Refresh and Rebrand-Mood board


When I started Kake and Cupkakery or rather when they merged I was very much inspired by two programmes DC cupcakes which focused on a cupcake bakery called Georgetown cupcake https://www.georgetowncupcake.com/ the owners are sisters Katherine and Sophie who gave up their jobs and opened a cupcake shop, and have since gone on to open another 5 bakeries. 


My other inspiration was Unique Sweets which I love and  and has been featured in one of my earlier blog post. 

This programme focused on American baking,unique sweet treats and bake shops across America.watch an episode here https://vimeo.com/38222903

When I started my focus and goal was to one day open my own bakery with the feel of an American bake shop with shops in the midlands, up north and down south, where I create all my celebration cakes as well as being open to sell coffee and cake. Think Cake boss, bakery downstairs workshop upstairs

Well if your going to dream dream big I say.

So when I think of my business I’m always thinking how this would translate into a bakery, even though currently my biz is primarily operating online http://www.kakeandcupkakery.co.uk which has great advantages and is working well I always imagined what it (a bakery) would look and feel like and me rebranding I very much have this in mind as that’s my ultimate dream/goal.

Yes I make cakes but I overall I just love to bake so even though I have a core focus of Cupcakes-celebration cakes-wedding cakes in my business I feel like I’m an all rounder as I do have a bit of a patisserie background so I’m always open to trying new ideas and exploring flavours that I feel are authentic and natural.


Every aspect before I started Kake and cupkakery was carefully considered just like any business and with the rebranding and how the business is operating my logo or rather brand has to represent everything I now do. I thought about my packaging and how it needed to be generic so that a man would feel comfortable carrying a box of cupcakes as well as a woman and in this I mean escaping anything to pink, swirly or overtly feminine, I’m not saying men can’t do pink but when thinking about what I wanted to do I had to break it down and be really clear who I wanted to cater for even though females are my primary market I just didn’t want to be too feminine so that’s why I opted for a generic plain kraft style box with no window but also have packaging I could dress up. I love the boxes and they’ll be staying how I can improve on presentation remains to be seen.

What I offer:

 My flavours for my cupcakes I would describe as gutsy and unusual and I like to think a little unique I like to let the cake do the talking  so for my current logo I stayed neutral and minimal because in the early stages I didn’t know where the business would lead, but now I know what I do and my customer base it needs to reflect that.




I create celebration cakes for all occasions catering for busy mums who want a special cake as well as those special birthdays and christening etc this is the fun element and a core part of my business.


Weddings is a market I need to get further established in but offering something a little different as there are many wonderful wedding cake designers whose cakes are beautifully executed so I have to think what I can offer that is different that I can bring to an already crowded market place.


And if you know me personally I’m a people person also a chatterbox and a little extroverted with a quirky sense of humor, I’m very expressive with my hands when I talk (true story)


So my brand has to represent all or most of the elements above  as well as some of my personality.

So first meeting was a brand discovery meeting back in April which dug deeper into me and my business and elements of what I’ve discussed above, Nancy wants to bring into my branding and get it to represent  the different things I do as well as my personality.

 I was already working and focusing on certain aspects of the business because I had been working on a business planner Ive spoken about in previous post  called Dream|Plan|Do by the Design trust http://www.thedesigntrust.co.uk/ and is one of the reason for the brand refresh as it really makes me think about what I’m doing.


So back to the brand discovery meeting,some of the questions Nancy wanted to know were:

  • Who my customers are- I used analytics from my social media to determine who interacts and responds to my pages especially with boosted post and adverts plus who I sell too.
  • What do I do? – artisan cupcakes, celebration cakes  a few wedding cakes, and recently a macaron or two.
  • Words I use to describe my business- authentic, quirky, unique, approachable  etc…
  • Who I want to attract- More customers who like artisan products
  • Business I admire and why- kute cake,crumbs and doilies, Lilly vanilli, Apple, Georgetown cupcake, 
  • Design styles I like- I used Pinterest to help me 
  • What my packaging is like- kraft brown boxes which me and my customers love and I will be keeping.


