Project Embrace, The Look of Love May 18th 2013.

Hi Everybody,

Last Saturday was the launch of Project Embrace, & I was fortunate enough to be invited to showcase my fledgling business

 Cater To Your Senses

This is their description of the project and it’s aims:

“Project Embrace™ challenges the narrow perception of beautiful hair. We inspire girls and young women to love, embrace and celebrate everything about themselves including their own hair and reject the narrow ideals of beautiful hair.
  
To promote the idea that there is more than one way to have beautiful hair, Project Embrace™ will be taking out billboards around London and other UK cities, and featuring black models with Afro textured hair on them.Please feel free to donate to the campaign via their Facebook page.Project Embrace™ will be calling on the UK Government to look into regulating the sale and use of chemical hair relaxers and extensions, by placing an age restriction on their use, with a total ban for their use on children, until the age of 16 for hair extensions and 18 for relaxers.We also organize workshops for young girls and women on how to care for natural hair as well as developing and improving a healthy self image, because we strongly believe that a positive self image leads to high self esteem.

I know we do not need any psychologist telling us this but according to the American Psychological Association, the most important factors to happiness and well-being is self-esteem.”

I totally support this project and so I was delighted to be part of this amazing event. The event took place on 18th May 2013 at the Yaa Asentewaa Arts Centre in Maida Vale, West London.

I was so nervous as this would be the first event at which I had a stall. I had started preparing for the stall weeks in advance by buying items I didn’t already own, such as a very large table cloth, cash box and colour coordinated napkins. I didn’t know how many attendees there would be and I was agonising constantly about how many cupcakes to make, I didn’t want to go home with any cakes left at the end of the day but I didn’t want to sell out too quickly either.

In the end after changing my mind about a billion times I finally decided to make 120 cupcakes. I chose my current best selling flavours : Banoffee (with and without whipped cream),

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Chocolate and Hazelnut &  Chocolate and Cherry,

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Oreo, Vanilla

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Coconut and Lemon & Red Velvet

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My day began at 6am, I woke up,  got ready and fussed and flapped about for an hour or so before my lovely Mummy turned up and we were off for the day. My Mum had volunteered her Saturday to help me and hubby at the event.and Carrot Cake (Gluten-Free) . No Photo sorry.

I was too nervous to even eat breakfast! In fact I was so nervous I dropped two boxes of cakes! Luckily I had stored them in the fridge over night and the decorations had set, so I was able to turn them upright in the boxes with minimal damage.

I had used larger boxes than normal and bought them from a new supplier, unfortunately there were no support ” legs” in the centre of the cardboard divider like there are in my normal boxes, these cardboard legs prevent the dividers from touching the bottom of the box, you need a gap between the divider and the base of the box  so that the cakes are individually sitting snugly in little hole, without that gap the divider is just a flat circle and the cupcakes are not stable which is why all mine toppled over when I dropped the box! I’ve learned my lesson now and will be sticking with my usual supplier.

It was a quick car journey to the venue and Mum and I started setting up the stall, I had printed large photos of some of my other cake creations to display on my stall but my Mum had the Amazeballs idea of putting the photos up in a wall display.

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When I go to other events I am naturally drawn to the cake stalls but I’m always put off by the fact that the cakes are displayed out in the open where anyone can touch them, breathe on them, sneeze on them and so on.

With this in mind I looked high and low for a light and portable display case for my cakes, eventually I found this one  but it still had one open panel at the back. I called the company and asked if they could put a door on the cabinet for me and they confirmed that they could do it and send it to me within a week. I was so happy! I also made sure we had gloves, antibacterial spray, and wipes and lots of other important hygiene tools.

As you know, money is also really dirty so throughout the day once we were set up and when I was serving cakes I used tongs and handed people their cakes in the serviette or a “take away” cupcake pod. I didn’t handle money I left that to hubby and Mummy.

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We wanted to give free samples of my cakes so I set up a covered dish of cupcakes cut up into small pieces. The free samples turned out to be a really good idea, although we did have one lady try every flavour and only buy one cake! Some people are just craven like that…

There were so many fantastic vendors and speakers there on the day and I got to meet some lovely people including the Beautiful Belinda from BeUnique, the gorgeous ladies from Root2Tip, Valley Fontaine and Heather Katsonga-Woodward (and her lovely husband)

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Finally having a little nibble...

Finally having a little nibble…

Putting together an assorted box for Melissa of Bespoke Hairstyles

Putting together an assorted box for Melissa of Bespoke Hairstyles

Akua Wood of Shea Butter Cottage.

Akua Wood of Shea Butter Cottage.

I was lucky enough to have my stall next to the House of Loulee Stall. Hi Lucy!

I was lucky enough to have my stall next to the House of Loulee Stall. Hi Lucy!

Lekia Lée the founder of Project Embrace.  Thank you Lekia! xxx

Lekia Lée the founder of Project Embrace. Thank you Lekia! xxx

It was a fantastic day and at the end of the event we only had 3 cupcakes left.

Take care, thanks for reading

Luv

Sian (The Baker)

Cupcakes for Comic Relief

Friday just gone was Red Nose Day in the UK.

It’s a charity fund raising day,  here’s a link to more information about the charity.

http://www.comicrelief.com/

I enjoy getting involved with charity and doing something rather than only giving money, there’s nothing wrong with donating but I like to give my time as well and try to do volunteer work when I can. In my office we had a “casual Friday” event with a red slant, for a £2.00 donation we could wear casual clothes as long as they were red. I don’t have any bright red clothes so I borrowed my husband’s bright red dress shirt and tie teamed it with black leggings and killer red heels.

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However my main offering was cupcakes, I made three different varieties, Chocolate and Cherry, with natural glace cherries on top to fit in with the red nose theme. I intentionally didn’t ice these ones as I don’t think they need it, they are very moist inside as I use a type of preserved cherry which are preserved in their own natural juice, even after cooking the cherries retain their moisture. Also a lot of people in my office do not like any type of icing.

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The next flavour was coconut and lemon with vanilla butter-cream and fresh lime zest.

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Last but definitely not least was the organic, gluten-free carrot cupcakes, surprisingly these were the first cakes to sell out. Carrot cake is my husband’s favourite but I didn’t know it would be such a popular choice in my office!

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I set up a “trust box” system with a sign explaining the flavours and asking for a suggested donation of £2.00 per cupcake. When I left work at 4pm I had raised £49.00 and some change, it felt good that I could do my little bit for charity and my colleagues really enjoyed them, some people buying more than one cupcake each and taking some home for their loved ones. Friday is a quiet day for my team as most people have Fridays off. All in all it was a nice chilled work day and the office was nice and bright with many people in red.