The Handpainted Hampers

In early November I decided to embark on a new cakery venture; hampers for Christmas.

When I first started out I was extremely ambitious about what I could manage as I also have a full-time job and now, on the 2nd of January I feel like that two months taught me a lot about what I can ask of myself and my time. But don’t get me wrong, it was a fun lesson to learn!

Initially, I wanted to do basket hampers and have a list of items people could choose to include. However, after talking to a couple of friends for advice, I learnt that often people don’t really know what they want (in a nice way) and that it is easier to have fewer choices. So I went straight to offering only a £25 and a £40 hamper. Both would include a handpainted fruit cake. I think this was my downfall to be honest. Usually I would charge £40 minimum for a handpainted cake and more for a fruit cake as they are more expensive to bake. But my main reason for these prices were due to figures you might be willing to spend on someone for Christmas, these were meant to act as aunty/uncle/grandparent/parent’s gifts and I thought £25 and £40 was a good judgement of this.

The reason I wanted to include a handpainted cake was as it is what drives me apart from other cake bakers/decorators and I really mustn’t lose sight of this, it would have been easy to just do fancy looking festive cupcakes/brownies and gingerbread men but I need to remember my ‘brand’. And by ‘easy’ I mean in the aspect of time (as I only have evenings and weekends).

I think I have decided that in the future I would do smaller ‘cakery bags’ for maybe £15 which would be a cellophane sweetie bag filled with brownie bites. But I will think more about this later, possibly around Easter. As you can tell, it’s very hard to keep my brand in mind!

Anyway, I did enjoy this whole episode in the cakery diaries, but really did push my luck as with Christmas time there is lots of meeting up with friends and family in the lead up and to be honest I am looking forward to not doing hampers in every spare moment now…. But I am looking forward to getting a cake order so I can spend lots of time on one design and not on 14 hampers. (I tried to make all the designs on the hamper fruitcakes different in style)

I’m not sure of my next cakery chapter, but I am hoping it will involve the Squire’s Chocolate crafting course, so I can involve sculptured chocolate in some of my designs………. BUT I MUST REMEMBER MY BRANDING!!! Haha

The cake above was done for my friend Sophie’s mum who owns an allotment (hence the personalised garlic and carrot design!) Sophie is in Australia travelling and ordered a hamper as a surprise for christmas, how sweet! Her mum loved the garlic, it was like a little secret joke.

I decorated the boxes using my wonderful friend Polly’s magazine, WRAP. Check out her work here: http://www.thewrappaper.com/
The tags were also handmade, stitched with a bit of WRAP and brown paper.

I’d love to hear any comments if you have them! x

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2 thoughts on “The Handpainted Hampers

  1. I absolutely loved my hamper and ended up eating everything (except the gingerbread men which Jack took and the brownies that Tom appropriated) and not giving it away as a present (though next year I would order more and give them as gifts). But until I read your blog I don’t think I had given sufficient thought to the amount of work involved. The individual designs were amazing but I think that’s too much work and perhaps you should develop a single signature design and just use that.
    Also I must say the cake was lovely and not too rich and just the best size. Most Christmas cakes are too big for a small family like mine. Thank you so much!

    • Hi Marion! I am so so happy you liked it, and that you actually got to eat some, I thought Jack and Tom might have gobbled it all up!
      I know what you mean about the sizing of fruitcakes for small families, we used to have the same problem, it was left over for ages!
      Thank you for commenting you are really kind, see you soon xx

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