So Nancy went away and looked at all the information I gave and sent to her and she in turn sent me a mood board which is based on some visuals I sent to her as well as our conversations.

She is so collaborative and really wants to know what I like and dont like and unlike previous times where I’ve had a logo design there are loads of questions and suggestions been made that I’ve never thought of, and I really appreciate her expertise and creativity of thinking outside the box.

The images below are a combination of looks and colours sent to me to get my response. Its been a mixture of feeling overwhelmed, excited and wow. 

We also went through a  Pinterest board I created (feel free to have nose, the board is called Brand refresh) and went through aspects of design I liked and didn’t like so I can see she is building up a picture about me and Kake and Cupkakery 


This is not the final look but was just to judge my reaction to colour which is a huge leap from my muted monochrome look.

There is still work to be done on:

  • Colour palette
  • Logo
  • Typography
  • Pattern

So the next stage will be to see some colour palettes as well as a logo design.
I’m absolutely loving this process and while this is happening I’ll be tweaking everything else such as website,looking at my price point and product offering. 

It’s all very exciting and that’s why I want to share this process with you through my blog post.

Next update coming soon

Refresh and Rebrand

Those of you that are followers to this blog will over the past few years seen changes to the business from my logo, to cakes, even the way the pictures are styled on my social media etc.. and I’ve certainly had some boost to the biz with the latest being my Theo Paphitis Small business Sunday win which comes with perks and increased exposure.

 
I feel like the business has grown from where I started from and that I now know after 100s of bakes what I’m doing, who my customers are and what they want and expect from me. 

So with all this said it’s time that my business represents these changes so I’ve decided to go for a whole new brand refresh.

There’s no name change but the logo and brand imagery will look very different from what has come before, I like to think I’m preparing for growth. 

I’ll be working with Nancy Poller who I met last year at an network event held by enterprise nation.  Her business is called Aligned designs and have put a link to one of her blog post http://www.aligned-design.co/

http://www.aligned-design.co/blog/2016/11/22/your-logo-is-not-your-brand

I’m very excited for the next stage of the process as our first brand discovery meeting today was in depth and simply brilliant. 

So I will be keeping you all up to date via my blog and sharing how it’s going.

#FeelingExcited

Yvonne x

Aka Chief kake lady

What’s your reward?

It’s Sunday, what are you up to today? Are you chilling out, seeing family, doing some exercise or are you working on an order?

I know for many of us cake business owners  for one reason or another we are based at home  but this doesn’t have to mean we are available 24/7.

In the early days of my business I would take calls at all hours, answer emails at all hours,work all hours then deliver whenever and all over. 

But then sometimes life just says whoa hang on a bit what are you doing????? you can’t continue at this pace try and slow it down a little.

Thoughts like this usually happen when im working non stop  but then what tends to happen when i take a break i become ill because I’m a little run down.

This was one of the reasons I gave up a coffee shop contract a couple of years ago the constant out of hours contact such as Bank holidays and texts at 11.30pm when they had realised they had run out of cake (again) it was a lovely compliment to know my cakes were selling but at what cost could I continue to be working like this? And just to add I was working full time too.

So I decided it simply had to stop and I had to take action and yep I stopped my coffee shop contact for the good of my health, my customers and my business.

You see I’ve noticed a trend lately and it’s not just cake businesses but in general we are all so busyyyy, busy with work, busy with family, busy building business,life is just busy, it’s the busy epidemic.


Image from: https://projecthappiness.com
So due to this busyness I’ve been reflecting on myself and  about all my sacrifices and things I’ve missed out on while building my little cakey empire . Well it’s hardly an empire but to me it is lol

So thinking about this and if you read one of my earlier post you will see I was calling this year (2017) the year of me, well so far it’s been anything but because I’m so you guessed it “busy”

But it’s now time for me to own it.

Now don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with being busy this proves that the business has customers who want to buy my cakes, but it’s how I manage it is what I needed to address and never more so than recently. 

