FK chats to Kath from Melbourne label, The Cupcake Wrapper Co
Can you tell us how The Cupcake Wrapper Co came about?
After a few Friday night wines and after school play dates, we decided there must be a product concept we can run with and turn into a viable business. After I left my full time job, we really pursued it seriously and our cupcake wrapper concept evolved. With four girls between us we had been to a lot of parties and seen a lot of dodgy cupcakes! If you have seen our market stalls or even our product images, you will know we like things to look pretty. We wanted to develop something that could make your party look fabulous without too much taking too time and effort. We have very similar tastes in design so developing our first range evolved fairly quickly.
What are your backgrounds and how did you meet?
I have an extensive background in senior retail management, while Natalie worked in admin & sales prior to starting a family. We met back in 2008 when our daughters started Prep together.
How do you divide up the jobs between you?
Things have fallen into place with the allocation of responsibilities. All the design work we do together. With everything else, as much as we can, we play to our strengths. I do marketing/social media, IT-ish stuff, sales, customer service and the photography. Natalie is our finance guru, admin queen and also does sales and customer service. We really try to share the load. Usually in our weekly Board Meetings (catch up meeting at the local café) we also divvy up the weekly follow up tasks to keep on top of everything. Lucky there are two of us – I don’t know how you’d do it all on your own.
What’s the most exciting part about running your own business?
Definitely seeing where we have come from and what we have achieved in 12 months. It has been a whirlwind! We do still pinch ourselves when a new order comes in or a magazine wants to feature our cupcake wrappers. It has been a massive learning curve for both of us, but one we have really enjoyed – even though there have been a few bumps along the way. There are still heaps of opportunities we can explore with our business so we are both really excited about some prospects for 2011.
We can also work from home and fit the business in around our families, which was our goal all along. Thanks to Twitter & our Facebook page we’ve met so many fantastic people over the last 12 – 18 months. Twitter has opened up a whole new world for us! It has been super exciting to see how these aspects of social media have had such a positive impact on our business.
What do you love most about living in Melbourne & how does your surroundings influence you?
Both of us have been lucky enough to travel to many places, but we both adore Melbourne. It is a city that has the best bits from many cities around the world. In a nutshell, we love the people, the architecture, the attitudes, the coffee, the parks, the festivals, the footy, the op shops, the multiculturalism, the city laneways with their secret spots, the restaurants, even the weather and of course the shopping. Everywhere we go we can be influenced by our surroundings. Just yesterday we were both struck by the façade of the front of a simple apartment building, or the geometric design of the 50’s wrought iron fence. We do find lots of inspiration from our treasure hunts at the local op shops or the Camberwell Market on a Sunday. These gems often find their way into our photo shoots.
You were recently at the Melbourne FK markets for the first time – What did you learn about your experience?
We loved our time at FK in Docklands! How incredible to find so many talented people creating amazing goodies in that dingy old tin shed!! It was such a stark contrast that made it a fantastic event!
With any market preparation is the key for us. From the trial set up, to the stock prep, even working out what we are going to wear each day (sounds silly but its all part of our branding), the VM aspect of the stall is crucial so we spend quite a bit of time fine tuning it. We find the visual, nostalgic elements really appeal to our customers. It was fabulous for us to meet many new customers from another part of Melbourne. Lots of customers had not heard of our product before. But we also had many customers come to FK to specifically see us and either stock up on more product or buy from us for the first time. Interacting & engaging with all our customers is really important too – not only from a product knowledge aspect, but we also just love a chat – even if its to find out what they bought at the stall next door!