It is about time to give you an update about all that has been going on the past weeks. A lot of exciting and positive things happening in my life and with the studio. The focus here will be mostly about the Studio side of things.
100% Studio Happy Story
The first life-changing event that has happened is that since August 1st, I work full-time in my cake studio. I started this studio in 2014 full-time. I took 1,5 years to set everything up and get it up and running. Somewhere in 2015, I needed a part-time job because of much needed financial stability and found the perfect one in a food architecture firm as a graphic design production specialist.
It was a small team, and all the work we did was somehow connected with food. I made friends and had an incredible 4 years. This not-so-part-time job gave me the financial room to let the cake studio and me grow in my role as a cake designer. In 2019 it got kinda crazy, making about 50-60 hours a week. The thing is that working for yourself often really does not feel like work, so no hardship there. At the end of the year 2019, I did have to make some decisions.
The first decision I made was to work less at my part-time job. I went to 3 days instead of 4. This gave me a lot of air and fewer evenings of work. Which resulted in a much-needed studio rebuild and expansion. A full tour is in the planning.
Then COVID-19 happened. Really happy that we already knocked down the walls, so I had no choice but just going forward. Orders almost stopped, and my other job was also pretty quiet. We finished the studio, came up with some new products, and started selling slices via Uber Eats.
When everything started back up again, the studio went good. People still want to celebrate even if it is with a group of 4-6 guests. That gave a lot of energy and a good feel about the whole thing. Shops slowly opened again, so those business clients also came back. Weddings also started again. People adapt and luckily refuse to let the situation cancel their wishes to celebrate love and life. Thank you to all customers who still ordered and continue to celebrate milestones.
Working from home made me realize that the time has come to take the plunge, trust my loyal customer base, and just go for it. Now I have the opportunity to lift my studio to the next level and get more customers happy on cakes.
Summer Projects & Future Workshops
Summer came hard and went fast. I mean 30+ degrees in our dreary country for 3 weeks straight. Loved it. During the summer, we did a project with the Archell Thompson Foundation called: Being Apart Together.
The main objective was getting children to open up and express their view on the world and feelings by decorating mannequin dolls and giving them another outlet by baking & decorating cupcakes. We gave 3 big workshops in 3 weeks with 30-60 children each day. These weeks were incredible, eye-opening, and emotional. It felt so good giving something back to my community and being able to be a sparkle of light.
We are working on getting a workshop and/or course plan for adults/children. Because of COVID-19, we are challenged to come up with something that works on a distance. All about embracing the new now. Were thinking about live digital workshops. The launch is planned for the end of this year with Christmas.
Counter Cake Shop Changes
We started a collaboration with Uber Eats at the beginning of COVID. In the last two months, we have been on a long Uber Eats Holiday. The reason for this is that we really needed to think about if we want to continue. The private & business orders picked up, so I have less time to produce cakes that will or will not sell. Sales went down rapidly when cafes were open again. The end conclusion is that it is not viable to keep selling via Uber. This has to do with the high costs, but also the time it takes to produce all the cakes.
We have been cracking our head for a solution that is less time consuming and found it! I still want to be able to give you a taste of our cakes that will not require you to buy a whole cake. We are going to continue selling our No Waste Cakes in weekly provided flavors that we will offer on this website. Flavors will be updated weekly.
Dr. Oetker Collab
From now on Studio Happy Story is blogging and photographing for this lovely company. I come up with recipes from their products, making them really available for you to bake & decorate at home. The decision to do this did not come without thought. The questions I asked myself was: do I really want to be working for a band that makes cake box mixes? Will people think I use boxed mixes in my cakery? My answers were yes & no. Let me tell you why.
I want to work together with a company that will show people how to get creative with easy tools like cake box mixes. How to make those mixes your own and make baking more accessible to the people. Baking can be scary if you are clueless about know what to do. These tools make baking approachable and give people the courage to bake for their loved ones. That is what Studio Happy Story is about. Sharing happiness! I also do not believe that my customers will think I use cake box mixes for my cakes. Every cake, recipe, and filling is made in my cake studio from scratch.
Writing for Dr. Oetker and coming up with recipes is about sharing for the people who want to get their hands dirty in an easy way. I trust that my customers know that ;-).
The first recipe is up on the blog at Bakken.nl. I will try sharing behind the scenes on my own blog for you to read a bit more behind the recipe. If you make the recipe, please tag us @bakken.nl and @studiohappystory, so we get to see your creations.
Wedding Cake Collection
The studio is lucky enough to be doing quite a few weddings this season and even a full-on dessert table. Love it! This made me see that there is still value in creating a Wedding Cake Collection. This has been on my to-do list for years, but with working 50+ working hours a week, I never had the time to just create. Now I do! I want to finish all the designs this year and start creating the dummy cakes to photograph and make a wonderfully sweet campaign.
Those we're all my updates for now. If you managed to get to the end of this: your incredible!
Thank you ❤️