 One Saturday while out having lunch with a friend we popped into a little shop, one of those shops that sells little unique gifts as well as little buddhas, incense, crystals that kind of thing, anyway we struck up a conversation with the owner about work life balance as he faced similar work life balance challenges and told me about the book 7 habits of highly effective people. We chatted about work being so busy and then he said to me

 ” there is nothing wrong with working hard and being busy but there has to be some kind of reward” 

and it really hit home to me, of course there does otherwise what’s the point of it all, I love what I do but I’ve got to be able to reward myself once in a while.

So while chatting to him I mooched around his gorgeous little shop and I bought this magnet plaque which really resonated with me, it was truly a ah ha moment.


It’s now got a prominent place in my kitchen to act as a gentle reminder that now and again I’m allowed to take it easy.

So with all this reflection what changes have I made to get some balance back.

  • Well one of the  things I’ve done recently was to reward myself  so I booked myself a Spa day at the gorgeous Hoar cross hall https://www.hoarcross.co.uk just me a book, and my fluffy bath robe,it was absolute heaven.
  • I automate my fb messages to give clear times of contact, I don’t reply to messages after 7pm (I’m usually working on orders anyway) on weekdays and Saturday’s and any Sunday queries are answered on a Monday.
  • I’ve scheduled in down time right upto September such as the bank holiday weekends and also blocked out fully booked months and listed this on my Facebook page to inform my customers. This was interesting as I immediately had customers book in orders around these dates.
  • I now have a different phone number for the business away from my personal number(something I’ve wanted to do for ages) My contact number isn’t on my business cards as for first contact I prefer email or for s potential customer to contact me via my website.
  • I’m trying to get back to other hobbies like salsa dancing, making time for regular exercise and trying to start meditating again.
  • I use scheduling apps such as hootsuite and use the scheduler on Facebook to schedule in social media post on days when I know I won’t be around to do them or for busier times.
  • I use the word NO and I don’t force things if I know it’s going to be difficult to achieve within a specific timescale, I don’t want quality to suffer and unduly stress myself out.
  • Trying to keep sundays a no bake day (for the business) I’ve seen some businesses such as Rachel’s Kitchen don’t deliver cupcakes on mondays so this means no baking on a Sunday, which I’ve decided is now my official day off.
  • I decided to no longer deliver cakes on a Monday, and deliver Tuesday- Saturdays if I’m honest I hardly deliver celebration cakes on mondays as for me my deliveries are usually later in the week.
  •  I have turned Mondays into my official admin day to work on quotes, ideas and update my website. So now on a monday it’s dedicated to working on the business instead of  in it.
  • I’ve been looking at https://www.17hats.com/ which has been recommended to me by another cake business to help me manage all the administration of the business which will save me some much needed time. 

So how do I feel about these changes?

I feel more organised,focused and assured that I’m clearly defining time to work and time to chill/play

So I know you are likely to be like me so what do you do that helps manage your time and worklife balance?,

And what do you like to do when your not baking up a storm?

We create Memories

I came to the  realisation that we are memory makers recently while working on a business planner called Dream|Plan|Do by the design trust http://www.thedesigntrust.co.uk/ and this fab planner was recommended by my jewllery making friend http://www.kathrynpartington.com/ (check out her work it’s stunning)


So within the March segment of the planner it ask us to define 

“What do you do” ?? 

For example if your a jeweler who makes wedding and engagement rings you sell love, if your a photographer you capture memories and how someone wants to be seen,you get the idea.

So for me and when I asked myself the question “what do I do” my first thought was “I make and decorate cakes”

But when I really thought about what I do like thousands of Cake makers/ cake designers/ cake decorators I realised we not only create great cakes we also create lovely memories.

Who doesn’t remember their birthday cake or there babies christening cake.

Many clients order cakes to make an impact for a special event or occasion and along with this they want to create a memory that the recipient won’t forget.

I have made Birthday cakes for children and when I go to deliver there  cake they always recall the last cake they had or the cake before that. 

