If you had told me three years ago I would be the proud owner of a cake stand company I would have thought you were crazy. I always loved the idea of having my own business and creating a product that people would actually want to buy but wedding cake stands? Nope, never would have thought that would be it. You see, I was on the acting path pursuing my dream of being in films when, BAM!, I met my now husband, Aaron, and my world changed completely. It happens that way, doesn't it?
After an eight month courtship, we got got engaged and later married in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It was a dream wedding for me with fifty of our closest friends and family all together in a house on the beach for the weekend. The one item we could not find for our big day was, you guessed it, a cake stand. All the cake stands we found were too small or out-dated looking. It was beyond frustrating. Could it really be that hard to find a large cake stand? In the end, with the help of my mother in law, I hodge-podged a cake stand together using a pizza plate glued to a smaller ceramic cake stand. The cake was made by Marsha at Great Cakes! and it was amazingly delicious. The whole presentation, on the other hand, was passable but not really what I would have liked.
After the wedding, Aaron and I spent a year living in the Outer Banks and it was during this time that I came up with the idea of creating my own cake stand. You see, I couldn't let the idea go. I just knew I could make a modern pedestal cake stand that would be big enough for wedding cakes. I pitched the idea to Aaron and he was completely supportive. A few years earlier, I had worked as an apprentice for a woodworker so my first thought was to make the cake stand out of wood. After sketching out the design, and a few failed attempts at building it, Aaron and I produced our very first cake stands.
Next, I opened a shop on Etsy and held my breath waiting to see if anyone would buy it. Not even a week later, we had our very first sale! From then on, everything just snowballed. Sales came in from all over the country, national magazines started using our cake stands in their photo shoots and, most importantly, customers loved the cake stands. Over the next couple of years, production became too much for me on my own so we outgrew my garage turned workshop. We also stepped it up and transitioned from Etsy to our own official website.
It has been a crazy, wonderful ride growing a small business. Nothing in the world beats being your own boss. Not that it is all roses and sunshine. There's always an endless list of new things I have to learn, like time management, website administration and, even worse, accounting. But these pale in comparison when I get to exercise my design skills or when I see a cake photo from a happy customer. It is such a thrill to see our cake stands out in the world adding a little something special to an important day.
As I look back, I am amazed how one small idea can turn into a full-time passion. And, while I know that small idea was an important one, it is not what really got this business going. Doubt, fear, and my own insecurities all could have derailed me. But it was Aaron who gave me the push and has always been my biggest fan. Without him , none of this would have happened and I cannot tell you how grateful I am to him for believing in me.
I also had my friends and family hollering from the sidelines with constant support. They listened to our business dilemmas, commented on Facebook when we had no fans, and even bought our cake stands to proudly display in their homes (yes, I gave them a discount!). One longtime friend, Derek, joined in to become a partner in the business and that is one of the best decisions we have made to date. And, the biggest surprise? I have this new family of cake stand lovers from around the globe. The support and feedback I have received from them has been amazing and it is what drives me to do my best.
To all of you, I say a big, heartfelt thank you (and add in a virtual hug). You have helped me every step of the way. I cannot wait to see where this ride will take me as I expand the business and design more cake stands so stay tuned...and, let's keep spreading the cake stand love!
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