This month, we are running a competition with our partners Craft & Crumb to win their best seller Cake making kit: The rainbow Unicorn. During the process we got to meet the lovely ladies behind this genius idea! Read about their new business venture, their aspirations and work life balance… and browse all their cake making kits on our shop.
ParentVille: How did you come up with the idea? Tell us more about your mission.
Kate: It’s always been important to us to at least attempt a homemade cake for our children’s birthdays. Unfortunately, with busy lives getting in the way, we found that most of our attempts to create a masterpiece ended up in a rushed midnight scramble the night before, and usually a good few glasses of wine too!
It might sound daft to those lucky people who are baking inclined, but for the rest of us, baking your child’s birthday cake can prove stressful! From scouring through books and websites for ideas, to ordering edible glitter on our phones during the commute, the process can be very expensive and exhausting before we’ve even put the oven on!
Louise and I would often laugh at our failed attempts at each other’s children’s parties saying there must be an easier way. After yet another Peppa pig baking disaster at my daughter’s third birthday, the Craft & Crumb idea was born. We know plenty of parents in similar situations and with so many positive testimonials now under our belt, we know we’re making a difference!
Louise: Kate & I met through mutual friends who introduced us as we were both pregnant with our first and lived practically a
ound the corner from each other. Little did we know that seven years later following shared holidays, becoming godparents to each other’s children, moving out of London to nearby towns that we’d now be business partners too.
P: What was your biggest challenge when you first started your own business?
Louise: Our greatest challenge has to be navigating the digital explosion that has ocoured since Kate and I had our first children in 2010. In some ways selling on-line has never been easier as the world of e-commerce allows us to sell our products to customers living abroad without even trying to reach an international market. However, the world of SEO, Google analytics, and social media has ensured that every day is a school day!
P: What is your biggest achievement so far?
Louise: We’ve had several achievements and milestones that we’ve been very proud of, one of the first was having our business idea verified by Google Campus when we applied for the sought after ‘Campus for mums’ course and got accepted. The course is an early accelerator course for founders who happen to be parents and has approximately 100 applicants for each place. The learning, networking and peer mentoring that took place on the course, still shapes our business decisions to this day.
P: Who’s your target audience?
Kate: Our customers are mainly busy busy mothers, to whom it’s really important to bake a home-made cake for their child as it means so much more when you’ve made it yourself. Trying to find the right work/life balance is hard at the best of times but even more so when it comes to organising a birthday party….and then trying to find time to make a home-made cake from scratch? By providing everything in one kit, mums can get on with the fun part of baking, decorating and planning the party rather than the trawling the internet for hours sourcing the right sprinkles and forking out for oversized pots of edible glitter when she only needed a touch.
P: What’s been your most successful marketing/PR strategy?
Louise: As a small business, we are still aiming to maximise organic marketing and as we grow we can start investing in more mainstream marketing opportunities. But it’s amazing how far and wide you can reach by working closely with a mummy blogger or two. It takes time to make a relationship with them but it’s actually a really enjoyable experience because through social media you feel like you know these lovely ladies even though you’ve never met them. I even had one offer to visit me and bring me coffee whilst in hospital
l with my daughter earlier this year – amazing! We find collaborating with bloggers and other businesses in the ‘parent-tech’ sphere leads to a direct impact on the number of hits on our website and ultimately sales.
P: How did your career change after having children? How do you maintain your work/life balance?
Kate: Both of us stopped working after having our second child, nursery bills and part time working in London rarely equate. There were a few years where we solely concentrated on looking after the children whilst they were babies and toddlers and this gave us hours of playdates, sleepovers and weekends away in Norfolk to dream up and start working on Craft & Crumb.
Louise: Maintaining a work/life balance has been the greatest challenge to starting up a business whilst being full time mums – but I don’t know anyone for whom this isn’t an on-going battle no matter what job they do. We’re pretty good at juggling a million and one things these days, it’s not always plain sailing but we do our best!
P: What are your favourite week-end family activities?
Louise: We feel very fortunate to live in South West London allowing us to pop into town on the train and have a day on the South Bank on a Saturday whilst using Sunday to take the bikes and scooters onto the Thames tow path/Bushy park/Virginia Water/Box Hill…the list of places on our doorstep is endless!
P: Is there any advice that you would give to a mum or dad who wants to start a business?
Kate: Apply for the Google Campus ‘Campus for mums’ course! And believe in yourself– if you can ‘do’ children you can do anything.
P: What are your future plans?
Kate: We have lots in the pipeline in 2017, we are currently designing ‘decorating only’ kits for people who want beautiful looking cakes but feel our kits don’t suit their needs as they have particular allergies or food preferences. Our ‘decorating only’ kits will allow them to have beautiful cakes too.
We are also launching a subscription baking box allowing children to bake with their parents on a regular basis – we have loads of cute simple fun recipes in mind to make baking a really fun experience and an opportunity for quality time together. We’ve had people show interest in such a product whether it be as a birthday gift for someone special, for grandparents to have a fun activity tucked up their sleeve for when the grandkids come around or even just as a rainy day activity with their own kids.
P: Your funniest parenting moment?
Louise: Last week my 2 year old son licked the top of a tabasco bottle – shouldn’t have been funny but it was!!