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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Things Are Piling Up Around Here!

bowls & cupcakes, originally uploaded by Flying Time Designs.

I have some bowls. I like them. I piled them up and took a picture. I made some cupcakes. They turned out ok.

–Nuff said?

Well, it's summer and it's hot, and I just can't seem to think right now (let alone write) but for the sake of all my adoring fans I'll try. : ) ( yes, I'm being sarcastic)

Business Planning…

As far as the business planning goes, I'm in "wait and see what happens" mode for right now. The kitchen space I was interested in is not yet available and as discussed in my last post the response to my things at Art in the Park was mixed. I think everyone liked both the taste and appearance of my cookies and cupcakes, but I'm not sure they're willing to pay what I have to charge. On top of that, our Starbucks is closing (yes, we only have one, unless you count the one in Target). I've always said that people would pay more for my cookies and cupcakes (verses the Walmart bakery) for the same reason they would buy coffee at Starbucks instead of McDonalds. –They're just fancier/better. And I've reasoned that if my town could support a Starbucks then it could probably support a business like mine. Well, now I'm not sure what to think! I know budgets are pretty tight these days. Anyway, I'm not giving up, just cooling my jets a bit. I'm still trying to make some connections in the community and get the word out about what I do.


Ages ago I asked some very nice bakers if they would be willing to let me interview them. That was so long ago that I'm sure by now they've given up on me. In an earlier post, I said that I would try to get those interviews done this month. YIKES! This month is almost over. Here's my dilema… If I just e-mail some questions to these ladies and they e-mail me back with their answers… well…there's no back and forth…it might seem kinda cheesy and boring. I want this to be more conversational. So…I've drug my feet, trying to come up with the best format for this (it's harder than I thought!). Maybe, I should try calling them on Skype, record the call, turn it into a podcast and post it somewhere. Huh…I'm not a journalist, I don't really know how to conduct an interview and I know even less about podcasting, plus I really don't have the time or money required. But… it might be fun! Having a podcast that gives me an excuse to call up bakery owners and cupcake bloggers and just chat sounds great. Plus, I haven't been able to find any podcasts like this on iTunes or anywhere so I might be able to fill my own little niche. Hmmmm… me and my big ideas. Anybody know anything about podcasting? What do you think?


I haven't promoted my etsy shop for a while, so I thought I would show you some of the "cool" things I have listed now. I keep adding new things and I'm working on some new cupcake toppers so stop by from time to time to see what I've got.


I function best when things are structured and organized. (Although, I am getting better at flying by the seat of my pants!) Anyway, I think I can improve the content of this blog by adding a bit of structure and planning. By September, this is the structure I hope to follow each month (altough I may change the order):

Week 1 – I'll share a cookie or cupcake recipe, probably from one of my vintage cookbooks, along with ideas about decorating and presentation.

Week 2 – the interviews or podcasts or whatever I decide to do

Week 3 – I'd like to start a feature called "Baking with My Boy" . I'll drag my son into the kitchen and we'll bake/make something together and share it with you. You know… fun, simple stuff.

Week 4 – Kinda random. I might talk about my business planning or my etsy shop or some fun products I've found. Whatever…

I didn't think I had much to say and look how much I've rambled on! I have to say, it feels good to get all those things that have been piling up in my brain all typed out. I just hope it doesn't sound completely senseless!



Damaris said...

your pictures are so, so, so pretty. I love them! I also want to eat one of your cup cakes right now, for breakfast.

Tracy said...

A cupcake/cookie podcast...oh, I would definitely listen to that! I've no experience with actually doing a podcast though, I'm just a listener ;o) Starting and maintaining a business is hard. I have only an Etsy shop with dreams of a real bricks & mortar shop for someday...just being on Esty is hard. You sound like you have very concrete goals and plans..Keep aiming for that delicious prize! Happy Days ((HUGS))

momof2gr8kids said...

alrighty first.. craft sanity does a podcast of interviews.. majorly fun!! also someone I know opened a cupcake shop in charleston SC.. was going to take a picture of it and then.. my camera of course was not with me.. darn it.. do a google search.. on cupcake in charleston. SC i am sure its there.. you will do well start small.. and see how it goes..

Debbies-English-Treasures said...

Wow, I`m so glad I have found your blog!
Your cupcakes and biscuits look so delicious, I bet that they taste pretty yummy too!
Kisses Kisses

Kitschen Pink said...

Hey honey! WOW! your brain must be positively fizzing with all that running around in it! I think it's inspiring the way you think everything through! Have you considered cupcake parties. You deliver the blank cookies and kit and ideas and either stay to help or not? Or what about advertising your stuff through leaflets to nurseries/ kindergartens? Posh Party Cookies. You could deliver bulk, locally, and save on packaging and it would be a good way to get your name about! Or do a wedding show? Keep your overheads down and find your marketplace. Podcast sounds good as long as we still get to see your lovely pictures too! Those cookies look fantastic! And I'm having major Pyrex envy for that blue bowl! What next for sugar cookie group too? And when are you going to publish your first book?! I'm not joking! You're amazing! t.xx

Heather said...

Emily--You've been given the Brillante Weblog Award! Check out my blog for details. You know how much I love your blog. Congratulations! XO Heather

domd said...

hey emily. i found your site through larkmade.com and love your stuff. for business planning, it might be useful to have a look at these guys: www.biscuiteers.com
i'm not surprised that some people at that business fair reacted to your prices that way - most people don't understand the real cost of things, after a lifetime of buying 'value' things from bigger businesses. soldier on though, there's a growing community of people hungry for authenticity, who understand that you get what you pay for. for now, i'd say just take every opp to make it plain to see what people get for their money. as for your point about starbucks closing - they've done that because they overexpanded, and in doing so stripped all the personality from their stores. people used to like starbucks because it was different and quirky. now it's just another massive chain, with no spark left - so all it can really compete on now is price and product choice, which is why they're suffering a little. there's still room for small businesses with 'soul' to find and grow a customer base, so i think you'll do well. whatever you do, good luck!

Emily said...

Thanks for all the nice comments and advice!
Heather – thank you for the award!
domd – thanks for the encouragement and for the link. I checked out the biscuiteers site. It is very inspiring.

clare Carter said...

Oh how I wish you were in Sydney-your goodies would fly out the door!! Being an Australian ,and enjoying my daily indulgence of great coffee, it upsets me that you leveled yourself with Starbucks.Lots have closed here lately thankgod,because they have just become another Mcdonalds.What you do, is create edible art and people will realise that sooner or later,and pay what you deserve.Pricing things is so hard because most people don't get the work that is involved.I find it with my toys and quilts.The profit margin has got to be decent or how can you live off it?Having said that,I cannot afford to sell my items at wholesale because I hardly make a cent now anyway.You will get there.Talented and passionate-something will happen for you.x

lyndsay said...

hi there! stumbled upon your blog through "blue cupcake." your design style and blog is soooo cute (i love vintage stuff too!), and your cookies and treats are freakin' amazing looking. i think your cookies will be a major hit! i wouldn't compare yourself to starbucks-- there's mcdonalds coffee, starbucks coffee then the beautiful little artisan cafe that is independently owned and operated with artful care. that's you!!! people will definitely pay for the extra special-ness of your service and product. good luck on everything!