Interview: Cake Sisters
Elta and Maya run an independent company called Cake Sisters. They create bespoke buttercream cakes, including gluten and dairy free. I was lucky enough to interview the Cake Sisters about their work and what they are currently up to.
Hello! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. How are you?
We're great thanks.
I adore your cake business. What made you decide to set up your own business?
Maya - I left my career in the TV and Film industry in London and returned to my hometown of Bristol when I became pregnant. I wanted to continue working, but needed something that I could fit around my daughter.
Elta - I'm actually a registered nurse but only work part time as I am also a mum of 2 young girls. When Maya came back to Bristol, it was the perfect opportunity to work together. We've both always been creative and have a passion for cakes and sweet treats so 'Cake Sisters' seemed like a great way to combine the two!
How has your creative process changed since the start?
We started off doing a few local food markets and always had a certain 'look' on our stall - which included a vintage table and beautiful vintage plates and cake stands. As we got more bespoke orders for celebration and wedding cakes, we developed more of a style which has been influenced mainly by the recent drip cake craze.
How did you manage to learn and hone your craft?
We are completely self-taught but use the internet to develop techniques and skills. You Tube and Instagram are great for this.
Have you always been into baking and cooking?
Elta - Yes we have always loved baking and cooking. Even before Cake Sisters was born, it was really important to me to bake my girls birthday cakes. That's definitely where my love for cake decorating grew - i'd spend the whole day before their birthday parties making their special cakes - a 3D Peppa Pig cake or a tiered Frozen number!
What equipment do you use for your work?
A good cake turntable, side scraper and pallet knife are needed for every cake.
What tools or materials could you not live without?
We definitely can't live without our trusted stand mixers!
Why has social media been an important platform for you to use?
It's been invaluable to us as it allows us to show our customers/followers directly what we've been up to. I don't think we'd have the amount of orders that we do if it wasn't for Instagram and Facebook. It's great to be able to make a cake we're proud of and have it shared on social media, it creates a good buzz and helps us reach new customers.
Who inspires your work?
We're constantly inspired by other cake decorators that we come across on Instagram - Ivy and Stone Cake Design, Necter & Stone and Blonde Baking Mama are our favs! However, we also love exploring sweet shops for inspiration on decorations or wandering down the baking aisle in Hobbycraft for new tools so we can try out new techniques.
Do you have any favourite recipes that you adore at the moment?
A good old chocolate cake - rich and moist, which is a really popular one of ours. We've stumbled upon an Earl grey cake recipe which we are testing at the moment.
What do we hope to see in this up and coming year for your Instagram page and your work?
We get lots of requests for themed cakes which requires lots of fondant work. This is great and can be lots of fun, but to be honest, we'd rather take a step back from the fondant work and concentrate on refining our style and producing more unique, creative designs.
What are you currently working on?
We've got lots of celebration cake orders coming up - christenings and birthdays.
What has been your favourite cake to make?
We have loved the unicorn cake trend so really enjoyed creating some beautiful unicorns!
How do you go about baking your cakes?
Elta - Working together means we can utilise our different strengths. I am a crazy perfectionist and can get a bit obsessed with tiny details, in contrast Maya is definitely more relaxed and free in her creativity. This works well as we balance we each other out!
Do you follow recipes for your cakes or adapt them?
A bit of both. We don't claim to have created any of the recipes for our cakes.
What’s your typical working day?
This depends on if it’s a school day or a weekend as we have to work around our girls. Also depends on what kind of cake we are working on. Most celebration cakes get collected but if it’s a wedding cake, this can mean delivering the cake. So there isn't really a typical day as every day is different.
Do you have any exciting plans for this year?
Maya - well I've been busy baking something special - my second baby! So i'm going to be kept busy with nappies! but Elta will be keeping things going until i'm back from maternity leave and we can continue developing the business.
What is your career plan with your cake business?
We'd like to continue developing our position on the wedding cake scene as we have an alternative style unlike the traditional wedding cake.
What’s been the biggest struggle in getting your business off the ground?
There hasn't been any great struggles yet - the main thing is just trying to juggle the business alongside other jobs and our children. It just means we have to be super organised.
Do you think you would ever set up a blog for cake recipes and cooking?
Possibly in the future! Never say never!
Do you have any advice for anyone starting their own business?
Sounds like a cliche but don't give up on your goals and keep going.
What's the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Some of the most interesting, creative work we’ve done in the past has been born from something not going to plan. It forces you to think on your feet and make the best of a situation by thinking outside the box. And it’s more liberating to think mistakes don’t matter, it’s all part of the creative process.
You can find their work on Facebook 'https://www.facebook.com/CakeSistersBristol/' and Instagram 'https://www.instagram.com/cakesistersbristol/'. They have some amazing cakes on their social media accounts.