Sunday, 14 August 2011

The Art of Cake! Meet our weekend guess : Helen from Cat’s Whiskers Cake Design

My apologies to my blog readers - this weekend guess interview series has been abandoned for quite a long time. But now it's back and I am sure you will meet amazing people here.
Today, let's greet Helen the Cake Artist!

Helen's amazing sugar flowers

*Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself

My name’s Helen and I run a cake company called Cat’s Whiskers Cake Design. I’m a work at home mum with two small sons, one of whom is pre-school age.

* How did Cat’s Whiskers Cake Design come about?

The business started off as a hobby. My mum did cake decorating classes in the ‘80s when my brother and I were small so we always had fabulous birthday cakes. When my brother got married eight years ago I helped my mum to make the wedding cake – and I was hooked! I took night school classes in cake decorating and sugarcraft while working as a Chartered Accountant, completing work for one of my final assessments at 38 weeks pregnant with my first son!
Initially the business was set up and run on a part-time and hobby basis while I worked but then in 2009 I was made redundant while on maternity leave with my second son. The now-or-never moment arrived and I took the plunge to run the business full-time, with the support of my lovely husband.

Bejewelled wedding cake  

* What does it mean to you being a Cake Designer and run your own business?

Basically I love cake! I love baking (I come from a long line of bakers!) and I love creating new designs. I love trying new things and working with people to create something special for their celebration. Running my own business gives me a responsibility and satisfaction that I love too. I spend more time at home with my family too, which is a definite benefit to my children.

* What makes your business different/special from other cake vendors?

I work from home so you come and drink tea and eat cake in my dining room when you come for a consultation! I don’t work with a set number of designs that you pick from – in fact I love to make each cake different from any others I’ve made before. I’ll take your ideas and we’ll work together to come up with a unique design just for you. Everything you see on my cakes is handmade by me – from the icing designs to the sugar flowers to the wired cake jewellery – so I can adapt anything to co-ordinate with your scheme.

Love this beautiful wedding cake with sugar rose sprays

*Do you specialize in any one particular thing?

I don’t really specialize in any one area as the design I make are so varied. I do make handmade sugar flowers. These are made from icing but wired so that they can be made into sprays. All the flowers start off white and are hand coloured individually. They’ve been really popular with our more traditional-look brides, and they keep pretty much indefinitely so they make a great keepsake from the day.

* What part do you love most of a wedding?

There are a few bits I love – the first is when you meet with a new client and you know that they’re happy with what you’ve suggested. It’s great to know that you’re going to be part of their celebration. The second is when I send photographs of the finished cake to the bride. It’s terrifying waiting for the reaction back but overwhelming when they love it. And finally it’s got to be when the cake has been delivered and set up – the pressure’s off then and I know it’s all there in one piece.

Miniature cakes - too good to eat - each one is a piece of Art!

* Any special advice/tip that you would like to share with our readers?

Talk to your cake designer – don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is what we do every day so we can tell you what’s possible and what’s not in icing. If you meet with a few people, go with your gut-reaction as to which one to choose. It’ll usually be right. You need to be comfortable that your cake designer has listened to your ideas and taken them on board. But also trust them to tell you honestly what you can and cannot achieve within your budget. Generally the more complicated the design the more expensive it’ll be so you might have to be prepared to compromise to achieve the look you want within your budget.

* Where would you like to be in 5 years?

Still working from home and with a family who’s happier because of that. And still making new cake designs!

Something different - Yes! This is cake - all edible! Just amazing!!!

Thank you Helen. I am sure we will be surprised over and over again with  your amazing creations and I wish you all the best for your life and business!

And to you my dear readers, why don't you 'like' Cat’s Whiskers Cake Design on facebook to keep up to date to her brilliant work and check out her blog for valuable advice and tips and inspiring stories?!!!

Wish you all a wonderful Sunday!