Earlier this month I took part in the #meetthemaker challenge over on instagram. A 6 day challenge designed to tell you a bit about the story of my business, with a new prompt each day.
The first prompt in the #meetthemakerweek challenge was ‘Say Hello’. So I’m saying hello and telling you a little about me and my business ‘Sugar Ruffles’.
I’m Charlotte, and it’s 10 years this week since I first started my wedding cake business! I still remember getting my first enquiry from my very first customer, the day after I launched my website. I couldn’t quite believe it was actually happening!
Before I started my business I was a primary school teacher and originally started my business as ‘Charlotte’s Cupcakes’ mainly making cupcakes, cake pops and celebration cakes, before moving into wedding cakes, once I found a love for sugar flowers. Then I rebranded as Sugar Ruffles and have specialised in creating sugar flower wedding cakes ever since. ????
It has been a huge learning curve for me over the last 10 years. (You can see my very first sugar rose and the progression through to some of my most recent roses below) but I have loved finding my own style and continuing to develop my skills.
I’m a huge Disney fan, so when I’m not making wedding cakes my favourite thing to do is visit Disney World with my family. But like most people, any holidays have been postponed for the foreseeable future, so I’ll be watching the Christmas parade on Youtube this year instead of in person. ????
2020 has been a very different year for everyone, and the impact on the wedding industry has been huge. (more on that in tomorrows challenge prompt!), but I have loved having some extra time available to launch my new online course, ‘Sugar Rose Artistry’ and membership ‘Sugar Flower Artistry’. It has been a lot of fun teaching again and very rewarding seeing all the amazing progress my students have been making.
The next prompt in the #meetthemakerweek challenge was ‘Pivot’. This is something that so many businesses have had to do this year. I know we have! We started this year with over 100 wedding cake bookings for 2020, but have ended up with only 5 wedding cakes! It has been really difficult time for both couples and wedding suppliers.
But, thankfully the majority of people have postponed, rather than cancelled weddings and I’m really looking forward to the time we can get back to weddings again!
So, to pivot the business during this time I decided to move forward the launch of my first online course. I had originally planned to create and launch this next year. But during the first lockdown I had time to create and recorded everything and we launched our 8 week online course ‘Sugar Rose Artistry- A masterclass in creating and colouring sugar roses and the art of creating sugar flowers’ in August.
We have just finished the course with our first group of students and we’ve had such amazing results! Here are some of our Sugar Rose Artistry students beautiful sugar roses!
I’m going to be offering this course again early next year and we have quite a few people already on the waiting list! You can sign up for the waiting list over at sugarroseartistry.com/join if you’re interested in joining us next year. We also have created the Sugar Flower Artistry- membership where we are teaching a different sugar flower each month to our members.
New for Christmas
We have a brand new free tutorial available! All about how to use petal and lustre dusts to create an iridescent effect on sugar anthurium flowers. This is such a lovely unique flower to make and perfect for the next #meetthemakerweek challenge prompt ‘New for Christmas’
I hope you enjoy the tutorial! Make sure to tag me if you have a go at using this technique, I’d love to see how you use it in your flowers or cake designs. You can watch then free tutorial here sugarflowerartistry.com/free
The next prompt in the #meetthemaker challenge was ‘silver-lining’
One of the silver-linings of this year has definitely been having more time to work on my online sugar flower classes. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and its been so much fun! Even though I really had to get out of my comfort zone to actually get on video! I think I must have re-recorded my first video about 10 times!
My favourite sugar flowers to make are roses and I’ve had a lot of requests for Rose tutorials, so this became the starting point for my first online course ‘Sugar Rose Artistry’. I really wanted to incorporate a module on pricing into the course too because I know so many people struggle with pricing. This is something that I really struggled with when I first started, I didn’t even know where to begin! But now after 10 years in business, I’ve developed a system to price my sugar flowers, and now I finally feel confident with pricing my flowers. In ‘The Art of Pricing Sugar Flowers’ I’m sharing my step by step system with you, so that you can work out a price for each and every sugar flower you make and start to feel more confident with pricing your work too.
I’ve also been able to start my Sugar Flowers Artistry Membership where I’m teaching a brand new sugar flower each month for my members. This month we are focusing on sugar flower foundations and are putting together our sugar flower essentials kit and making filler flowers including blossoms, billy buttons and Veronica flowers. We also have two petal dusting projects as well as an overview of all the elements and principles of sugar flower design. Enrolment for this is currently open, so come and take a look if you’re interested in joining us at sugarflowerartistry.com/join
2020 has definitely been a different year with so many wedding postponements, but there have been lots of positives too!
Community over Competition
I was so happy when I saw the next prompt for the #meetthemaker challenge ‘community over competition’. This was exactly what I had in mind when creating the sugar flower artistry community. I wanted it to be a really supportive space, where we celebrate all achievements along the way, no matter how small.
It makes me so sad to see beginners in cake groups saying that they don’t want to share photos of there work because it’s not good enough. But I can completely relate!
When I first started, I shared ALL my cake pictures and flowers on my blog and over in a Flickr cake group. I was a complete beginner, but I didn’t worry about sharing my work, I was really proud of everything I was creating. But then as I began to share my work on social media, I fell into the trap of comparing my work to others and started to hold back on what I was posting, always feeling like it was not good enough.
It’s so important to remember that everyone is at a different stage in their journey and to celebrate all the progress you’re making along the way. “Don’t compare your beginning to someone’s else’s middle.” -Jon Acuff ????
The final prompt in the #meetthemaker challenge was Shop Small.
Make sure you take a look at some of the amazing makers who have been taking part in the #meetthemakerweek challenge. So many lovely and unique ideas for Christmas presents from lots of creative small businesses!
It’s been really fun taking part in the challenge. Thank you to everyone who has liked and commented on my posts over on instagram and thank you @joannehawker for organising it!