The world is battling Covid 19 and we are in the midst of Movement Controlled Order (MCO) implemented by the Malaysian government. Stay Home, Work from Home, Lockdown, Social Distancing, Wear Mask, Hand Sanitisers, 'Kita Jaga Kita', Frontliners, Cluster, Flatten the Curve, Groceries, Toilet Paper...all terms vying for the title of "most used words in 2020". We are now making and living in history. How cool is that?
Spring cleaning is among my current daily routine, rotated with making gumpaste flowers for stocking up and upgrading my self learning, among other things. It felt like I've not done a thorough clean for 10 years. Yes, 10 years of home based business.
Anyway, I found a picture of the first fondant cake I made. The cake is store bought. I decorated it, took a picture, printed it on a good quality A4 photo grade paper, and approached a wedding boutique near my house and through them, I got my first customer.
The old fashioned way, no social media economy at that time. It was in 2008. Then I found Rosalind Chan through a newspaper article and went for the intensive Wilton Cake Decorating program in ICCA, and also became a Wilton Method Instructor, all within that same year. Then in 2009, I resigned from my full time job.
This MCO for Covid-19 has provided me time to write out my cake history. There is no better time, grateful for it.
During the infancy of fondant cake madness, I found Carol Deacon's book, Perfect Party Cakes Made Easy. I like the figurine tutorials because they look easy. My first fondant cake was made with reference to this book. Note the fabric effect and style of roses, and placement of roses and leaves.
Followed the fondant/sugarpaste recipe in the book as well. There were no ready made brands available in Ipoh at that time. Three easily available ingredients and a simple method. A keeper should you need a fondant recipe from scratch in emergencies.
More figurine tutorials that I have tried out. I like how they each have different eye directions forming expressions which overall tells the story.
The first cake that I sold. The bride came with her mom for consultation. Another 'first' to go with this cake. The design is the same, but changes in colour of roses and a different rose technique. I can't remember making royal icing too. I guess I picked it up from the internet. This was before I enrolled in Wilton course.
A summary of what it takes to be in business for ten years.
1) Technical Skills - covering everything to do with production.
2) Sales and Marketing - knowledge and strategic execution.
3) Business Management - the bigger picture of the market and working with clients and all parties within and without the industry to maintain business continuity and growth.
Learn to adjust the area of emphasis according to different situations. When external environment, like our current Covid 19 situation is beyond our control, identify areas within our control and make adjustments and improvements, and get ready when the tide turns.
Keep Busy and Stay Safe.