My name is Elizabeth Solaru, and I bake! I’m living my dream. Becoming the only three-time winner of Wedding TV’s The Great Cake Bake. Going up against some of the best cake makers in the UK and coming out on top has been a very positive experience.
Making cakes has always been a deep seated passion and with the encouragement of friends and family what was simply a hobby has turned into a thriving business.
I have a diverse career background. Firstly, as a Senior Scientist (Microbiology) with the NHS, then as a Business Development Director at a private medical centre. I then became a Headhunter recruiting CEOs, Chairmen and board level directors into the private, public and charity sectors, all the while making cakes on the side.
To be honest, it was something I thought I would do ten years down the line. However, the encouragement of friends and family saw me doing it much earlier than planned. And I’m loving it all the way. The feedback from the viewers was amazing. They all picked up on the fact that on each occasion, I really listened to the client and delivered to their brief.
I am definitely divinely inspired. My family and friends also play a huge part in motivating me, with their unconditional love and support. Wow, that’s like two times I’ve credited my family and friends with my success, so you best believe it. I also have a number of cake heroes some of whom I’ve been very lucky to meet and take classes with. While some clients also bring great ideas to the table, I tend to draw on my love of fashion and nature to keep creating something worthwhile.
You need a powerful, caring network to get anything done as a woman, you know. So, yeah, my family and friends are the wind beneath my feet. Owning a business has its rewards and challenges. For me the scariest part of it all is knowing that the buck stops with me…that my decision as a business owner ultimately affects people, my employees, my team… Every other challenge in business I have been able to handle- and it can be quite daunting; I mean, there was a time I had to transport a 16 layered cake, and it had thousands of hand painted sugared roses on it… talk about stressful! At a point, it had to be tilted in order to be moved- but I would get sleepless nights over how my decision would affect the last person on my team.
I’ve been remarkably blessed and I know that. For me, the greatest reward is a client gushing about my cake, the look on the bride’s face when she sees her cake. Someone once told me that my cupcakes were the prettiest thing at her wedding. That’s huge, that’s deep.
3 LESSONS TO LEARN BEFORE YOU START YOUR BUSINESS
1. Do lots of research into your chosen industry.
2. Think hard about your branding and the kind of clientele you are aiming for
3. Just GO for it.
The biggest thing I’ve learnt, was how to knock on doors and not to fear rejection. It is important not to take rejection personally and realise that there is always an alternative or something better. I also make it my mission to sow seeds of kindness believing that we all reap what we sow.