Every parent ever: You went to law school so that you can become a baker?!!
Chief Elf of the Cake Realm: I went to law school so that I could earn a living, I became a baker so that I could become me
In my past life, I was a litigator, commercial director, regional counsel, contracts negotiator in fortune 500 companies. That life that had too little room for the people who matter. Because my kids are not clockwork, because they grow, because they will one day no longer run to me to kiss every pain away, because I need to be a better person, and because my success as a person partly depends on me being a better parent. I am the mother of 2 wonderful, rambunctious boys and wife to a good man and a brilliant lawyer.
I am the Chief Worrying Officer, Chief Wound Patcher and Wannabe Life Coach to my two boys.
Used to be the occasional chess partner to my sons until they could thrash me handily even in blindfold.
Still looking for better ways to bring up 2 kids into fine, kind, compassionate, happy, smart, wise young men without psychologically traumatizing them.
Trying to find room to be and often feeling guilty about not being a better Ever Loving Wife to an incredibly supportive other half, my Chief Cheerleading Officer, my sturdiest, unwavering rock in rocky times.
Working on plans to be a more loving and present daughter to parents who despite their odds gave me and my siblings the best lives that they did not have.
Trying to be a better sister to four of the smartest, most incredible people who happen by some divine accident to be genetically linked to me.
Trying though not always succeeding to be a better Business Owner, Opportunity Giver, People Helper.
Working on having less regrets in life.
Working on being better Prioritizer and building genuine relationships. And being just plain Better.
Hoping to be and working towards being a soul deserving of all the Blessings I have received, working on expanding space for friends and other people whom God has blessed upon my life.
Still learning to love and give unconditionally, at all times.
Because life is finite. And we must do what we love.
Ascending Maslow's hierarchy of needs
This cake shop is the result of my switch from corporate to self-employment, from searching for material gratification to emotional fulfilment, from self-serving to self-giving. A little more each day, a little better each time.
I had a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of London, an MBA from Maastricht School of Management and was doing my final thesis for my Master of Laws with the University of Strathclyde.
I wondered for a long time what I could do if I gave up my career in law. Being middle-age has it setbacks, I was not keen on the idea of going back to school to get a degree and starting at the bottom and working my way up. Business seemed like the only option, but I wanted to sell something unique that anyone could afford to buy, didn't require me to get a University degree and experience, and which was the complete opposite of Law.
In my job, I often meet people at their worst...they often came to see me when they were in trouble, or were going to get into trouble, or were going to get into trouble but wanted me to find a way in which they could still do it without getting into trouble. Or people were already very angry, or very sad. It gets to you sometimes. Or maybe all the time. Lawyers were an unnecessary evil, the unappreciated, the unwanted.
What I discovered after much soul searching and reflection, at the other end of the spectrum was Cake. Cake was the happiest thing ever, associated with the happiest moments in everybody's lives. People eat cake at birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, weddings, all sorts of celebrations. Cake was a necessary pleasure, always appreciated, never unwanted. And everyone could afford a cake. I love cakes! It was an easy decision.
It was on the 16 May 2011, when feeling particularly detached and unhappy with the passive and simmering negativity in my life, I looked into the cupboards and decided to bake a cake. My baby, my little 3 year old tod, had just recovered from bronchopneumonia, which developed from a cough to a full blown all-out lung infection. His treatment plan included 9 sorts of medications and the doctor told me either he takes them or he dies. I had ignored the cough because I was busy organizing a regional conference for my company, thinking that he would recover eventually. It was just a little cough.
I had been unhappy and frustrated for some time but could not find any way out of a cushy corporate job that handcuffed me to the work with the intoxicating lure of a fat paycheck. With an inflated salary also comes an amplified sense of self importance and often misplaced priorities. Somehow many of my decisions revolved around preserving, growing that paycheck, that sense of validation that I am as important, as worthy as the money I am paid. I took work calls on my honeymoon, had my laptop at the dinner table daily, and negotiated contracts during family vacations. Being a workaholic was an understatement, I worked til my bones ached and went to sleep at the hour my husband wakes up for work. I was my work. I became a mother I never wanted to be. My baby's illness aggravated my restlessness and made my escape more urgent.
My husband said I shouldn't think of opening a cake shop unless I had a knock-your-socks-off chocolate cake, because everyone loves a good chocolate cake.
So at midnight, 16 May 2011, I wanted to bake a knock-your-socks-off chocolate cake. I looked into my cupboards and my very diligent helper had discarded my Van Houten cocoa powder, which must have been gazillion years old. I looked into our stash of chocolates and there they were - 3 bars of 70% Lindt Dark Chocolate. So I had them melted and stirred into my cake batter and shoved it into the oven. At 2 am the cake was done, and by 3 am it was covered with Lindt ganache and I tried it and my heart skipped a little and I quickly cut a slice for hubs who was still up at that time poring over some cause papers for a Court of Appeal matter the next day. This cake would eventually evolve to become our bestselling Valrhona Chocolate cake. Was it any good? He raised his eyebrows and said Mmmm it was. So I asked him, Can I quit my job now? He said ok. (Gasp! This man surprises me sometimes) Before he could change his mind, I pulled out my laptop, and typed my resignation. It was not as well crafted or as thoughtful as it could have been, but I wanted to send it out before my husband could change his mind. In one month, I was out of a job. No more fat paycheck. That weighed on me but I was so ready for a change that I would rather take nothing than a lot of the same. No more shouting at the kids for walking into my conference calls. Thumping on the table when they screamed to be heard about a broken something just because I needed peace and quiet to review a contract for the umpteenth time.
I was free at last. My third baby, Swich was born.