This project reminds me of my band KAZE. It was something that I was ready to jump into without knowing that I was slowly building a dream for it. I was lucky enough to be doing something already even before I realized that it could be something so awesome. It's brimming with potential! My sisters and I each have our own roles to play in this project -- my sister Katrina took on the main and most important role, the baker, while Ate Tetet who was the first to come up with the business idea is our main manager and accountant and I became the designer and promoter.
My mom played a big role in this too. She is the inspiration.
This whole thing started when Ate Inah began bringing homemade desserts for our Sunday Family Dinners. She started with brownies then ventured into making cupcakes later on. The kids especially loved them and so she experimented with different flavors. The idea for branding came up around October, when my eldest sister Tetet, the party planner that she is, asked Ate Inah to bake some cupcakes for Sofia's 7th birthday. The guests loved her cupcake minis with marshmallow frosting and asked where Ate Tetet ordered them. Ate Tetet launched brainstorming sessions and we finally decided to call our project "Sugar Lily". Sugar, because of course the product caters to your sweet cravings, and Lily is the nickname of our mommy (Araceli).
None of us were pink people and we didn't want the brand to be too girly. No offense to those who love pink, but if my sisters and I have a common denominator, we were more feisty than girly. Anyway, we leaned towards turquoise/sky blue and so I made a logo for it. It was the perfect color choice too, because RM Boxes had turquoise boxes readily available in the market and we wanted the logo to somehow match our boxes. I wanted the logo to be simple yet sophisticated and so I searched fonts online and checked out calligraphic borders that I can use. I came up with multiple samples, but decided on the most simple border.
We also decided on our cupcake flavors and the main factors that came into play were 1.) how well Ate Inah perfected the recipe 2.) Which flavors are the most popular today. In short, ano nga ba ang papatok at ano nga ba ang pinakamasarap na gawa ni Ate? So far, we have 5 flavors: Chocolate, Red Velvet, Vanilla, Carrot and Banana chocolate chip. The last one is a personal favorite and also my mom's favorite. Our mom isn't a fan of frosting, and the banana chocolate chip is soooooo good you don't need frosting for it at all. I was also especially fond of my sister's signature rose frosting. It's so pretty I can look at the cupcakes all day. I am used to all the prettiness now, so I am not afraid to sink my teeth into the yuminess. I heard a lot of feedback from friends that they didn't want to eat the cupcakes because they were too pretty! Haha
Facebook was our main medium for promoting our cupcakes, and so I created a page for Sugar Lily. Friends and acquaintances liked the page instantly but I was suprised that a lot of them translated to actual orders! We got orders everyday and because my sisters and I had day jobs (Ate Inah and I were I.T. Professionals, while Ate Tetet is in the Insurance/Life Pension industry) we only work on the cupcakes after office hours. This is what Ate Tetet dubbed as Birth Pains because we would be working on orders till the wee hours of the morning and it wasn't fun sometimes. We developed a certain system and we already logged our orders via excel to keep track of orders! I suddenly realized how hard it is to start a business, but at the same time, I felt so fulfilled knowing that I was working something I could call my own with my family. I am especially proud of Ate Inah, who is so dedicated with her craft. I had other extracurriculars, like the band and sports, while Ate Tetet is a working mom. I am so happy Ate Inah got into baking because it's something that she is absolutely awesome at and it was something that she really loved to do. I call this our project, not a business, because calling it a business makes it sound so official and so serious. We wanna have fun with it and see how far this could take us. But in reality it really is a business, and I am so excited with the many things that my sisters and I could do together. We're no Katherine or Sophia of DC cupcakes, and we're still really very very small. We're babies. But hey, who knows where this could lead to, right?
Planning for 2013 is on the way. My goal for the next quarter is for us to get a bigger mixer and a bigger oven!