Dear Me in 2013…
I’m sitting her 6 years on and there’s a crucial piece of advice that I want to pass on...
Stop wasting time fluffing around and sabotaging your work - get your head in the game and start to get organised!
Kind of lost? How about I start from the beginning.
Back in the early days of cake decorating, my boyfriend - now husband - was a god send.
Forgot the butter at the shops? Boyfriend would race straight to the shops and buy more - no complaining or questions asked.
Running behind on baking? He was right there beside me chopping up butter and dishing out batter into cupcake liners.
At the time, I worked as a full time graphic designer, took on freelance design projects after work AND created cake orders for people. Phew!
It sounds impressive...but in reality it could be completely chaotic at times. Suffice to say, some days I was just too snowed under and couldn’t juggle everything.
I’d go shopping for a cake order only to return home and discover that I’d forgotten the butter…Or I’d start baking my cakes and realise I had run out of ingredients (doh!).
The first few ‘forgetful’ instances were treated with an amused “oopsie” - a little annoying but not really a big deal. But then it happened WAAAYY too often to be consider a cute accident. My forgetfulness - aka - lack of planning, started to take its toll.
Alot of time was wasted going back and forth to the shops to get ingredients. I would lose track of time and would fall behind with orders - you’d often find me up at 2am (once even at 4am *urgh*) finishing off a cake order the morning it was due #guiltyascharged.
Worse thing? My lack of planning was also influencing the quality of my cakes.
I was increasingly growing unhappy with my work - rough fondant edges were going un-noticed, my fondant figurines looked rush and those intricate fine details - which I loved and was known for - were being ignored in favour of baking last minute cupcakes I’d forgotten about.
I was inadvertently sabotaging myself. It was time for a change!
After some reflection, I realised I needed to treat my cake orders the same way I’d treat my graphic design projects at work. Essentially, I needed a timeline and a detailed plan to map out my cake making process to make sure I was on track and ticking off all the boxes.
Aka? A design brief.
So I can hear you asking - what exactly is a design brief?
Well, a design brief is the guiding document for your cake order that’s created between you and your client. The brief contains the core details for the project, giving you clear direction and a great point of reference for you to work from throughout the planning process. A detailed design brief is truly a game changer and will set you up for success!
Fast forward a few weeks later, I was already seeing a positive change to my organisational skills and time management. After filling in the brief, I knew exactly what I had to do right from the get go (yay to less stress stress) and I could manage my time easily between baking, creating and learning (plus running other household errands).
Best of all? I was no longer rushing to make my cake orders, so I could dedicate the time I needed to create cakes that were visually exciting, professional and created with intention. I was in cakey heaven!
My boyfriend? He was happy to retire as the errand boy haha. Wins all around!
So essentially, that’s the advice I’d give 2013 me. If I hadn’t wasted all that time fluffing around and sabotaging myself, I could have saved all that stress and excelled further in a short space of time. But, as you do, you live and learn.
My message to you? PLAN AHEAD FOR SUCCESS. It honestly makes such a huge difference.
My exact situation was the reason I developed my online class ‘Planning For Cake Perfection’.
P.s My very own design brief is available for download in my online class 'Planning For Cake Pefection. *eek!*