Nov 8, 2010

Spotlight On Melissa White - Elegant Cakes and Party Dates

Tells us a little about your business.

Elegant Cakes and Party Dates helps people celebrate the happy events in their lives with sweet treats. Anything from Wedding Cakes to Decorated Cookies, Figurines, Cupcakes and Birthday Cakes. Everything is designed and created in my registered kitchen using the only the freshest ingredients and lots of love.

Why did you want to run your own business?

I started taking cake decorating classes when my daughter Jessica was two.I spent hours practising when the children went to bed. I have always been independent and liked to do things my own way. Once I built up my skills, the idea of creating my own business seemed more and more the logical way to proceed.

The fantastic thing is, the children are now getting to the stage where they are old enough to enjoy decorating and cooking too. They love trying out new recipes and being involved in my blog. My husband is also fantastic. He has always helped, anything from making cake boards, to delivering cakes, he is happy to help anyway we can. So the whole family is involved and are very supportive.

What have been the challenges?

During the Bizness Babes course I had some lovely business cards designed and printed. I was only to be told later that it would be $2000 to use the images on my web site, so I had to rethink that. In the end, I think it was a good thing, because I have had to think really hard about how I want to represent my brand. Now I am really happy with my logo and own the rights.

My kitchen registration has also taken a long time. At first I was afraid to actually hand in the paperwork. It seemed like a big step. The actual approval hasn't been that difficult. I had already completed the food handling requirements and my food safety plan. I just had to get a sensor tap installed. The tap took ages to arrive from Singapore though. However, meantime it has given me a good opportunity to work on my business plan and clarify the direction I want to take with my business.

Where would you like to see your business go in the next year?

Developing a loyal customer base will be a priority for the next year. So I need to get the word out and let people know what I can do for them.

My focus will always be on design work, because that is what I love. That could be anything from helping a child design a cake, to making a masterpiece of my own!

The next five years?

A lot will depend on the way the business shapes up over the next 12 months. I would like to do some work with children. So Children's Cake Decorating Classes and Parties is something I plan to offer. I also really want to publish a book. An extension of the kind of things I do on my blog

What have you achieved since finishing the BiB course?

A brand new business with a vision and a future. A lot more confidence and belief in myself, thanks to all the support I have had, both from the BIB team and from my classmates.

What advice has helped you most?

If it is going to be, it's up too me!!!

What advice do you have for others setting up their own businesses?

There is no set way of starting a business, you have got to do what feels right for you.

The Bizness Babes course is amazing!! Don't do it alone. Never stop believing in yourself and keep taking steps to reach your goals, not matter how small. Also don't forget to celebrate the little successes along the way....

Cake anyone!

Melissa White
Elegant Cakes and Party Dates

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