STUDIO TOUR: S K CAKES
Whether you’re planning a wedding, birthday party or another general celebration, there’s always one thing that brings it all together and makes it complete: cake.
Today we’re visiting the beautiful studio that Susie Kelly calls home to her business, S K Cakes. Based in Cobham, Surrey, her cakes are truly a work of art – and prove exactly why you need to incorporate cake into any celebration you might be planning.
Hands up who wants cake for breakfast?!
Name: Susie Kelly
Current Title + Company: Owner of S K Cakes, Cake Designer and Baker
City: Cobham, Surrey. UK
Tell us a little about your business?
I design bespoke cakes for weddings. I love being given colour palette and shown the style of the wedding and coming up with a unique design for each couple that is going to give them that wow factor on their special day.
How did you get started in the industry + what prompted you to get started?
I sort of stumbled across making cakes. I have always loved cooking and baking but if someone had told me I would start my own baking business I would have thought them crazy. I made my first iced cake for my daughters christening but started to really enjoy it maybe a year later and 6 months to a year after that I start my business.
What do you think has made your business successful?
I have worked hard at promoting my brand and my business. Linking in with other local business, wedding planners and local media. It definitely helped me winning a competition with The Hummingbird Bakery 2 years ago. I entered my bacon and maple syrup cupcakes and they won out of 1,200 entries, The Hummingbird Bakery then sold my cupcakes across their 5 London stores for 2 months.
But I think ultimately it comes down to you and your product. I believe that my cakes are unique and offer that wow factor to a wedding, and that they also taste amazing.
Where do you work + how do you make sure your space stays inspiring?
Initially I worked out of my house but quite quickly didn’t have enough space so I built a studio in my garden last year. It’s a fully insulated studio with running water and electrics. I had a very clear image in my ear of how it would look. I wanted it to be functional but also an inspirational and creative space where I would be able to have my wedding consultations.
What’s the biggest mistake people make when starting their own business, and what advice would you give for avoiding it?
I think it is not believing in yourself and your product enough. You are starting out in the industry and think that others are better than you because they have been around longer. It took me a little while to actually believe in myself and my product and know that I have just as much to offer as the next person.
How would you describe your style? What attracts people to your brand + how important is this to the success of your business?
I think I have a very modern style that is clean and simple but without a doubt unique. I use a lot of wafter paper flowers as opposed to sugar flowers which I believe is very new and current. Obviously the colour pallet changes with each client but I think my style comes through in each cake. I love using gold, especially broken gold leaf, and washed colours that have an unfinished look.
I think branding is very important, and a foundation of a brand is your logo. I had a new one designed 18 months ago and I hope it communicates to my customers what they can expect from me. Both branding and promoting your brand in the right avenues is very important.
What trend predictions do you have for 2015?
I think we are headed to big bold and luxurious with both metallics and floral playing a big part. We are going to see a lot more of wafer paper within the wedding cakes. Rustic weddings are still very popular and within that we will be pulling away from naked wedding cakes and headed towards chalk board cakes.
What challenges have you set yourself for the next 12 months?
To take more time to promote and market my brand. And to network more with others within the Wedding Industry.
Tell us 5 things we don’t know about you:
I’m a trained drug and alcohol counsellor, and this is what I was doing before cakes.
I can not stand mushrooms, they are so slimy and disgusting!!
I currently have a broken foot, and sadly not from dancing on tables
I got a Cordon Bleu certificate in cooking when I was 18.
I’m allergic to cats, but that’s ok because I’m a dog person.