people. I need to learn how to manage my stress levels and not become overly frustrated. I need to mitigate problems and solve them quickly especially when we have 10 orders to put out in a day, 2 weddings to cater for and also be able to cater for all the customers that come into our shop.

I always knew running a business wouldn't be easy but it's hard to prepare for it until you have your own business. But one thing I am grateful I did do when I was younger was to get experience working in different businesses and companies to understand how as an employee, we should be treated. All those horrible and pleasant experiences I've had, has given me that understanding and point of view that I need to exercise as a business owner and 'boss'. I'm so grateful that I have found some very talented, fun, extremely hard-working and honest staff that are working with us. I want to make our workplace a fun environment to work in and make sure that everyone that does great work is appreciated and fairly rewarded. I believe that most people don't work just for monetary rewards, it is about being appreciated, being able to learn and grow, a sense of achievement and contribution to the business. Would you rather earn a lot of money at a job you hate or work at a job that makes you entirely happy?

Enough biz talk, lets get to some photos. It seems to be Wedding season as it starts to (slowly) warm up in Melbourne, so here are a few Weddings we've created in the past month or so. Which one is your favourite?

Super Mario Bros. Cupcake Wedding Tower. Super unique and super awesome idea. I was so hesitant creating this for a wedding as I wanted it to look stunning, simple and not too... tacky. Dave & Kathy (bride & groom) were thrilled with it and everyone that has seen it has given so many compliments so I'm so glad it turned out well.

Rowena & Chris' Wedding Cupcake Tower at a gorgeous venue, Gum Gully Farm, that had a rustic farmhouse barn. One of the best parts of wedding orders is when I get to setup the towers even though it can sometimes take hours but I get to visit stunning venues and be able to take photos of the end result after all that hard work.

One of the most intricate wedding cupcake towers I've created to date. All the cupcakes were custom designed, some with intricate cherry blossom designs and others with flowers and hearts. Brendan & Elisa have been a pleasure to deal with and I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to work with their wedding tower as they had such creative ideas which in return allowed me to create this for them. The flower arrangement I created on the spur of the moment as the table turned out to be quite large and I wanted to make it stand out.

Thank you to all the lovely couples I've had the opportunity to work with to create something unique on their special day! If you're newly engaged and are looking for wedding cupcake towers, please feel free to contact me to arrange an appointment and have a complimentary cupcake tasting and to discuss your ideas -

Back to work now but I won't be complaining. I still have to pinch myself sometimes to make sure I'm not dreaming this up because I am really living the dream. I'm excited about tomorrow..all the time, I'm excited about the future and I'm always dreaming big because I know that it can happen. I know a lot of you wonder if this could be you and I'm telling you now that it CAN. You can make up all the excuses up in your head of how it can't work but what if you started thinking about all the ways to make it work? There were so many odds against me when I started on this journey and really the only person that can make your own dream come true, is you. I know this all sounds corny and out of a Tony Robbins book but sometimes repetition is good. Keep doing it until you get good at it, stay positive and have complete belief in yourself.

Also I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before in my previous posts but on my vision board in my bedroom was this picture of Magnolia Bakery that was from a Cleo magazine many years ago. I believe my vision board works, most of the things I've pinned up there has come true...well except the Jessica Alba body but hey I'm working on that one right now. I'm going to have a butt like hers soon and I'll blog about it because I want to prove that I can defy the odds and achieve it - even when working at a cupcake store and eating so many cupcakes a day!


  1. I love reading your posts, thanks! - no idea how I stumbled upon your blog a long time ago, but so glad I did :) Thanks for your honesty in writing what it's really like running a business and making it a beautiful success. I initially thought you were in London (England) and would have popped in for a cupcake - good job I have aunties in Aus so hopefully I can make a trip to your store one time. All the best with your incredibly delicious journey! Anna xx

  2. I'm so happy for you!! Everytime I read your posts I am reminded on how things CAN work out after all. I'm naturally a negative and very cautious person so I tend to think of all the problems that could happen before they actually do. So it's always a pleasure to read your posts because they're always full of positive things!!

    I have to drop by again some time soon!!

  3. Sheryl, we are so inspired by your blog and your shop. Many thanks for the virtual encouragement for small business owners like us, you have been very inspirational to us....

    Bittersweet Corner hails from Jakarta/Indonesia, we will be opening soon and opening date is inching closely - we offer more than cupcakes :)


  4. I bake french macarons & have recently started my home-based business & doing market stalls.

    Receiving alot of positive feedback for my macarons but just need that first break!

    It's stories like yours that keeps me going.

  5. Anna - Thank you for your lovely comments! I do try to share my stories as honestly as possible and I'm so glad to know that there are readers out there that appreciate it. Please do pop by one day and introduce yourself! I'm yet to visit London but hope to one day.

    Christy - You are too kind. I am far from a positive person, I stress a lot and because I'm so emotionally tied to my business that when something does go wrong, I sometimes overreact and feel like it's the end of the world. But I'm slowly beginning to manage it better and Tin always pulls me back to reality. I blog positively because the more you think positively, it does attract more positive energy. Yes, please do drop by! Are you still at the farmers market after race season? I have to pop by =)

    Bittersweet Corner - Congratulations on opening your store! The photos of your store outside looks lovely and so does the cupcakes and packaging. Goodluck and Terima Kasih for the lovely comments :)

    Sweet.Petite.Treats - Wow Macarons are so hard to make!! I've tried so so many times and have yet to make a batch that I've been happy with so I can understand how difficult they are to master. I've been able to try Zumbo ones before and they are so.damn.good!! Good luck and keep at it, as the trend is rising now - it's the best time to get out there and make a name for yourself.

  6. Sheryl - What an absolute delight this was to read - you are one inspiring lady!! Can't believe I still haven't been to pop in yet as you are just around the corner from me!

    I love everything you were saying about being a 'boss', I hope one day to have a little store like yours, but handmade lingerie not cupcakes :)

    And as I am looking for a part time job right now to keep my dream alive, hearing that there are wonderful business owners out there gives me lots of hope!!

    Gaby xoxoxo (PS I will never forget those amazing birthday cupcakes, thanks again so much!)

  7. what a great blog! here is so many inspirations!

    have a nice time,