Meet Pixie Cakes

18th Feb 2014

Amy Johnson founded Pixie Cakes to follow her love of hobby baking, and is now starting to set up her own business from home. We chat to her about the transition from part-time baker to a fully fledged cake decorating business, and how she made the leap between the two at such a young age. How did you first get into cake making and decorating? I find baking very relaxing, therapeutic and fun trying new ideas. I originally started to decorate cupcakes for my work colleagues and charity fundraisers, but due to demand and margins I soon learnt the only way to make a profit was to start to decorate large cakes. My first customers were colleagues and friends, then it just grew from there. How long has Pixie Cakes been going? I officially opened on the 16th September 2012 after a year of  selling cakes unofficially. It took me three months to set up my admin, and that November received my 5 food hygiene rating. Since then it's been non-stop! How did you start to launch your business? I went on a cake decorating class at All Things Sugar. It was fantastic, I learnt where I was going wrong and took on so many tips. And as for completed orders,  that's where cake dummies come in –  it's great to show so many designs without having to bake several sponges. I have become more confident in myself, too, and this comes across to my customers who then believe in the cakes. How much time do you have now to run your business? I use the evenings and weekends to bake my cakes and regularly set my alarm for 4am before leaving for my full-time work at 8am. For someone who used to find it very hard to get up for school at 8am, it's been life changing too. Holidays are used to update procedures and input my dreaded tax return. Every spare second is cake related! tutankamun or however you spell it picWhat's the most ambitious (or unusual) cake style you've made? The most unusual cake I created was the Tutankhamun cake. The lady who wanted the cake had been turned down by other cake stores and I happily took on the challenge. Using the cake pop method, I moulded his head and then used sugarpaste and flower paste for the rest of his features. Is there anyone in the industry that has inspired you? Mary Berry is a huge inspiration, I love her gingerbread recipe and she is always giving out tips. I use the gingerbread as a child activity at the fairs I attend. Baking with my Mum and Granny were a real highlight as a child and Mary Berry's recipes are really family-orientated You're still very young – what would you like to do in the future? Is going full-time with the cake business something you'd like to do? My dream would be to have my own cafe serving cupcakes and British cuisine with a small workshop at the back to hold children's cupcake parties. I'd like to pass on my tips and experiences to older students. For the moment, learning through my bakes and delivering lots of cakes to more people in my local area is the first tick! What advice would you like to give people who would like to do the same as you? My advice to anyone starting out is to use social media and word of mouth to the max. Good marketing will get you very far. In Cheshire we have a fantastic Facebook page called Cheshire Ladders UK. We support each other as businesses and it's a good way of getting your name out there. Never turn down advice. Deliver leaflets in your local area and don't be shy to tell everyone about yourself. Take every experience you can, and ask for cake equipment as Christmas presents! You can never have enough tools. Finally, always take pictures of your cakes and enjoy. Find out more about Pixie Cakes in Cheshire here or head over to Amy's Facebook page to be part of the her new venture. cupcake pic 458px

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