21 March 2010

What You Waiting For?

Tick-tock, tick-tock, Life is short, you're capable....don't know if this post title refers to you my lovely cupcake fans or to myself. Maybe a little bit of both. I have been feeling a bit down these past few weeks. Why? Cause I have turned down way too many orders recently. I hate disappointing people and that's how I feel when someone writes to me to tell me about some fabulous birthday party they are planning, or an engagement party for a friend, and I am unable to take the order.

Now judging by the numbers of resumes I get every month, I am assuming that a lot of people are not aware that I am a one-person business. This obviously has it pluses and minuses. I also hand-make just about every decoration I put on my cupcakes which takes A LOT of time. I don't pre-bake my cupcakes and freeze them ahead of time, nor do I make my batter or buttercreams in advance and store them. I pride myself on making everything fresh from scratch the day of your order; I really think it yields the best-tasting cupcake you can find.

Did I mention by the way that I have two kids (and no nanny or au pair like so many of my friends)? My youngest is 2 and the main reason why I have not opened a boutique or sold through other retail establishments is because I am not quite ready to give up my family time. This has been a bit of a sore point for me as I see so many other bakers opening up stores here in Paris and it's something I have always dreamed of doing but I have decided it's just not my time yet. I read a really excellent blog by Kari of Retro Bakery out in Vegas - she and her husband have built a tremendous business on their skills, talent, know-how and charm. Yet I know they have made a lot of sacrifices in the process as it relates to being there for their kids. And I thank them for sharing this openly -- it has helped me to see the realities of their situation and in turn grapple with these issues myself.

So, all this to say that sadly, my time is limited. There are only so many cakes and cupcakes I can bake in a day and have my cake and eat it too (so to speak as I will refer to my family). I appreciate your understanding in the meantime and will request that you if you are interested in ordering from me, please let me as soon as possible - at least a week in advance.

Growing pains are tough and I always think about the classic marketing examples of the businesses that failed cause they just couldn't meet demand and pissed people off. I hope that is not the road I am heading down because baking truly is one of my greatest passions, and I love sharing this passion with people who order my cupcakes.

Times change, situations change, in fact tomorrow night I will be stepping down as VP PR for the parents' association, MESSAGE, after a 4 year run. This role has felt like a full-time job in and of itself for much of that time. I hope I will now have more free time to focus on cupcakes. There is so much I want to do and learn and I just haven't had the time. The months ahead are going to bring a lot of reflection on where this goes next. I feel that I am nearing a crossroads and some hard decisions will have to be made. In the meantime, please be patient and if I can't take your order cause my book is full (or because you waited til the last minute), I hope you will try me again.

The cupcakes featured here today are some of the orders I worked on this past week: Baby Einstein for a 1st birthday, diamond and sapphires minis for a private event, engagement party and Baptism minis, Disney princesses for another birthday, iPhone apps for an 80 year-old's birthday...and this is just the half of them! Okay, gotta go I have some kids to run out to the playground before I start working on next week's decorations!


  1. Your cupcakes are worth the wait. To anyone reading this post, LMC is professional, mega-talented, meticulous and reliable. I'm relieved that an American as creative as she is has set up camp in Paris and is spreading the cupcake love one dollop at a time!

  2. All things in their own time, Little Miss. If the decisions you make now make sense to you but might not to others, they can wait. You haven't been brought this far to be abandoned now. :) I've never tasted your works of art but you continue to inspire me and I thank you for that. You're doing great, Mama!

  3. I think you are doing a fabulous job with your business Cat. And really, you have to do what works for you, you can always build upon it later when your children are older.
    The contacts and people you are working with now will always know you and support you, because they know you put time and effort into your beautiful cupcakes, and they will always keep coming back for that.

  4. Thank you all for your lovely comments! I just wish everyone was as supportive as you! It means a lot. x Cat