Exhibitors Spotlight - Unique Cakes by Yevnig
We had a fantastic day at The Nostalgic Wedding Fair on June 8th. It was by far our most successful and enjoyable wedding event. The day was filled with many talented wedding businesses eager to show off their latest work.
As you can imagine preparing cakes is one of the most time consuming component for a wedding. From baking, icing to the finishing touches - they have to look perfect. To good to eat in fact. Yevnig is certainly one of those individual which has a flair and creative fingers for creating wedding cakes. She runs Unique Cakes, I am sure she must have some elves working for her as she had a variety of flavoured cakes, from Guinness Chocolate to Carrot Cake.
We caught up with the lovely Yevnig this week, found out it is in her blood to be a creative baker and where she hopes to take her business in the future.
How did you come up with your business idea?
I have always held a passion for art. From an early age I loved to sketch, design pretty clothes, designed fantasy cakes and generally enjoyed to explore imaginative ideas. I guess it’s a kind of family tradition for us. My Grandmother, in her own way, was also quite artistic. She was always in the kitchen, making pastries and creating wonderfully intricate (and very delicious) Mediterranean cakes & delights. Those recollections will stick in my mind forever, and I’m sure they have played a part in my exploration of sweets, cakes and the development of my own Unique style.
The seeds of my business idea came about on my sons 1st Birthday. I decided to make him a special cake and I let my imagination run loose. It was a rather unorthodox cake, but very playful with loads of colour, shapes and interesting ‘things’ for him to see, feel and eat. My guests seemed more-enthralled with the cake than my Son however & I received a lot of compliments & interest in the cake. Almost immediately, friends & family started to ask me to do their children’s’ party cakes. That led to other occasion cakes, and with each cake I explored more & more. It wasn’t long before I discovered where my heart really lay, and that was in creating bespoke, hand-crafted Wedding Cakes. It’s snowballed from there.
What’s the best thing about working for yourself?
The best thing about working for myself is that it allows me to take a greater control over my work-life balance, especially as I have 2 young children. Of course, there are occasions when work demands more than usual, and sometimes I have to do a few late hours, or work a weekend due to a large commission. But during at those times, my husband’s a real rock, helping me out where he can (usually washing up!) and even my eldest son has been known to help (at least he tries to help out, as chief tester of my chocolate work!). Then it feels like my cake work is a real family-affair for us, and it beats a 9-5 and a boring routine any day!
What tune do you put on to get you ready for the day?
I’m 80’s girl so anything from that era is always to my taste. Annie Lennox is amazing, and I have most of her stuff from the Eurythmics through to her later work. Having said that, I really love The Beatles too and admire the honesty of their songs. Sgt Pepper has become a favourite work-along soundtrack in my kitchen, although at only 40 minutes start to finish, I wish it was longer as often I haven’t finished one sugar-rose, before the album’s over!
What do you most love about weddings?
It’s simple; I’m a sucker for Weddings. From being a young girl, I dreamt about my own wedding and absolutely adored the whole process of when I finally got married myself. The cake is such an important centrepiece for someone’s special day, the excitement of planning and designing it, is a true honour. It’s a lovely feeling when a bride approaches you and, having seen your other work, wants you to be part of her big day too.
If you could invite any person, who would you invite as your plus one to a wedding?
My husband every time! He has a very level head. As a Project Manager by trade, he always sees a logical and clear way through any situation. When I’m going to weddings, to deliver & set up my cakes, he is great backup and support to me.
Who do you admire most in the industry?
My idol has always been Faye Cahill in Australia. I think the Australians make some absolutely amazing cakes, and I can’t wait to go there some day and meet those who I admire! I learnt a lot from Faye, and feel aspects of her design style and her attitude to the industry is rather close to mine. Of course I have a lot of respect and love for the traditional British designers, who have led the way in cake-quality for so-many years. That said, I know some American cake designers who produce some stunning work too. It’s hard to single out one person, but Faye is quite special.
If you were not doing this job, what would you be doing?
I think I would still enjoy baking or cooking at home, but perhaps I’d be using my artistic streak in some other way, such as painting or interior design.
English wedding or go abroad?
Whilst there are some gorgeous wedding venues around the World, here in UK we have some truly outstanding places & tastes of elegance too. Whether it is a classical manor-house wedding, a beach or barn wedding or even a traditional and fabulous nostalgic wedding; with such an array of fine English suppliers, I would say English every time!
DJ or band?
I like both, to be honest. I guess I do love listening to live performance though, so maybe having a good, rocking band who get the audience going and dancing all the night, is more to my taste.
Wedding Cake or Wedding Cocktails?
Why not have both! These days, favours, cocktails, sweet tables and other goodies are all the fashion. I say have the lot and enjoy it!
What one piece of advice would you give to a bride on her wedding day?
No matter what happens, always try to enjoy your big day. It’s easy to get anxious, but stressing over things eats your precious time. Your wedding day is a once in a lifetime event, so don’t stress through it. Let people do things for you, and just sit back and soak up your magical day.
Any exciting news you can share with us?
I am considering branching out to VIP international customers after few very interesting approaches recently. Also, I will be launching a range of intimate cake-decoration classes soon! So watch this space, as they say!
If you could ask your future self one question what would it be?
What’s next for UNIQUE CAKES, by Yevnig?
Small DIY or Big Budget wedding?
If you have a millionaire’s bank balance, then why not go all-out on a big-budget wedding. For the rest of us, I would highly recommend people take a more realistic, hybrid approach to their wedding and ‘pick and mix’ the best parts, from a range of trusted suppliers.
Do your market research and set your budgets early (a year or more in advance). Remember, you don’t have to a massive bank balance to have a great wedding, and there are many aspects where managing it yourself can be rather rewarding and work well (as long as you start working on your ideas well in advance). But don’t try and take on too much yourself!
I believe there is an outstanding range of wedding suppliers out there, each offering something wonderful and individual that will make your big day even more special and memorable. Generally, those of us working in the wedding industry are in it because, like me, we love weddings and get pleasure in enhancing your big day. Be honest with your suppliers, and be prepared to discuss realistic budgets up-front. Quality and peace-of-mind is not going to be dirt-cheap of course, but neither does it need to cost the earth.
Choose your suppliers wisely. Don’t go on price alone. Go meet them, form a relationship with them, and you’ll reap the rewards… just make sure you organise your wedding so that you get to enjoy your big day; whilst letting the professionals take care of all the details for you!
Photographs by Ash Darling.
20 June 2014
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