What was your previous job?
I worked in prop buying in tv then in product design and sourcing mainly for film studios.
What made you decide you wanted to leave your corporate job?
After I had my second child Ollie and went back to work, I found it hard justifying the constant juggle between spending time with my children and wanting to still have a career of my own.
When essentially I was making very little money after I had paid for childcare.
How did you decide what business to set up?
I came up with the idea after numerous failed attempts at making birthday cakes for my children. I always had such fond memories of the ones my mother made me and wanted to do the same.
It always ended up me being completely stressed with last minute scrambles around the shops or ordering random ingredients from my iPad in the middle of the night.
I decided there must be an easier way and with companies like Hello Fresh seeing a huge growth in today’s busy society I set to work to create a similar product for the baking industry.
What was the first step you took once you decided to start the business?
As I was a complete novice baker I really had to start from scratch.
I spent 2 years researching the industry, sourcing products and designing the cakes before we were actually ready to market the product.
I baked a lot of cake, perfected our recipes and sourced the most incredible disposable cake pans!
Photo by Louise Nicholson
Was everyone supportive of your idea?
Yes everyone was very supportive, it definitely helped that there was a lot of cake around. Even if the house was a complete mess at least my family had plenty of cake to try!
Did you have an ‘emergency fund’ to tide you over while you set up your business or did you start it on the side while still at work?
I had a small loan to start up the business from family.
Did you take any courses or qualifications?
No, lots of self taught baking and decorating.
Did you have any particular fears about starting a business and if so how did you get over them?
Only really that I was wasting my time… I spent many years earning no money and a lot of time and energy that I was often worried it would be for nothing.
What was the hardest thing about setting up the business?
Being self motivated and master of all things.
My strengths are definitely in the product design and sourcing side but there is a lot more to it when you run your own business – accounts/ sales/ marketing etc.
I had to force myself to work on these areas.
Lots of baking disasters!
How long did it take before you made enough for an full-time income?
2 years of trading before we were able to take a salary
How do you manage your time?
I luckily have the most amazing business partner now and we run it together.
She bought in to the business a year and a half ago and we are not only still great friends but work very well together. Having a business partner makes the work /life juggle easier as we help each other out.
How do you market your business?
Google adwords, Instagram and recommendations are our biggest means of marketing our kits.
What is your favourite thing about having your own business?
The flexibility, being my own boss and being able to still drop and pick up my kids everyday from school.
I also love working with my business partner who is still one of my best friends – it means that it still stays fun.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to women who want to start a business?
If you have an idea that you feel passionate about and are willing to work really hard then go for it.
I would also recommend doing it with a friend or someone you know who shares the same work ethic as you plus has a skill set that compliments yours.
Having another person involved helps financially and your weaknesses may be their strengths which could help the business succeed.
If you want to find out more about Kate, Craft and Crumb and their birthday baking kits, you can check out the links below.
P.S If you haven’t come up with your business idea yet, I have made a free ‘Business Idea Worksheet’ for you to use.
You can go through the sheet to brainstorm your business ideas and select one to get started with. Click on the link below to get your worksheet.
Get my free worksheet!