1. What is the name of your shop or business and what do you sell?
Baked Bouquets - custom sugar cookies and cookie bouquets.
We also do ginger bread and ginger snaps at Christmas time.
2. Where are you located? or where do you sell?
We don't have a physical store for clients to visit. We do most of our networking through a couple large Facebook groups where local business's support each other and people can post when they are in need of something.
We have our website bakedbouquets.ca and utilize other social media tools such as Instagram and Twitter to communicate with potential clients.
Our kitchen is just South of Aylmer, On
3. Do you have your own website/store or online link?
Yes, we have a website: bakedbouquets.ca and a Facebook link: https://m.facebook.com/BakedBouquetsCanada/
4. How long have you been doing your craft/art and how did you get started?
I started making sugar cookies with royal icing from a very young age with my mom. We used to make them on Christmas Eve for Santa and they looked nothing like they do today. As years went on we tried Halloween and Easter themes for friends and family, but it wasn't until after University that I decided to make it a business.
It was a friends birthday and I decided to make some flower cookies for a ladies night we were having. After the flowers were done I had the idea to use icing to adhere them to sticks in order to build my friend an edible bouquet. It was a hit! Peoples comments and reactions encouraged me to move forward and give it a go. It's been a couple years since then and full time jobs had made it tough to juggle a business and personal life. Now I have moved away from working for someone else full time and have put all my focus into my business.
5. Who or what inspires you to create?
My Mom overall is a big inspiration. When our team hits a creative wall, she breaks us through. As a professor of interior design, she is a trusted adviser when is comes to creative execution.
My friends and family inspire me as well. Either with their encouragement or crazy cookie ideas; you should see what my gingerbread house challenge is this year!
6. Do you listen to music when you work, and if so what kind?
We often have music going in the kitchen or the TV we put in for late nights. For music we listen to upbeat pop that's on the radio for the most part. Sometimes there's the odd Disney dance off. If the TV is on its tuned to a show we've seen a million times, like Friends, so there's no need to look up from our work to see what's going on.
7. What do you like least/most about your craft?
Least: Flour, it gets everywhere and a pain to clean up.
Most: Seeing your/your client's vision come to life and the saturation that comes with their awesome reactions.
8. Describe your workspace?
Very clean and simple. I don't like clutter and keep things clean is important. We always clean as we go because there's nothing more annoying than a sink full of dishes when you finish a job at 3 am.
We have big windows to see out into the country and have natural light and bright colours all over the kitchen.
9. What is one of your best moments as a crafter/artist?
For me, one of my favourite moments is when I put the finally touches on a project and it comes to life. (For example, the twinkle in a character's eyes). I also love the happy shock people have when their vision looks better than the expected. And last but not least is the kids jumping and screaming with excitement when they see them - I'm a sucker for the kiddies.
10. What advice would you give to anyone thinking about starting their own craft business?
1st - You need to be willing to invest a lot of time in order to make it something viable. There should be days we feel like you've worked dawn to dusk or you're not working hard enough.
2nd - Research what marketing would work for your product and consistently use it to stay in the eyes of your customer. With social media being a huge player in marketing, it is also important to research each platforms free marketing tools/statistical analysis. Some age groups do not use certain platforms and the times of day you post can make an impact to your engagement. What good is having an awesome product if no one knows about it.
Also do all you can to avoid paying for marketing. If is possible to grow quite large without spending a dime!
3rd - Get out there and make connections. Don't be shy to chat up other people in the crafting world. There are lots of vender shows to get involved with and most are very reasonable when it comes to renting space.
Also, use your connections and team up. For example; If you sell invitations, team up with party planners, wedding venues or anyone else that could recommend you their customers.