MEET INDIE ROSE
So, it’s been 20 months since I first launched Indie Rose and what a journey it’s been. I’m forever grateful that so many people have trusted me to be a part of their special day and to make them a beautiful and delicious centre piece for their celebrations. From fun chocolate explosion cakes, to three tiers of wedding elegance, from making a Superman version of the birthday boy to making hundreds of corporate cupcakes, wow!! it’s been busy.
On a personal level it’s probably been even busier. Just before I launched Indie Rose, I found out that I was pregnant with Zac’s little sister. Not perfect timing having to start maternity leave just four months after launching a new business, but if you wait for perfect timing, I think you’d spend forever waiting. In July 2019 Esmé was born, completing our little family. But then the challenge really began, how do you continue to build a small start up business while looking after a newborn? To be honest, I still don’t know the answer. But what I did was a lot of juggling, I had a lot of help and from the end of August was back in the kitchen making a small number of cakes each month. As Esmé got into a better routine, I started using her nap times to focus on what I wanted Indie Rose to be when we got past year one, when Zac would start school and Es nursery. My plans to kick start everything in April 2020 were kicked to the curb by, yes you guessed it, Covid 19. Like a lot of people this meant a lot of time at home with two little ones and no one else. In some ways it was lovely to spend so much time with them and for Zac and Es to build a fantastic bond, but like other self employed / small business owners, it was a nightmare. None of us know where we are on the journey through this Coronavirus mess but with our amazing schools and nurseries back open, I can at last get back to Indie Rose on a more full-time basis.
But how to start? I asked myself the questions ‘what part of cake designing do you think you are best at?’ and ‘What do you enjoy doing the most’. Well I love the baking bit (I always have), it’s like the most delicious science experiment. When you nail a new recipe and all your volunteer taste testers are asking for seconds, it’s the best feeling. A very close second has to be making cake toppers and figures out of fondant. I first tried creating fondant characters for Zac’s second birthday cake (the full Incredibles family) and they were surprisingly good. From there my customers have continually challenged me to create more elaborate and bigger cake toppers. I’ve made everything from Brides and Grooms to a full Noah’s Arc with Scooters and Unicorns thrown into the mix.
So here’s how I’m using what I love most to take the next step with Indie Rose…
New flavours coming from October 2020 – After spending weeks in the kitchen testing and tasting (I really need to think about doing some exercise) I’m so pleased to be able to add nine new flavours to my menu:
Orange and Aperol
Fresh Strawberry and Vanilla
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Gin and Tonic
Chocolate with Hazelnut & Almond Praline
Take a look at the Flavours page for full details on each of these delicious new options.
Indie Rose Cake Toppers to Your Door – More and more often my customers who have had a cake topper on their birthday or wedding cake have asked me how they can store it to keep it forever as a memento. Fondant is pretty long lasting but it’s not going to keep in perfect condition forever. This got me thinking about how I could create truly special keepsakes for my customers. The answer, polymer clay. It’s not edible but is similar to fondant in how to works and it will keep forever. Another benefit of clay is that it is much stronger than fondant so is very easily posted to customers anywhere in the UK. I’m so excited to be able to offer Wedding and Keepsake cake toppers, bespoke to my customers and delivered them directly to their door. Take a look at the Cake Topper page to find out more.
So here’s to the rest of 2020, may it be a whole heap better than the first part was. If not then 2020 needs to hurry up and get lost and let 2021 through the door with hopefully more fun, laughter, family and cake.
Or should I say meet Kirsty, the person behind Indie Rose
When I think back, some of my earliest memories involve being in the kitchen baking with my mum. Whether I was fighting with my sister over taking turns to use the hand mixer, overfilling cake tins so they exploded in the oven, or realising that you can't substitute drinking chocolate for Cocoa when the middle falls straight out of the cake, I just always remember that we had fun. And let's be honest, nothing tastes as good as licking the spoon when you've finished.
When I finished school I never knew what I wanted to do, so following a friend, I drifted into Financial Services. All I did know was that I wanted to work with people and help them when it mattered. That led me into helping people buy their homes. I spent the next 14 years doing a lot of different roles within the same company. Every time I took on a new role (which was pretty regularly) I was always looking for something different, something to challenge and inspire me and make me want to get out of bed in the morning. Although I pretty much always enjoyed what I did, I always knew in the back of my mind that I wanted to do something totally different, something for me that I genuinely loved. When I had one of 'those days' at work I would rant at my husband, Martin, about being my own boss, getting away from the politics, the corporate rubbish, doing something where I could make my own decisions and feel really passionate about what I was doing. But I was never brave enough to take the leap.
Looking for something to inspire me, about 4 years ago I attended night school to learn more about cake design and fell back in love with it. I'd sit in class and day dream about 'what if...' one day I could make something I loved doing my job not just a hobby that my friends and family loved taking advantage of. But just before the course finished, and just as I was getting my nerve, I fell pregnant (I now have a second love of my life, Zac who is a little mischief and also chief cake tester) and that 'proper grown up' who sat on my shoulder told me to stick with the day job and make sure my mortgage was paid.
So that's what I did until I was given an opportunity 12 months ago, I was offered the chance to take redundancy. When I found out I went back into 'grown up' mode and started thinking about job applications. That's when Martin stopped me and said 'why not take the chance to do what you have always wanted to do, life's too short and you're never going to get this offer again?'
Could I do it?? Would it be a success?? Would I be good enough??
All these questions went round in my mind but the more people I told about 'this crazy idea Martin had' the more people told me it was actually a brilliant idea (thanks gorgeous). I have always made cakes for my family and friends and it turns out they actually thought they were pretty delicious.
Ok.. deep breath... jump!!
Since then I focused all the time I had on developing my skills, learning new techniques and deciding what sort of cake business I wanted to create. Going right back to my childhood, for me, cake was always a real treat and part of a celebration. It didn't matter whether it was a chocolate covered rainbow cake for my birthday made by my mum, oversized scones made by my dad or hot sticky toffee pudding for after sunday lunch, it was always special. Cake of any kind makes me think of my family being together, sat around my mum's kitchen table, laughing, usually drinking too much wine as we all got older and enjoying something delicious.
What if I could make a business where my customers felt like family and I was a small part of other people's celebrations and their fun memories with their loved ones. Now that is something I could be passionate about. Keeping family in mind I decided not to name my business after myself but after two of my nieces, Indie Mae and Holly Rose. Seeing their two names above everything I do reminds me that every day should be fun, every design should be exciting and it's OK to try and live your dream.