It’s a New Year and time to start afresh. So I’ve decided to be better at blogging having not had time to do so for most of 2016.
Speaking of 2016, it was the year of the unexpected for me. So many things that I’d never imagined from global occurrences like BREXIT, Trump winning, celebrities exiting the earth to monumental changes in my career and personal life. In many ways all these signalled a change to life as I knew it charting a course into the great unknown.
One such unexpected change however that I’m grateful for is how I stumbled into becoming a cake topper designer. At the beginning of 2016 I had written down collaboration as one of my Thoughts Paper Scissors goals for the year but I had no idea what form that was going to take.
I did a few paper projects for a couple of people and dedicated some of my time to promoting my 2016 calendar that I had featured in my giveaway but all in all I felt like I was drifting because I hadn’t decided on what major project to pursue that year as I had done in 2015.
Fast forward to June 2016 when I was contacted by a cake maker who is married to a friend of mine. I had admired her from a distance and followed her food blog for a while. She randomly contacted me on that faithful day in June with a request to create a monogram cake topper covered in sprinkles. Always up for a creative challenge I accepted and embarked on a steep learning curve on how to create the topper out of card, foam board and sprinkles. (This post features some of the cake toppers I created subsequently throughout 2016 but never got round to publicising on my social media channels)
All the while I figured it was just another one off project, till I got her feedback – She loved it! We ended up having a long sit down conversation on how we could collaborate on creating cake toppers for her cakes going forward as she was tired of writing messages on cakes. I was set to go on holiday a week later so created a small batch of toppers she could use in my absence.
Whilst I was on holiday, she tagged me on her Instagram posts with the toppers and the public response was amazing! We were both getting enquiries about cake toppers and people started placing orders.
Never in my wildest dreams had I ever anticipated that making cake toppers could be another revenue stream. My client base grew dramatically and I discovered a side of myself I’d never known. My dedication to doing a good job for my clients, improving my technique and meeting deadlines meant I had to sacrifice a lot, especially my sleep which I hardly mess with. I mean who automatically wakes up at 3am without an alarm clock to design and produce cake toppers then go to work at their hectic day job!
Needless to say I was exhausted most of 2016. But as crazy as it was for me, I viewed it as a divine blessing that had come at a most important time. You see I was long frustrated with my day job and the cake toppers were a much needed distraction and reward filled outlet for my creativity. I’d felt unappreciated at my job and the positive feedback I kept getting from my cake toppers filled a much needed void even though I wasn’t making as much money. It was a real confidence boost for me, so when I got the news that I was to be made redundant at the end of November due to downsizing it wasn’t so much of a blow to me as I’d already considered leaving work to face my paper crafts full time.
Even losing my father so unexpectedly mid November strengthened my resolve to forge ahead with a career in paper crafts to honour his memory. He had always been an advocate of me being self employed and using my creative skills to earn money for myself.
I can’t claim to have finally arrived and I know I’ve only just scratched the surface of my dreams and potential. But in all things we’ve been asked to give thanks and I’m grateful for the trials of 2016 that made me stronger and I begin 2017 feeling optimistic that it’s going to be a year of more positive growth and learning by God’s grace.
To me 2016 didn’t make much sense and my career change doesn’t make much sense to some but I know God’s way always confounds the wisdom of men. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength” -(1 Cor 1:25) So right now I’d rather be foolish with God than wise with men.