Well. Here we are! I've had this little "blog" tab on the side of my website for ages now, and it's finally guilt-tripped me into making use of it! Can't be that hard can it?!
And the best place to start? Well, I may as well start at the beginning!
Back in 2011 I re-discovered my love of making and decorating cakes, starting out with these little beauties(!) in the picture below. I'm sure my family appreciated it and all the many numerous failures and experiments that have followed in my quest for the perfect cake!
Following on from re-igniting my passion for all things cakey, I was asked to make a surprise birthday cake for my friend's 40th birthday, then someone who saw the cake at the party asked me to do a cake for her mum, and from here on in, it just grew! It was only a matter of time before my hobby turned into something much, much bigger, and on the 4th September 2012 my Cakes at Rachel's Facebook page was born :)
Rapidly, my little hobby increased to the size of a part time job, and in 2013 I started to think, maybe it's time to make the leap from hobby to business, but I was so nervous!! I couldn't get the funding to start my own shop and was really worried about trying to start a business with a massive debt to pay off. I wondered if I could work from home, but talked myself out of it because I had a dog, a cat and a budgie at the time, and I thought that Council Inspection Teams were big scary people who loomed over you and laughed "You can't do THAT from home, what on earth are you playing at?! Go back to your proper job, silly girl!!" I was, as it turned out, quite wrong.
With a bit of encouragement from a lovely contact from the world of Facebook, I updated my Food Safety Certificate, got in touch with the council and everything was set up for my inspection. The Inspector I had couldn't have been any nicer, and my dreams were realised on the 13th of May 2013, I got a 5* hygiene rating and a lovely shiny sticker to proudly display in my window. I got permission from my landlords to trade from home, fixed myself up with insurance, registered myself as self-employed, and Cakes at Rachel's finally became a reality! I was so incredibly proud, and still am, of my lovely little retro kitchen.
So quickly did the orders flood in, before I knew it, it was Cakes at Rachel's first birthday! I had a gorgeous shiny website and a new-found sense of self-worth and faith in myself. I am incredibly proud of what I've achieved. I have many regular customers who now just block-book for all their family birthday cakes for the whole year, wedding cakes booked in for 2015 and lots of lovely new customers who love my style of baking. At 18 months old, my Facebook page has grown to almost 5 and a half thousand followers and the bookings are rolling in.
Thank you if you've been reading my history lesson today, I thought it would be nice to share my experience with you all, and prove that you CAN make your dreams a reality, if you just have the belief in yourself. I count myself to be so lucky that I can do what I love and get paid for it.
Keep watching Cakes at Rachel's, I have a few new chapters up my sleeve, might not be just yet, but I have plans, and oh, the places I'm going to go! I can't wait...