Meet Louise Duggan or “Baker Girl Lou” as she’s known. She’s turned her love of parties and the all-important cake into a fun and successful business venture. Here’s how…
What is your business/work background before Cake 2 the Rescue?
Would you believe I was actually an interior designer and prior to that a manufacturing engineer! You wouldn’t think that would be an ideal knowledge base for a DIY Cake Kit designer would you? But actually it’s perfect. I’m artistic, practical, methodical. But the best thing is I have limited baking skills, so if I can make it so can you!
Tell us about how the idea for Cake 2 the Rescue originally came about and when the business began?
Five years ago we were actually working on a ‘party-in-a-box’ concept and thought it would be great to add a cake kit to the party pack. We workshopped the two products with a group of mums on the coast and they just loved the DIY cake kit concept. So we left the party box idea on the shelf and focussed all our attention on developing Cake 2 The Rescue.
What does an average day look like for you?
As any mum of three knows, there is no such thing as an average day! Normally I’m up at 6.30am to get the kids ready for school and go for a run. Mornings are spent processing orders and stocking up the warehouse. After lunch the real work begins: emails, social media, marketing, accounts and business planning. From school pick-up to 9pm is family time and then I do the email, social media thing again before I hit bed around 11pm. Maintaining discipline with flexibility is key to running your own business.
Which of your cake kits have proven the most popular over time for boys and for girls?
It’s funny, no matter how many different TV characters and trends pop in and out of fashion the reality is that some things never change. Boys will always love diggers and fire engines and girls will always love unicorns and princesses. Everyone loves Dino Bob.
Why do you think your cake kits have been so popular?
There’s nothing quite like a homemade birthday cake. Everyone loves the idea of making their loved ones birthday cakes, but we are all so busy and often too intimidated by the thought of it. Knowing that you can have a DIY Cake Kit delivered to your door with everything you need, created by a non-baker for non-bakers, is like a little gift from heaven! Hero status for minimal stress and it tastes so good too. It’s a no-brainer really!
Have you had any curly/unusual requests for specific cake designs?
You have no idea!! We have more than 200 designs in the range but I receive special requests every week. Some are easy and fun – I made the cutest “angry cassowary” kit last month. The trickiest kit requests are parents who email pictures of three-tiered masterpieces they want to create. The email usually ends with “Any help would be appreciated as I am not a baker and have never made a cake before” – LOL! I usually call them directly myself and gently persuade them into a more simple design that will not leave them in tears the night before the party.
What do you absolutely love about self-employment and your business? And what do you dislike?
As a parent, I love the flexibility to be able to attend my girls’ school events, provide them with Saturday jobs and sneak out for lunch with my hubby. As a business woman, I love knowing that I have created something and put it out into the world, that I am directly responsible for helping more than 18,000 families bake their kids birthday cakes and that I am in control of the future direction of the company and my role within it. I hate that I’m terrible at setting boundaries so I spend too much time on my phone at inappropriate hours. I’m also way too emotionally invested in every little thing that doesn’t go to plan.
What business/life tips do you have for other mums who are juggling kids, motherhood and running a thriving business?
Write your big list of jobs at the start of the week and then only allocate two or three to each day. There’s nothing more soul destroying than feeling like you never finished your jobs for the day. When it comes to juggling, I’d say be present in the moment. When you are at work, stay focused and don’t be distracted. But more importantly, when you are with your family, give them your full attention. Combine both aspects 24/7 and inevitably, both suffer.