Updated: Mar 15
In this weekly blog series we aim to highlight fantastic creative people mainly from SE London who we either work with or admire.
This week it's Emete Friddle founder of Friddles Cakes a Peckham based cake business.
1. What led you to start up your business? I was a graphic designer for 20 years and when I became a mother it really changed how I viewed the world and suddenly my career became less important.
I had a good career and reached as high as I could go at that time.
But when I became a mum everything changed.
I tried to be a full time mum but the creative juices in my head were bursting to come out and I just couldn't go to another baby group to discuss nappies.
So I freelanced for eight years. When I had my second son things became even harder and freelance jobs were harder to come by on short term contracts.
In that time my sister announced she was getting married and ran out of money for a wedding cake, so I offered to make her wedding cake.
Now the family did laugh as I could barely cook let alone bake and make a 5 tiered wedding cake.
But within a year I became hooked.
I watched endless YouTube videos went on a few courses and the wedding cake was made.
It went crazy on my Facebook page, so it became a hobby baking for family and friends in between freelancing.
Then I advertised locally and slowly orders started to come in, then I was getting more cake orders then I was getting freelance work.
Then one day I was told off by a creative directer, my ad for a very well know brand was 3mm out.
I remember standing there thinking I have had enough, I handed in my notice there and then and Friddle's cakes was born.
2. What were the biggest obstacles to starting up?
It was getting people to know who I was to get the name Friddle's cakes out there.
I didn't do enough research at the beginning as it was never going to be something I would pursue, it was just a hobby, but when things became more serious I did my market research, sought out my competitors and tried to find a niche in the market.
What were they doing that I could do better, what was my USP?
Finding money is hard, but I'm careful with money, I didn't go crazy and go out and buy everything, I kind of learned on the way, the more I understood baking the more I realised what I needed for the business.
Also when you first start a business you take on any work that comes in, but this does change as you realise what you enjoy doing more of and eliminating what isn't as much fun or what doesn't bring in as much profit.
3. What do you love about your business?
I love that I am the boss.
I love that I can be as creative as I want to be.
I love that I control my hours, although I have never worked so hard.
When working for your self it's never a 9-5 job, I work all hours but what I love is it fits around family really well.
I now do not panic when it is half term or school inset days and stress who will look after the kids so I can work.
I work from home and it's the best thing I ever did.
4. Who would be your dream client
I don't have a dream client, but I would like a well known person to order a cake from me to get the name out there more.
5. Where would you like to take your business ultimately?
I would like a unit and to be able to hire other people to help me grow the business.
6. Where have you received the most support along your journey?
Oh that's easy, it has to be my husband. Without him pushing me when I doubt my self or pick me up when I am at breaking point, honestly he is my rock.
7. Would you consider going back to employment for someone else now?
I'm not going to lie I have been tempted so many times.
Those nights where I am up until 4am, those days where I am so deflated and haven't left my kitchen in days.
But then I look at what I have created, the benefits. they always out way the going back to an office job. The 2 things I miss are office banter and the pay lol.
8. What do you consider the key skills a small business person must have?
Start slow and know your market.
Try different things and see what works well.
Think outside the box and see what others are doing and work out how you can do it better or different.
There is only one you, you are unique so make sure that shines through your work.
9. Have you been influenced by any business books or blogs recently?
Not really, but what does make me happy and what does give me hope is by looking at other peoples journey.
It can be anything from another baker to a stylist to someone who is rediscovering them selves.
10. What would your top tips be to anyone considering starting their own business?
Know your market.
Start slow and do not buy everything until money starts coming in.
Meet new people, just following people on Instagram is not enough.
Go to networking groups.
Don't be afraid to meet your competitor.
Believe in your self worth.
Understand your finances and remember to pay yourself something.
If one idea fails re-think it and try a new angle.
Never give up even on the darkest days.
11. Do you think networking is important for your business?
Absolutely. I wish I had the time to do it more often.
It's great talking to friends and family about what you do but a lot of the time they will not understand what you are feeling and what you have given up.
To go out and meet others just like you is amazing.
Until I went networking I very much felt alone.
It may not be people in the same profession as you but when I went to my first networking event I remember coming away from it like I was on loud 9.
For the first time in a long time I didn't feel alone.
Meeting others on all different journeys really helps and I find that so inspiring.
The funny thing is I have never gone to a networking event expecting anything, but every time I have some amazing happens.
Be it I meet people who want want something from my business or I meet people who inspire me to keep going and everyone will have tips in something you would not have thought about.
Thank you Emete!
Find Friddles Cakes on Social Media here
Don't miss reading more in the 'Have you Met?' series
Interview 18- Maddy Carrick
Interview 17 Anja David
Interview 16 -Bridget Daley
Interview 15 -Karen Arthur
Interview 14 -Rebecca Trowbridge
Interview 13 -Angélina Jandolo
Interview 12 -Kelly Harris
Interview 11 -Sara Dalrymple
Interview 10 -Ciarán O'Fathaigh
Interview 9 -Elizabeth Knights Trench
Interview 8 -Aba Edwards-Idun
Interview 7 -Roxsanne Slatford
Interview 6 -Lara Pearce
Interview 5 -Ashanti Jason
Interview 4- Shannon Reed
Interview 3 -Claire Connor
Interview 2 -Becca Teers
Interview 1 -Cat Bateman
Singing for my Supper
If you enjoyed reading this article and maybe others I've written, found a tip that worked for you or learned something new, it would be great if you'd consider sending me the price of a cup of coffee :) https://www.paypal.me/thanksforreading/2.50
Space at 61 is a venue for hire in Nunhead near Peckham. Often used for childrens parties, workshops, classes, talks, filming and popups you can hire us from £20per hour. The 'Have you Met?' Blog interview concept was created by by Shona Chambers owner of Space at 61 and Shona Chambers Marketing. To read more like this visit www.shonachambersmarketing.co.uk