Wedding cakes are immortalised and play a pivotal part of a wedding day and the memory is captured forever with the cutting of the cake, we as cake professionals have helped create this memory.

Mother’s Day and mums across the land will be receiving cards, flowers, jewelry and of course cakes of which they will love and remember.

With this is in Mind for this Mother’s Day I created a selection of cupcakes and macarons which instead of presenting in my lovely kraft brown boxes I decided to go with something a bit more special and present in a keepsake box to help create a Mother’s Day memory, maybe a box to store Mother’s Day cards in.


I love packaging and thought these boxes were perfect for a special day like Mother’s Day.

So next time your asked “what do you do” just say you help create memories.

What’s trending?

Every year we are guaranteed a new Cake trend and when they blow up they are everywhere.

Remember the Malteser Jaffa cake puddings that resurface every Christmas or the Rainbow and superhero cakes, I’ve lost track of how many of these I’ve seen across social media but yep once a trend gets hold you can bet you will be seeing them for a while.

So Unless you have been living under a rock you cannot ignore the current trend of all things Unicorn, yep Unicorn the legendary mythical beast associated with rainbows has now evolved into cakey sprinkles, rainbow cakes, unicorn cakes and macarons.


I must admit I am a little bit amused regarding the whole unicorn thing and don’t really get the fascination but it does make for some pretty cakes and macarons.

So with this in mind what are the trends that are emerging this year? Apart from everything unicorn that is. 

This is purely my opinion of what I see trending, or rather what I’m loving right now. 

let me know if you agree or not.

So cake trends how, who, where???

Well my first place to look to see what’s trending is Instagram. (credit for the cake artist used in this blog post are stated via there profile on each picture) so feel free to check out there Instagram feeds.

This particular social media platform has overtaken twitter as my new favorite . It’s  fab for inspiration and a great resource to see what’s likely to be trending. You could say Pinterest is the better of the two for imagery but I personally prefer Pinterest to help me create themes around ideas, for me Instagram is instant pictorial gratification.

So first up…

Buttercream florals: 


whether on cupcakes or larger celebration cakes there is skill involved to create some stunning looking florals with piped buttercream, i am loving this trend and will need to attempt to give these ago and as for the cakes they adorne #Gorgeous

Sugarflowers: 


yes they have been around forever but lately the art of creating sugarflowers has become really popular again, I realised this when I searched for a couple books I used to have and realised I donated to a charity shop because “no one wanted sugar flowers”, yep I regretted that decision so bought a new book to get me started.

Drip cakes: 


Have been phenomenal in 2016, so many different variations and the trend is still going strong moving away from tons of chocolate and taking on a very femine look with the use of fresh flowers and acrylic gold and sparkly toppers as well as using metallics on the drips gives for a strong look. but my fave has to be cakes by cliff who I think was partly responsible  for the drip cake trend in the first place his cakes are gorgeous and I think he was the first person I’ve seen do an upside down drip.

Marble effect: 


I’m liking this trend especially when teamed with a plain hue in a contrasting or similar colours. This one seems reasonably easy to achieve (says she who hasn’t tried it yet)

Beaded wedding cakes


I have made one of these a few years back and have slowly begun to see these having a stronger presence on social media, either all neutral or dark backgrounds with beautiful beaded shimmer, this trend is definatley one to watch.

Black/celebration cakes/ wedding cakes

A post shared by Tortik Annushka (@tortikannuchka) on

looking absolutely stunning with some serious black Ganache, key players on Instagram for me is Tortikannuchka her work is stunning.

Painted cakes
 There are some serious picassos out there and some stunning work being achieved with painting on cakes. 

I did a fab workshop with the Chocolate strawberry last year and this is a trend I can see growing but helps if your nifty with a paintbrush 

Macarons


  The classic Parisian cookie is ever present and it would be rude to say it’s a trend as they are too much of Classic but almost daily on my Instagram feed I’m seeing more and more macs as confidence grows in preparing them as well as them morphing into unicorns, flamingos, rabbits and teddy bears.

