Ice Ice Baby
Updated: Aug 12, 2020
Can't believe we're on Part Four of our series already! WOW!
I know Cindy for many years now and what I love most about her (besides her delicious bespoke cakes & desserts) is her energy and her big heart! She has a HUGE focus on sustainability and does gluten free / plant based products too.
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
I am Cindy. I am a mom to a 6 year old princess and I am a creative. Always have been. I love being outdoors, socialising, taking my daughter on adventures and I am very passionate about treating the earth, animals and people the way I would like to be treated. I am a 'softie' of note and I cry for anything that moves me.
I am a baker, cake decorator, product developer and a mom (definitely my toughest job).
When did you start your business?
This is a difficult one (haha). I started baking when I was young, for dessert after lunch on a Sunday, for school friends etc. In my twenties, a few people suggested that I sell my bakes. It started with cupcakes and then slowly I got into cakes. Cakes became my main source of income but it wasn’t my full time job. In 2011, my dad suggested that I register my business so that one day when I am ready to bake full time, my registration is done. In 2014 my daughter was born and I thought this is going to be super easy! I will continue as per normal and bake when I can. That of course did not happen. My daughter was colic from the moment she took her first breath. She cried all day, everyday. And so, unbelievably, because of this, I didn’t go anywhere and because I didn’t go anywhere, I could take on orders. And that is how my business grew. I strapped my daughter to my chest and baked all day. So in all honesty, my business started years ago but it started booming in 2014.
How did the idea for your business come about?
I loved baking and cooking all my life. When I was 3 I started playing with sand and water. Then I got older and turned the sand and water into ‘baked goods’. I used off cuts of vegetables and potato peels for décor. White sand was icing sugar and any flower in the garden was the cherry on top! I didn’t ever think this could be a business... it happened organically. There was a need for cake and I loved baking. It was a win-win.
How did you come up with the name of your company?
My initial idea for my business was a cupcake shop. Plain cupcakes of different flavours in the window. You come into the store, choose your topping, choose your décor and off you go. Like an ice cream shop but cupcakes. And then I thought of a little cupcake shouting, “pick me, ice me” and so the name was born.
What has been your greatest highlight/achievement as an entrepreneur?
I have a few (haha)! Being able to support myself and most importantly providing for my daughter by doing what I love. Pushing through the very hard dark days and by dark I am referring to nasty clients, gossip, jealousy etc. My second biggest achievement or is it third (haha), believing in myself. It took many years and many failed attempts but I have finally conquered it. Last but not least, I built my business without any capital, no credit card, no severance package. I built my business by baking 24 cupcakes at a time.
What is unique about your business?
To be honest, I don’t think there’s anything unique about my business. I make cake, so do many other people. What I do think is unique, is my ability to create something out of very little. I love creating special cakes that will make my client all warm and happy inside. Sometimes I get a brief, other times not and either way, I love creating cakes that are unique for my clients.
How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful for you?
Word of mouth has been my most successful marketing tool. Second is Instagram. Instagram is a visual sensation. It allows people to see my work without contacting me and feeling pressured to speak to me. It has been an amazing marketing tool.
On average, how many hours a day do you work? And what does a typical day look like for you?
14 hours. My work day starts with admin. It starts at 6:30am when I walk my dog. I check emails, Whatsapp messages and Instagram messages. I reply if it is a reasonable time. When I get home, I get my daughter ready for school, during this time I am still replying to messages. I check my list for the day and if it requires some shopping, I pack my bags and everything I need into the car and once I drop my daughter at school, it's go time! I get ingredients, print pictures and labels, pick up boxes, pick up cake boards. Then I go home to bake, fill cakes and decorate. Start on décor for future cakes or cupcakes. Check emails and messages again. Send invoices. Many times I do deliveries as well so I need to factor that into my day. Many days I work until 12am (maybe 1am) but recently I have made a bigger effort to stop work at 10pm. More sleep allows me to work harder and faster the next day.
How has being an entrepreneur affected your home life or life in general?
Many people, family and friends think I have ‘extra’ time to do things. Apparently being an entrepreneur means you have 30 hours a day (haha)! I am always late for social events and birthday parties, mainly because I got a last minute order. I am always working! My lunch hour is spent checking emails, checking cake, making icing. I sit down to eat at 10:30pm.
If you had the chance to start your business over again, what would you do differently?
I would believe in myself sooner and trust myself more.
What is one piece of advice you’d like give to someone just starting out?
I know this is super cliché but its super duper true... if you know that something is going to work, you can feel it in your bones, go for it! Believe in yourself. Stay focused. Stay inspired. Read a lot! I started with 2 cupcake pans. Now I have a great cake business and 10 products (and counting) out on shelves.
Where can we find you on social media?
#bake #baking #cake #bakery #food #homemade #foodporn #baker #foodie #chocolate #instafood #yummy #dessert #cakes #sweet #delicious #foodphotography #cookies #bread #cakedecorating #cakesofinstagram #pastry #cupcakes #love #cakestagram #cooking #instagood #instacake #cook #bhfyp