My name is Annabel de Vetten (aka Annabel Lecter), I'm originally from Germany, and I'm a food artist specializing in unusual desserts. My business is called Conjurer's Kitchen and caters to everyone who wants something out of the ordinary.
After being in the UK for 30 years and running my successful cake business for around 7 years, I’ve decided to take a chance on life and made the huge decision to relocate to Los Angeles, in order to hopefully grow my business and expand. Personal life aside, I've loved my customers and my adventures as a cake maker in the UK, but I need to make changes if I want my business to grow.
I currently work from my home kitchen and it's becoming more and more cramped by the day. There is just not enough room to take on some of the jobs and projects I've been asked to and wanted to! It's so heartbreaking when I have to decline an inquiry simply because I don't have the physical space. Especially when I know I could give the customer exactly what they want if it wasn't for the lack of room.
In short, I need a studio- there's no other way. Renting premises is out of the question, I've gone over it and it's just not viable for me. So the only option is to build something in our garden. After much thinking, soul searching and drinking, we figured rather than build something here, why not go crazy, move to our beloved Los Angeles and set up a studio there? Being married to an amazing American makes this decision much easier of course.
So in February 2020 the Conjurers and their Kitchen are relocating to Los Angeles. It’s happening. For real. And yes, we’ve thought this through. We’re excited, terrified, happy, sad; basically all the emotions. I'm throwing caution to the wind because life is short — too short.
Relocating an established business across oceans is obviously a huge step and very daunting. I intend to get back to work as soon as possible but I have a feeling the first few months of 2020 will be tricky. I can't see me getting to a point where I can more or less work full time until at least April. I will have access to a friend's registered kitchen, but things are going to be crazy and I'm not projecting any income for a little while. This is where this fundraiser comes in: I thought it might help to start a rewards-based campaign in advance, so I can at least fulfill some of the physical rewards sooner rather than later. It would also allow plenty of notice to those opting for a class or workshop to arrange a suitable date or plan an occasion.
I decided to start this fundraiser as quite a few kind friends and acquaintances suggested it and assured me it would be really helpful. I feel a bit uncomfortable, I'm not a cause or anything and I do not want to ask for money for nothing in return, but I really could do with some help. So a rewards-based fundraiser seemed the ideal solution.
Part of the relocation is also obtaining a work visa as soon as possible. Thom, my husband, is American and I would be eligible for a green card, but it's not a quick process and I wouldn't be able to work for at least a year. Which defeats the object of the relocation! So we've opted for a special visa for artists which takes a fraction of the time a Green Card does — if it's granted of course! But that's another story! However, I'm confident they will. This comes at a price of course, and it's a big price, $4000. I've weighed it up and decided that's the best option for everyone.
I will be selling some of the things that I can't take with me, but this won't cover replacements of course.
Here's what your contribution would do:
- Help with Visa and Immigration Lawyer costs
- Help replace larger tools, knives and any electrical equipment, such as mixers, airbrush, tempering machine (the most expensive item own!), refrigeration and any other electric specialist items I use for work. Unfortunately, nothing is I have is dual voltage
- And of course, help with the cost needed to set up a bright and comfortable space to work and eventually teach in.
I'd like to thank you in advance for reading this and if you've contributed, multiply the 'thank you' by a million. ;-) Really, thank you, from the bottom of my cake.