Co-creator Ventures is a series that will look at some of the great projects, businesses and initiatives that our co-creators have set up by themselves. Next to tell the world a little bit more about what she has been up to is Ravneet Nandhra, from our Summer Project 2013.
Can you explain your business in less than 140 characters?
Simply Rav’s Cupcakes is a small home-run business dedicated to making bespoke cupcakes and cakes for all occasions.
What inspired you to start your own cupcake business?
As a child, I baked lots of cakes with family. A couple of summers ago I started to bake cupcakes, which got an amazing response from friends and family, who would ask me to make them for their friends. That’s when I thought there’s money to be made here! This was a perfect way for me to do what I enjoy and make a bit of money on the side!
What do you wish you had known before you started it?
I would have loved more guidance. It would be great if there was some sort of list to let you know what equipment you’ll need to start off with. Also a list of all the things you need to do to make everything legal and registered would help to get things going properly.
What excites you about what you do?
The fact that there are sooo many different ways to decorate cakes, and I’m still exploring them all. My equipment collection grows all the time with new cutters, moulds, stencils and so on, and I spend hours experimenting!
Has social media helped you in any way with your business?
I started off with a Facebook page which helped to spread the word of the business to family and friends. I’m not a huge twitter user, but hope to use it more in the near future.
How important is it to have a team of people around you in what you do?
I have a lot of support of family who help me with everything from keeping accounts to washing up the dishes when I’m baking! Along with all my friends, they are always there to tell me to keep going and never give up.
What has been a highlight so far for you?
I have highlights all the time. Everyone I make a new decorated batch of cupcakes, I surprise myself with what I can do with a bit of cake and sugar.
What have been some of the hurdles you have had to overcome to get to where you are?
I was really nervous when I got the business registered with the local council. They come and inspect the area where you will be baking and I was really worried that they wouldn’t like the idea that I bake at home in the family kitchen. However, they were fine with this. There were more home-run businesses than I initially thought.
Have you had any training along the way to help you to do what you do?
Up until now, I haven’t taken any professional classes to learn any baking or decorating skills. A lot of what I’ve learnt has been from watching YouTube videos. However I would love to go to some cake decorating classes to learn some more technical skills. The only thing stopping me from doing this at the moment is that classes can be very expensive.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone who’s just starting out?
It always seems difficult and out of reach at the start…but don’t give up! Always have positive people around you, with positive support. When you feel like things aren’t going to well, or you’re not getting anywhere, it’s these people that will get you through.