March 28, 2010

It's my job to make it NOT feel like a job.

Do you ever wonder what goes through my mind when i make cakes?
Sometimes till wee hours in the night..what am I thinking about? How do I stay awake? Haha well.. mom always has this sarcastic idea of propping my eyelids up with a pair of matchsticks! sounds painful! hahaha but always an option mom; "Noted with thanks".

Everyone's favourite question for me after a long absence to my store is; "So how's work?"
Facepaint and extra colourful clothing doesn't seem to hide the fact that I am in desperate need of a break. I always respond with an enthusiastic chirp "Great! I'm busy but it's good!"
Then..the question that comes after usually would be; "So you do all the cakes yourself still?" haha; well NO! of course not! I'm an exceptionally dedicated worker; but i'm not monster-workaholic-superwoman! haha I've got a team of happy cake elves who help me bring everything together. In order to realise more and more of my cake creations and ideas, I've been working with them to carry through our daily and weekly masterpieces. With them learning to do more and more each day; I've got time to free more of my energy to bring fun additions to our Delectable brand and make more Designer projects each week! It's just amazing to see how much we now can handle in comparison to months before. I'm so proud of us. From 1-2 projects; i can now cover 3-4! I was shocked to see how much quicker and better I work myself personally as well. I guess it all comes with loads of practice and getting more acquainted to working with delicate sugar in our climate.

These couple of weeks of cakes had me tangled in knots. I've been working till late most nights; focused on coming up with better concepts and making sugar pieces for hand moulded cake decorations. There was so much to do; to paint; to sculpt, cover.. stack.. *phew* I would often wake up wayy past 10am! My elves get to work at 7; and they get things done and pull my weight where they can for our daily items to get on shelves on time. It's nice to understand that they've gotta work twice as hard and quick when i've got my attention focused on our weekend designer cakes.

Hiring good people really is a task and a half. Most of them come to us with an ulterior motif. And honestly; i'm cool with it! I just need them to me honest and upfront about it. I understand very clearly from being in this business and speaking to those who've been around for decades... it isn't the recipe that places you above the crowd; it is a very very important secret and factor to the success of any F+B outlet; but it isn't the only one that can guarantee success.
Though what we do in the store and production is pretty repetitive and frustrating at peak periods; I as 'Boss elf' always try my very best to show the girls it isn't work that feels like the WORK we're used to. I've got days myself where i find my brain pep-talking my tired arms and fingers to remember to be creative and to see the job as a fun task i've always enjoyed.
Giving pep-talks has never been my kinda thing; i'm such a straight forward person; none of my sulking, heartbroken girlfriends came to me for comforting hugs; haha i'd make them cry even more with the honest truth! But since i've learnt to work with others as a team; and they look to me as superior figure; it's quiet amazing how the little things i often forgot to mention made a difference in their day. I'm still not a master at this; haha but i'm working on being better. By first practicing on myself! :P

Disciplining and inspiring someone is a walk in the park compared to carrying out things you tell yourself! Oh damn.. I sometimes feel so corny making positive mental images to create happy places for my brain to bask in! hahaha but it helps! Seriously! Butterflies; cute little bunnies and fluffy clouds! No kidding! hehe
Anyone out there got any more for me? What's keeps your choo choo chugging through those tough times?


LAQuinlan said...

Your decorating and cake making are really inspirational and I'm pleased that you can say that you keep yourself going like that - as I use similar techniques!

Jasara said...

Those of us with the passion for pastry all seem to be driven by the same. I love every aspect of it and I love to learn and teach myself. Also, the challange that comes with it is rewarding as well. Awesome blog and cakes and Im happy to see someone who specialized in the culinary field succeed so well!


Sometimes it could feel like such a tedious process when the new ain't coming through to you. Sometimes even motivation is hard to find. Those of us with interest in the creative business always need to remain steadfast. The art is always there, we just need to see it, when our vision is clear.

To be honest, everytime when things start to feel a little down, I make no regret to visit your webpage. I admire your commitment towards what you do. I am absolutely in awe everytime. So I can only imagine how crazy I'd be if I visit your shop in person. Keep it up!

Su-Yin -D├ęcorateur said...

hi all :)
thanks for the comments. haha i read my post again and was like... omg... how NEGATIVE is this. hahhaaha i must have had a real 'emo' moment >.<

thanks for the inspiring words though :)
much love!