If you read my post on Nabeel’s Birthday Party then you did notice the lovely Mickey Cake we got him. It was a well executed cake by none other than this month’s inspiring momma Vivienne Kaunds. She is a passionate self-taught homebaker who took to baking solely for her child as a way to relive her childhood, just like her mom used to bake for her. Read her cute & inspiring story here…
BAM: Hello Vivienne, so tell us how did baking happen?
Vivienne: I have grown up feasting on yum cakes, jams and other treats baked by my mom. I knew this is exactly how I am going to bring up my child and so I started baking when I was pregnant.
I am happy that without any marketing or promotions I get orders every single day. The biggest joy is in getting repeat customers which means you are offering something good.
BAM: Oh, so it seems your mom has been the inspiration behind your baking
Vivienne: Yes, mom inspired me a lot. In spite of being a working woman, my mother ensured her kids ate only homemade goodies made from top class ingredients. On returning home from school the aroma of her freshly baked cakes engulfed me and my friends from the road itself. It is this experience and love that I want to give to my children that they can cherish all their life. I feel I owe it to them and want to give back something that I loved looking forward to.
BAM: From Personal Baking to Professional Baking…what led to Happy Cakes?
Vivienne: I was pregnant and free which gave me ample time to bake and experiment. I made cakes for family and friends on special occasions as a gift. Soon, my daughters 1st birthday arrived and I made a stunning fondant cake for her that brought in a lot of appreciation and cake orders for me. This is when I decided to take my passion to the next level, Happy Cakes was born in Oct 2014.
BAM: Congratulations on completing a year! How has it been so far?
Vivienne: Overwhelming! My phone has been ringing ever since..just like a call centre phone. I am happy that without any marketing or promotions I get orders every single day. The biggest joy is in getting repeat customers which means you are doing something good for which they come back. I usually limit myself to 2 -3 cakes per week and mostly which are weekend ones. I toil throughout the week on fondant figurines & cut-outs. Weekends are reserved for baking and giving finishing touches to the cake.
For me to innovate and being able to create what the customer has in mind is the biggest reward.
BAM: How do you refine your skills? Are there any workshops or courses you attend on a regular basis that help you hone your skills better?
Vivienne: Not really. I basically refine my skills with every cake that I do. I have never repeated a cake design, it is my need to create new that helps sharpen my skills. Every year my daughter’s birthday is the milestone for me. I have to create something grand for her; after all it is for her I started in the first place.
BAM: Must say your daughter is one lucky girl. Does she help you around?
Vivienne: Haha..she is just 4 but definitely an aspiring baker. Besides, my daughter is my biggest critic and motivation. On her last birthday I made her a book shaped cake, which has been my best cake till date. Soon after the party she hugged and thanked me for it and quietly whispered, “Mom, next time please make sure the pages turn.” Her innocent feedback opens up new areas to explore. And yes..I am working on a flipping cake for her 🙂
Every year my daughter’s birthday is the milestone for me. I have to create something grand for her; after all it is for her I started in the first place.
BAM: What is your work day like?
Vivienne: I don 2 hats everyday…Vivienne the Homemaker and Vivienne the baker. My day starts at 4am, this is the best time according to me where I am in my baker mode and work passionately till 6am. Then, switch to the homemaker mode when activities like getting ready for school, cooking, household chores, etc take place. I once again don the bakers hat in the afternoon when my daughter arrives from school. We work together; she owns a set of fondant accessories that keeps her busy while I do serious stuff.
BAM: Any expansion plans like a bakery?
Vivienne: I charge people for their orders only to cover my costs, in most cases I break even. For me to innovate and being able to create what the customer has in mind is the biggest reward. I operate from home and that is how it’s going to be in the coming 20 years too. My greed is creativity, I believe when I shift focus from innovation to making money, Happy will collapse.
Vivacious Vivienne is what I did like to call her after this conversation. She is stunning, full of energy and above all passionate towards her craft. Hope she inspired you in some way. Check out her FB page here and some of her drool worthy cake images below.
Till then, Love Being a Mommy!