For as long as I can remember I have been passionate about 2 things; Disney movies and Baking. In fact one of my earliest memories is of baking and I even get to bake and cook for a living.
I am a teacher of food technology - or 'cooking and nutrition' as they now call it - everyday i teach 11-18 year olds how to cook or bake a variety of delightful culinary treats and i have been doing it for 8 years now. At the start I loved my job, i loved that everyday was different, i loved the buzz i got when I saw the 'shining eyes' in the kids - the lightbulb moment when they just got it.
About 6 months ago things started to become different, work became difficult, i became more snappy, forgetful, stopped sleeping properly and stopped enjoying myself at work so much. I lost my mojo and had no drive to teach anymore. I just wasn't 'feeling it'. I resigned my position as Head of Sixth Form but even that didn't seem to fix the problem. It wasn't until i started to take some time for myself, that i realised the problem wasn't me. It was that i had become disillusioned by teaching, the constant politics, the rigorous marking, observations and performance management. Yes I had job security, but I didn't have a work/life balance.
So i decided to do what was best for me, I quit my job and decided to follow a life long dream and start my own business.
I have always had the dream to run my own business but had never felt confident enough to be able to do it, in fact that was the reason i did my degree in Brand Management and Marketing - i just fell into teaching before i did anything with it. I just happened to be good at teaching so i stuck with it for longer than i should have. But now i feel like i am at the point in my life, both personally and professionally, where i am confident enough and i truly believe i can make this dream become a reality.
Before i had my son i set up a small business page on facebook making celebration cakes to order, which is still successfully run today (check it out - www.facebook.com/katiebakescakes84 - you won't be dissappointed!). I love nothing more than spending time baking and decorating something truly unique and special for a customer and i get the same buzz and 'shining eyes' experience from giving people their baked goods as i used to teaching children.
So this is my project...
I plan on buying a mobile bar - converted from a vintage rice/horse box called 'Cocktails and Cupcakes' - catchy eh? I intend to incorporate this into the Katie Bakes business and have it available to rent out for special occasions, weddings, parties and corporate events etc. Part of the business would also be aimed at providing bookings for childrens parties offering non-alcoholic 'mocktail' making masterclasses as part of the service. I would also use it to attend local food fairs, music festivals and vintage fairs to sell food and drinks - these would be sourced from local producers; craft ales and ciders are of particular interest to me along with local liquer producers. The food would (of course) be baked goods produced by me.
Here is an example of the kind of service i am looking at...
**Please note, i do not own this image. This image serves purely as an example and is not my service**
So far i have completed a business plan, cash flow forcast, have had a custom logo and business stationary designed and have also done some extensive market research, where i discovered that there is currently nothing similar to this available in my local area. The research also tells me that retro and vintage themed events are on the increase and i believe that my business will be successful because of this. Another key part of my business plan research was that i discovered that cocktails are also becoming more and more popular. Did you know universitys are now offering cocktail and cupcake parties at their student unions?? Or that Cocktail FLAVOURED Cupcakes are also a thing?? These are the kinds of events that i hope to run when the business is fully set up.
I also have social media platforms set up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The money raised from the project will purchase the horsebox (readily converted as this is more cost effective), equipment and utensils, along with insurances for the business.
If i am lucky to reach my target, any extra overfunding money will go towards the D1 element of my driving license and also enable me to buy a brand new conversion rather than a second hand one.
Rewards for supporting/pledging to my project are as follows; A custom Katie Bakes keyring, iced biscuits and a thankyou cake. There are also vouchers available for a three tier celebration cake of your choice, event bar booking and a party package. Rewards will be updated throughout the time that the project goes live so be sure to check back, they are not only a great way of supporting small business but an excellent way to get your hands on some baked treats! Take a look on the right hand side to see what rewards are available for each pledge...
Thanks so much for taking the time to read my project and for supporting my dream. Every person who pledges will be added to a mailing list to recieve a newsletter keeping you up to date with the progress of my business.
Thanks so much everyone for your support!