#HERBLOVEDLIFE: DAY IN THE LIFE OF CERI OLOFSON OF OLOFSON DESIGN
Our #herBLOVEDlife series is proving to be quite the hit with you lovely readers, and we’re thrilled! Supporting, nurturing and promoting the amazing #bossladies we work with on a daily basis is one of the best parts of my job, and I love sharing a little insight into their daily lives with you. This month we’re stepping inside the shoes of Ceri Olofson, a cake-designer extraordinaire who’s career is on an exciting new path, with a little help from Fiona Kelly Photography.
What is your role at B.LOVED & what do you love about being part of the team? As a lifestyle writer at B.LOVED I get to share some of the things that I love with other like-minded readers. Having spent years carefully curating what I talk about online to be on brand and cake related, it is so nice to indulge the other interests in my life such as interiors and stationery.
Where do you live? I live in an apartment in South East London with my boyfriend of 10 years.
Describe your style? My interior style is definitely a bit Scandi. I love lots of light with contrasts of black and natural textures. My fashion style is evolving quite a bit at the moment after years spent in chef whites 7 days a week! I do have a bad habit of wearing black, but I’m learning to introduce colour and I think I like it.
What’s your background, how did you get into what you do now? I have a degree in fine art photography and after a brief spell as a professional artist, I found myself experimenting with cake design. The rest is history.
Do you have any other roles? As well as teaching and writing about cake design I am also phasing in more freelance copywriting and small business mentoring which is an exciting new direction. I’m a new mum to a scamp of a kitten, who has already walked across the keyboard twice while I write this!
What’s involved in a typical day at Olofson Design HQ?
I am so not a morning person! I actually love getting up early but I rarely spring out of bed. I usually check my phone quickly and have a think about the day ahead and what I’m going to wear.
While my boyfriend showers I make us some tea or coffee and breakfast. We’ll usually have some coconut chia seed pudding with fresh fruit and nuts as it’s a fast thing to prepare and is packed full of good energy. If I’m feeling super house-wifey I’ll make some grain free blueberry pancakes or eggs with some kind of protein. We’re trying really hard to live a grain-free life, but I do crave toast!
To help me get going and set the right tone for the day I try to schedule meetings for the morning. I usually meet copywriting and mentoring clients in a coffee shop, so the extra caffeine also helps with the get up and go. I also find that the buzz of a coffee shop is more conducive to creative brainstorming and strategising because it feels more relaxed than a quiet office space. If I don’t have any morning meetings then my day always starts with a to-do list otherwise I get overwhelmed with the volume of things in my head.
When I’m busy I can be really bad at making time for lunch. When I’m at home during lunchtime I usually make some soup or salad. If I know I’ll be out and unable to get to somewhere healthy for lunch, I try to pack nuts, Nakd bars, beef jerky and fruit to keep me going. But ultimately I believe it’s more important to eat anything rather than skip food, so I’m working on that. I also try to take 15 minutes out to read Elle Decoration or whatever book I’m reading at the time to switch off from everything work related I’ve been thinking about.
In the afternoon I’ll sometimes do work on a cake decorating tutorial or new design. I sketch ideas all the time because I’m constantly finding inspiration around the place. If I’ve met with a client in the morning I might do some follow up work or writing. It’s very varied, which is great because it staves off boredom. My workspace is my home office and sometimes my living room. I’m lucky because we do have quite a bit of space and when I do mini photoshoots of my work and client projects I tend to spread out.
Because I set my schedule, the end of my work day is flexible. If I’ve not got enough work done in the day, or got distracted by Netflix- ahem- I’ll just keep going. My hard stop is when my boyfriend comes home from work at 7pm. I think it helps with my focus knowing that he’s coming back at that time and holds me accountable, otherwise the hours and days roll on and on. Working alone is an endurance test.
When I was doing cakes for weddings, there was literally never a time or day that I could switch off. Evenings were spent catching up on admin because I’d been doing the practical making in the day, weekends were event time, and when I didn’t have jobs on? Client meetings. Always when the couples weren’t at work. I am so grateful to be clawing back my sense of work/life balance. Now in the evenings I cook dinner, we sit at the dining table to eat and then play with the kitten. Weekends are for household things and spending time doing non-essential but nourishing activities like brunch at our favourite café, walks in the park, checking out new things in our area. If there’s one thing I take from this, it’s that I should have placed those boundaries into my professional life a lot sooner. The events industry is a beautiful, all-consuming beast! If I had prioritised my own wellbeing a little more, I might not have burned out.
How do you stay inspired & motivated?
Talking. There is very little that can’t be solved by hashing it out with a friend, family member or colleague. I constantly question myself and over-analyse which is a total confidence killer. Working alone means that you have to try especially hard to reach out and talk to people. Even taking myself off to the local café with my laptop can inspire me. My sanity has been saved many times by a barista and they didn’t even realise it!
What’s your biggest business challenge?
I am transitioning careers at the moment, re-shaping my old business while taking on new roles. Letting go of aspects of business that don’t actually work for you anymore is really scary, but it makes the way clear for so many other opportunities. Starting a new venture is tough because in the early days confidence is shaky. So, I think confidence is the biggest business challenge for me. When you’ve got it, everything just clicks and you can make huge strides forwards. The only way to get that confidence is by doing the things that scare you- on a daily basis I put those at the top of my to-do list to stop me from avoiding them!
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
I’m going to continue learning and improving my skills. I really want to help more people who are going through the small business shakes that I have experienced. There may be some travel on the agenda for teaching cake decorating and I’m going to see about potentially penning my second book… I’m constantly adding to my list of goals!