As I sat there cutting out some blue and red fondant stars, I let my mind wander and realized that with this cupcake donation for the New Comers Festival, Das Cupcake cupcakes have appeared at incredibly 3 out of the 4 major festivals in Frankfurt. During these budding first six months since inception, my cupcake babies have been at the Parade der Kulturen, the Rotlintstrasse Fest and now at the New Comers Festival (all donated, my friends!) right in the heart of the old city centre, in the Rathaus (city hall). Heh heh heh..Rat-house.
I am very proud. I mean, ok, there may have been other more major festivals, but still. Das Cupcake has really flourished with the support of friends and the Frankfurt community. I mean in the last six months:
- I conducted recipe development over a 6-week period, with the help of focus groups and a self-developed questionnaire.
- I attended cupcake classes in London on Cupcake Basics where I learned how to work with fondant.
- I attended a second cupcake class in London on Running Your Own Cupcake Business that helped me to understand what was in store.
- I organized a vanilla taste testing extravaganza to perfect my recipe which included 8 testers, 5 vanilla frosting types and vanilla cupcake recipes.
- I sourced a creative web designer and developed my logo.
- I sourced international suppliers. (i.e. my Mom.:))
- I leveraged online social networks to develop my online presence via my blog, Facebook fan page and Flickr photostream.
- I decided to make my mark with two perfected cupcake flavours and a large focus on the decor aspect of cupcake making.
- I organized, sourced props for and completed a cupcake photoshoot (pics still to be posted).
- I networked with some major Frankfurt-based clubs, schools and charities.
- I spoke in front of a room full of people (50ish, the most ever!) about Das Cupcake and my cupcake dream.
I also feel extremely lucky to have to a supportive Mr. Cupcake by my side who has helped me to read crazy German legal documents, spoke to crazy German associations on my behalf to find out about all the legal stuff and developed smart excel spreadsheets (much smarter than me) that calculate cost structures of my cupcake babies. He came to support me during my ten minute speech to the room full of people and beamed his love to me from his seat in the last row. He laughed at me during my tantrums with fondant and frosting, he advised me on serious issues such as flower embossing stamps, he measured cupcake cases with me, squinting at the numbers on the ruler, brainstormed ideas for the business and helped me clean the kitchen late into the hours of the night.
Equally awesome has been June from A-viva, who allowed me to trial my cupcake recipes on her students, invited me to countless networking events, plugged my cupcakes shamelessly to passer-byers, spent evenings chatting with me about my ideas and extended her network to me, as if it was mine and allowed me to grow my little business idea, step by step, festival by festival. Thank you so much June.
To continue that warm and fuzzy feeling inside, have a look at some cute hedgehog cupcakes I made this week.
P.S. Hunching over fondant and working on the cute little details such as sprinkle centres on flowers and little hedgehog eyes, has totally strained my shoulder and neck muscles. Geez, one of the perks, eh? I can imagine it’ll get worse the more fondant work I do. I just booked an appointment with the nearest Frankfurt masseuse. Hopefully this will help. I can only imagine what other bakers have to go through. Fondant work can get very physical. Phy-si-cal. Phy-si-cal. *song in my head*
P.P.S. For more hedgehog cupcake cuteness² check out my Flickr photos.