Flavoured cupcakes 

 Making a strong case and with staying power and thanks to you tubers like The scran online and Cupcake Jemma from crumbs and doilies they are definatley holding there own, as well as unique flavour profiles (which is my own niche)  a bit like the macaron they are well and truly here to stay and for all those who said cupcakes were a fad its time to eat those words and why are they not on the Great British bake off???


http://www.facebook.com/kakeandcupkakery

Sharp edges/Pro froster

http://www.profroster.com


Hardly a trend but deserves a mention because us cakers have been blessed with the Pro froster a long awaited cakey gadget that will give a cake that enviable sharp edge wether with buttercream or ganache. Any business that saves us time is a winner as the process of achieving a sharp edge is a little labour intensive and we spend long enough on cakes as it is, I’ve yet to try  but so far it seems be a cakey gadget that is being well received.

Brush stroke cakes

A brand new trend I’ve seen popping up on my fb newsfeed which comprises of colored chocolate used to decorate cakes 


Had a little go myself and found the process was quite easy to achieve, I think to colour the chocolate powdered colors might be the best to use but the brush stroke I think gives quite an edgy dramatic look.

Special mention: Royal Icing 

Katy sue designs have bought out a creative cake system https://katysuedesigns.com/creative-cake-system/ which are a range of molds that look like royal icing, and I’ve noticed royal icing being used more on wedding cakes for piping and scrolls. 

So Royal icing is back or rather the roya icing look is back.This I feel will become more popular and I’m keeping an eye out for more Royal icing at Cake international.

I’ve used Royal icing here to create some “S” scrolls and some shells to the base of the cake below 



I’ve also used royal icing on the Run out work above.

 I’m glad it’s having a revival as it’s a lovely medium to use.

So that’s it,what do you think of my selection of trends?

Have I missed anything?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Cakeageddon 2016

It has been agessssssss since my last post and it’s purely down to being a busy little bee over the past few months so I thought I would take the opportunity to reignite my blog ready for the new year.


So we are in the middle of crimbo limbo, that period in between xmas and new year where the days just merge into one, we are finishing off the mince pies, the unwanted celebrations chocolates and vowing to start a mini detox until new year celebrations begin,in other words still in the festive eating mindset but vowing to hit the gym.

So how was your festive period?? 

Did you have a nice one?

It seemed to go by in a blur for me, I managed to get all my Christmas present shopping done in November so thankfully I didn’t have to brave the crowds or hover around waiting for Amazon to deliver, yep this year i was seriously  organised as I knew the run up to Christmas was going to be a tough one due to cakeageddon.

Cakeageddon is the name I have been giving to my Christmas promotions for the past couple years or so and for me it describes it perfectly.

This years Cakeageddon offering was a combination of cupcakes, a festive drip cake, character cupcakes,and chocolate log cabin cakes,and not forgetting the rum cake.


 On reflection  for this year I should have reduced Cakeageddon slightly as I usually manage to take some annual leave from the day job but this year I didn’t so I was coming home and dealing with preparing  the many orders booked in ready for Christmas.

In between the baking I was having to find time to get into the festive spirit by attending Christmas nights out etc…..it was a test of stamina that’s for sure but everyone got there cakes, cupcakes and even mince pies.


The consequence for me though was a house in chaos, chocolate, icing sugar was everywhere and with the last of deliveries on Christmas Eve the last thing you want to be doing is a kitchen deep clean on Christmas Eve but it had to be done as I was still in semi baking mode for my family, two raspberry and lemon roulades for Christmas Day dessert and family mince pies to make so I didn’t  really stop till Christmas Day.

So while I’m in crimbo limbo I always like to reflect back at cakeageddon and think about how I could have done things differently or what I would change.

