I was born in the Philippines and came to Australia when I was 8 with my mother. I was always creative from a young age with a drive to make things myself (to draw, sew, glue things together, cook, write poetry…) and I spent a lot of time fantasising about everything magical. I am 32, a wife to an amazing man, and a mother to two gorgeous school-aged boys, Hayden and Christian, and two fur babies, Harper the British Bulldog and Harley the Basset Hound. I like to eat, food is life!! But not liquorice – it just taste funky.
How did you come to make cakes as a business?
An avid DIY girl, I started making cakes when I had my kids. Around the time my first son was born eight years ago, family members and friends started having kids too and they requested cakes from me. I’ve always spoken about making the business official so last year I finally got myself into gear and organised all the licenses so I could cater to the growing demand of enquiries from the public.
Tell me a little more about the cakes you create?
Whenever someone orders a cake, I always make it clear to them that I can never replicate the design and that I would always add my flair to each piece. It’s not just about copyright but personal touch. I find making cakes so relaxing. I can have multiple cakes due on one given weekend, plus be doing school runs and soccer drives for my eldest and guitar lessons for my youngest (while being a FIFO mum for nearly two years) and still….there’s nothing like rolling fondant and creating, even at 2am in the morning. It makes me happy…Stressed crazy happy.
What inspires your baking?
The very fact that I love being creative is what inspires me. I am the type of person that cannot function if I cannot create. Secondly, my clients inspire me. Without them, I wouldn’t have this opportunity to put my creativity into motion.
Do you have a background in food?
My mother was an amazing cook. She cooked a lot of traditional Filipino dishes which are very Spanish-influenced, but also ventured into making up her own creations. I always loved watching her cook. I’ve also worked in hospitality and wouldn’t hesitate to go back to it if I needed to work. I’m always surrounded by people who love to cook and we all love to eat the food we make!
What is your current favourite cake you have created?
What is the most popular cake flavour at the moment?
Where did your business name come from?
What do you find is the biggest challenge of owning your own business?
Your best moment so far in your business?
Most memorable challenge you’ve had with a client or stockist?
Making my cousin’s wedding cake in 2012 was very challenging. My boys were very small and were still at home. I had to make over 300 handmade rolled fondant roses and maybe double that amount of mini flowers. I used about four or five seven-kilo boxes of fondant, three massive blocks of Styrofoam fake cake, and a normal cake on top. The cake was just over half my height and weighed god knows how much. But by the time each layer was covered in fondant and half of the cake covered in the roses, we needed to use a trolley to take it in the ballroom for the wedding. My hands, wrists and arms were so sore and for the week after I felt like I had been hit by a bus!
Your favorite quote or mantra:
Michelle Bridges: “JFDI”. I’ll let you figure that one out!
Who do you look up to for inspiration or admire for their business growth?
My mother is my inspiration. She was very simple but she did a lot of things that proved a lot of strength in a woman. She left her hometown in her 20s with a little girl in tow (me), came to a foreign country (Australia), worked hard, and eventually brought my little sister over and raised my little brother with so much love. She continued to provide for her family in the Philippines all these years . Everyone she met became so close to her and were always happy to be around her. She inspires me because she was the true definition of LOVE and HARD WORK. I hope I can be like her – love, work hard, and make people happy.
In life you don’t need materialistic things or fame to validate your existence. Loving people and working hard for what is dear to you is what defines you.
What is your advice to WA women who want to start their own business or turn their hobby into a small business?
JFDI!!! There’s no time but the NOW to do what you want. Over-thinking and self-doubt is something that will destroy a creative. If you’re passionate about something then why not just do it? What better way to show the world your talent ? Share your creativity!
I read a lot of Lisa Messenger’s books. She has a whole array of books that are bold and uplifting, and she basically just tells you to do it. If you can feel it in your gut, then go for it.
Surround yourself with like-minded people who are going to support you, and take crticism well – study it and allow it to help you improve your way if it’s positive. What have you got to lose?
What is your vision for your business?
My vision is to continue to run my business from home. I have had a lot of people offer me retail space to open a shop. But I am a control freak when it comes to my art, so expanding to hire staff just isn’t in my books. I do have help from time to time from friends and family but committing to a shop is a big step.
I watched a program about Poh (Masterchef contestant). She sells food at her local seasonal markets with a small team- mainly her family. Her goods sell out quick and are very popular. She has been told constantly to expand and hire staff but she was firm on the notion that creating food was more a passion for her, and not just the business of making money. The moment she decides to enlarge her project, she would lose control of creating her food because she would have to delegate tasks to someone else. I feel very similarly. For me, cakes are an art. It’s about creating and being satisfied with every creation I make myself.
Once I’ve settled (this year has been insane for me – I’m in the middle of moving into our new home), I would like to venture into offering different types of desserts, and also would like to try some seasonal markets for experience.
I am also working on taking cake classes to better my skills so I can expand into adding more details to my cake creations. Another thing I would like to do is offer basic skill classes to people – especially mums – so that they can start somewhere and see where their passion leads.
Favourite WA Coffee – I’m a hybrid , I drink tea 🙂 I have high blood pressure.
Favourite WA Fashion Label – Aurelio Costarella. I wore one of his pieces as my wedding dress.
Favourite WA Homewares– The Furniture Gallery
Favourite WA Bar– My best friend’s house 🙂 I don’t go out anymore, as I have the kids in tow and my husband is away for four weeks.
Favourite WA Restaurant – Trangs Café- best Vietnamese in perth !!!
Favourite WA Instagram Account – The Perth Collective, my one-stop account to check out other inspiring females in my hood !
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