Looking Back on a Sweet 2019
I’m wondering if resurrecting the blog on the day when everyone declares their resolutions or good intentions for the next year (/decade!!) is a good idea or not. I’ve barely posted on here in the past three years since opening the shop. In fact, I’m almost certain I’m going to have to ask Lauren to remind me how to upload a post. But the last day of 2019 seemed like a good moment for a catch up and review, and while I’m not making it an official resolution (I save those for entry level commitments like ‘floss regularly’ etc.) I’d like to try use this space more – it’s where this whole thing started after all.
It can be easy for me to be hard on myself, focus on the list of things I meant to do with the business this year and the mistakes I made, but I think looking back and seeing all the wonderful things we did and achieved is going to be a nicer way to set us up for a new decade. So although it would be an easier task for me to compile my favourite albums/movies/tv shows of the year here are a few of my 2019 Afternoon Crumbs highlights/things I’m proud of:
I made more wedding cakes than ever this year. It started with a gorgeous white wedding cake the first week we were back last Jan and carried on throughout the year. While I made a few of these for some of my sweetest friends who were getting married, a lot this year were for couples I didn’t directly know. It made me feel really good that I was being trusted by strangers to be a small part of their big day and I loved creating something special for them. Lots more lovely weddings to come in 2020!
A definite highlight was making my Grandpa’s 90th birthday cake this year – and seeing how much he loved it. I also turned 30 in November and I was NOT READY. I had the best time celebrating surrounded by the people I love the most and danced my way in to semi adulthood ;) I made myself this big ol’ cake in keeping with the 70s party theme and it was really fun to play with pattern and design something for myself!
This has been the thing I’ve maybe learnt the most about since starting the shop. While I’m constantly learning about cake making I’m sort of building on existing knowledge whereas product creation has been brand new. Lauren and I have worked really hard to research and produce pieces to sell alongside the baking as an extension of our brand. We’ve been lucky enough to work and build relationships with talented creators like Viktorija to collaborate on these too. I’m VERY excited to grow this part of the business and see where it goes!
Out in the world:
This year more than ever we ventured out of the shop and our comfort zones. We sold at new fairs, spoke at events about our business and I even appeared on BBC Radio Surrey – gaaah!! It was live! Pretty proud that we pushed ourselves out there even if there were a few sweaty palms and on the go till malfunctions! Here’s to getting out there more and meeting lots of new people!
One thing I’m most proud of as a small business is that we continue to support the charities and causes that mean something to us. From selling Rugby World Cup-cakes for Dallagio Rugby Works, Girl Power Cupcakes for the Girl Up Campaign, Poppy Cupcakes for the Royal British Legion and Snowflake cupcakes in December for Crisis we will continue our bake sale approach to charity and with your help support others too.
This is the thing I’ve found the hardest about running a business. I know almost everyone has the same struggles with connectivity and while totally switching off will never be that easy, I’m proud of trying to make small changes to achieve a little balance, like keeping up with my Pilates class once a week as a little exercise in my happy place is a good break for my brain and body.
It’s been nice having a look back on this year (think I’ll save a whole decade review for about 11:30pm tonight after a good few glasses) there’s plenty of other little wins we’ve had along the way this year and sometimes for me these feel like the biggest achievements of all. Whether it’s creating a new flavour that you’ve loved, seeing the face of a kid really excited to pick up their birthday cake or just selling out on a Saturday.
Wishing you all the happiest New Year and an even sweeter 2020 – I’ll try and pop back on here before the next decade…