Monday, 10 August 2015

Decade done!

This year marks 10years since I progressed from being "that girl (Sarah-Jane) who makes cakes" to an honest and legitimate  business "Cake That!".

I remember vividly the moment my business name came about. 
My husband and I were on holidays in Palm Cove. I has tossed around names like "Couture Cakes" and "Boutique bakes" none of which really suited me and my personality - yet portrayed the image of the business and the standard delivered. 
Out of nowhere my husband suggested "Cake That!" It just clicked. To me it seemed fun, it was a name that would (hopefully) stick in clients minds, and all up it was straight to the point. It wasn't pretentious- nor too quirky that it left you wondering "what the?" Lol. 
And so began the journey of the business of Cake That!
It's been a terrific ride. It's taken me on a journey of a lifetime, enabled me to work with some truly memorable clients, to challenge me and grow my skill level immensely, it's  even enabled me to travel afar. 
Over the years I've learned so much, and I'm still learning everyday. I've become a  better cake artist, yet I keep images of my early work in clear sight to remind me of how far I've come, and what support and determination can amount to.

one of the many memory collections around my cake room

Not only has the business allowed me to be commissioned by some terrific clients, it's also enabled me to give back to the community through charity cupcake days and donating cakes and services to those otherwise less fortunate. I believe everyone has the right to enjoy cake, and if my little bit of talent can be used for greater good, then my job is done. 

Starlight Foundation Cupcake day 2007

I've met some amazing fellow cake peeps, who'll forever be more than colleagues, but honest to goodness friends. Cake That! has given me the opportunity to network alongside and make friendships with some of the best wedding vendors around. I mean, who doesn't love great cake- with a side of awesome decorator too hehehehe

My first ever client commissioned "Chocolate Mountain Cake"

Making great industry friends has really kept me accountable. Knowing that as well as my own intense critique, I had a network of people right behind me to keep me on my toes. 
I've always aimed to supply a product which is wonderful value for money. 
High quality at a very reasonable price. I'm conscious of the expense of a cake and strive to provide a product that exceeds my clients (and their guests) expectations. 

My Sister in Law's wedding cake! 5 years ago this August!

Styles and fashions have changed so much since "Cake That!" was born. 10 years ago the average tier height was 8.5cm. These days my cakes average (min) 12cm per regular height tier, with most designs  and clients opting for even taller 15-20cm high tiers. 
I can't believe that time has flown by so swiftly. It feels like only yesterday that I walked into SmartLicense and lodged my name application, then headed to BCC at Chermside to lock in all the food licensing. 
I remember how nervous I was meeting my very first client with whom I had no connection with. She was so lovely and booked me on the spot! 
Meeting with clients is still such a magnificent perk of my job! Those who've met me will know that I love a chat, and often get well of the "cake" track during consultations. Although our meetings may be brief in the scheme of things, I like to be connected to those that I'm making such a symbolic cake for.

Seriously fun and wonderful clients whom I will never forget!

My family have been the soul behind my success. They've always believed in me, supported and encouraged me, even though looking back now I'm unsure how they spotted my potential in the beginning. I often wonder if I've fluked this success. (almost everyday I feel like the girl whose family have said what a spectacular singer she is- yet in reality she's just ok with fleeting moments of wonderful) 

The High Tea Party in 2010

No doubt if you've ever been to an expo/showcase you've probably met one or two of my family. Without hesitation they're always there to help me out, and are a tremendous asset to my sales. My husband is the muscle behind most of my deliveries. Even more so in recent years where he developed a penchant for "staff lunch". Finding some of South East Queensland's best lunching spots nearby venues is a skill set he's mastered. 

Such an honor to make a 100th Birthday cake

My skills have been gained through allot of practice and hard work. Trial and error have been my best friend and worst enemy rolled into one. The majority of my skill set is self taught. I've learned a few tips and tricks from others, and passed on many myself. I've never asked another decorator about how to price a cake, how anyone else can quote on being you is just silly. 
My life has twisted and turned in many directions over this past decade. I can't imagine it any other way. I feel so blessed to wake up everyday and work within a business that makes others happy. 
Inaugural "Cake That!" Xmas Party

To all my clients who've engaged my services and enjoyed cake over the years- Thank you. 
To all my industry colleagues who've recommended and supported me over this time Thank you!

Words cannot express the gratitude I have towards my Friends and Family for being my greatest supporters, for holding my hand when I needed it, and for keeping me down to earth when things got bigger than Ben Hur. Thank you just doesn't seem enough. 

So as I move forward with Cake That! here's hoping the next 10 years are as fun as the last. Celebrations for this milestone are still undecided. Do I host a "Sarah-Jane" style shindig, or should I spoil myself with a token instead?? (If my husband doesn't read this maybe both??) 

It seems ironic that just as I'm finishing this blog my oven timer is sounding lol

So thanks for reading today, but most of all thanks you for helping Cake That! become what it is today!

Much love and appreciation 

SJ xoxoxo 

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