  1. Continue to get my personal shopping and tax return completed as early as possible as I’m always left rushing to get it completed, my accountant must be constantly eye rolling me
  2. Be mindful of my workload/ orders in December 
  3. Get a little admin help, especially for website enquiries in December actually in general 
  4. Stick to my cut off date for orders ( I’ve been especially strict with myself this year)
  5. Continue to close the business after Christmas just to get my breath back and reflect 
  6. I sometimes think I will have  a break the following year from cakeageddon but I never do so keep em peeled for cakeageddon 2017 🙂

So now it’s time to think about 2017 and what I want to achieve in the business. I’ve already got ideas in my head ready for valentines, Mother’s Day etc as well as more long term plans that I’m waiting to put onto paper.

I’ve even ordered myself a new business planner  to get things moving, this was recommended to me by a friend, it’s for creatives/craft type business  and if your interested you can check it out here https://www.dream-plan-do.com/shop/monthly-planner-bright-red 

I’ll write more about my planning process and how I get on with this planner in a future post.


Personally Ive decided it’s going to be the year of me, I’m going to get a holiday booked in and focus on having a little more playtime and relax a little so my life isn’t all work and cake as I am often described as a workaholic. 

I’m ever focused on my business but taking heed of my mums recent advice

“life is for living” 

so aiming for some balance in 2017

So if you run a business how was the busy festive period for you? And what would you do differently?? I would love to hear about it.

Anyway more post Christmas chilling to  continue but see you with another post in 2 weeks.

Yvonne 🙂 

Aka The Kake lady 

Meet the baker- Kake and Cupkakery

So how are you?? It’s been ages since I have written a post, in fact I’ve missed my blogging but I took sometime out as it felt like I needed to have sometime for myself and enjoy the summer for a change.

I used my downtime to reconnect with myself as life is so hectic and I wanted to focus on life in general as it’s easy to get lost in the day to day hectic activity of life/cake/business.

So it was back to Reading, listening to music, days out, meals out, prosecco, podcast, spa days catching up with friends and family and spending time with my baby nephew who is (10 weeks today)  

I took 2 complete weeks with absolutely no baking to simply be and it was fabulous, the break was definitely needed but now it’s back to work and blogging

So just before September I tweaked the font on my logo for something a little softer, I always love my logo designs but every so often my intuition always tells me when it’s time for a tweak, so I decided to get my tweak done by Jade from the Cupcake Company http://www.thecupcakeco.co.uk/ I have seen her lovely work popping up on social media mainly on facebook so I decided to commission jade to work her magic with a revised font.

https://www.facebook.com/TheCupcakeCompany1/


She also makes some seriously pretty merchandise alongside logo design and brand design which is aimed at the small business owner. So if you ever receive a parcel from jade you will see that she sends her merchandise out in some of the prettiest packaging I have seen.
Also in September I went to the food exchange event organized by Enterprise  nation  https://www.enterprisenation.com/ and if you ever get chance to go to one I would throughly recommend it. It is a highly inspirational day with some fantastic speakers and i came away with great advice and ideas. It’s not specific to the cake industry as it’s aimed at food producers in general but you can learn a lot by looking at other industries and an added bonus this year was that it was in my home town Birmingham at the Millenium point so no traveling to London on this occasion.


September was also the month for National Cupcake week. I didn’t  enter this year but that didn’t stop me celebrating with a flash giveaway on my facebook page. 

Something that made my year was to be featured in the Birmingham evening mail as one of the best places to buy cupcakes in Birmingham. Within 1 week this had helped boost my business, my google ranking (I moved up to page 2/3) and more importantly increased orders and Brand awareness  

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink-news/best-places-buy-cupcakes-birmingham-10035521  

I’m very proud of myself and my business in making this list as I’m in great company and also Birmingham is my home town so was very special.

I also made a couple wedding cakes too, which if you have read my previous blogs making wedding cakes is an area I need to actively begin promoting in as my core market is celebration cakes and cupcakes.

I loved these commissions as they were quirky and followed very specific themes.

The cake below was for two of my friends so making there wedding cake was very special.

So summer is well and truly over,Orders are coming in but now all roads lead to Christmas so need to get creating this years collection.

Also bringing back the #MeetTheBakerFeature so if your interested in taking part get in touch by emailing hello@kakeandcupkakery.co.uk