How it all began

Firstly - about me.  My Name is Michelle Derrick & I'm early 30's from New Zealand.  I've recently moved to Melbourne (which I LOVE btw!) with my husband.

MonDelish was born out of a desire to find a career that I loved & enjoyed.  I was working as a paralegal in London at the time, having originally trained & worked as a lawyer in NZ.  I have to be honest, I was starting to feel a little frustrated with day to day London life & I was also feeling unhappy in my role as a paralegal.  I guess you could say that I fell into a career in law.  Having no idea what I wanted to do after High School, I decided to become a family lawyer after my parents separated as I wanted to help other people just as my parents' lawyers had helped them.  It seemed like such a good idea at the time but in hindsight, it was a very bad one!  Part way through my law degree I started to realise that I had made a big mistake but I felt as though I was too far in to back out.  Also there was the small (ahem!) matter of my increasing student loan...

Fast forward 10 years & there I was in my predicament.  I started researching different careers from event management to roles in HR.  Nothing inspired me.  I decided to use a different approach & think way outside the square!  Rather than think very practically about what roles would fit with my degree & work experience, I started thinking about what I enjoyed doing with my time.  Well then it got a lot easier.  I have always loved baking right from when I was a little girl when I would help Mum with her baking.  I have learnt so many skills from her which are like second nature to me now.  My Mum in turn learnt her skills from her Mum.  My Nana is a fantastic baker & continues to bake all sorts of yummy cakes & biscuits for people to enjoy when they stop by for morning or afternoon tea.

I originally toyed with the idea of opening a kitchenware store given how much I love to spend time in them!  But that wouldn't have allowed me to incorporate my love for baking.  My light bulb moment came one day when I was doing some random internet searching & I came across Fair Cake.  A whole new world opened up to me when I realised that they ran classes on 'how to start up your own cupcake business from home'.  As I read on, I discovered that Fair Cake was started by a woman called Shikhita Singh who had been unhappy with her job in the public sector & really wanted to do something different.  She had seen beautifully decorated cakes in the US & saw the potential to do something similar from her home in London.  So she quit her job & set about starting up her own cupcake business from home.  Originally selling cupcakes to people for weddings & special occasions, Shikhita made the switch to running all sorts of cupcake related classes from home which was proving to be a great success.   Well I didn't need to read any further & decided to attend the class.  Best investment I ever made!  Shikhita was an inspiration & was open & friendly to us all - sharing her tips for starting a cupcake business & telling us the valuable lessons she had learnt along the way.  I went home feeling so inspired that day & made the decision to start up my own baking business from home. 

I attended a few more courses at Fair Cake including their summer gardens & vintage cupcake courses.  It wasn't long after that that Fair Cake became so successful (in fact I would describe it as a cupcake empire given their MASSIVE following on Facebook), that they moved into a workshop in Greenwich called Vanilla Workshop.  I was lucky enough to attend a Christmas cookies class there before I left London.  I should say at this point that the workshop is very cool & it had me dreaming of one day opening my own workshop!  Anyway, the class was with guest tutor, Naomi Henderson from Australia's Hello Naomi / cakes cupcakes cookies.  In Fair Cake style it was another fun, inspiring day spent with friendly, like-minded people.  I learnt loads about decorating cookies - something I hadn't had much experience in before.  Hello Naomi is also an inspiration - Naomi was so friendly & such a great teacher.  Her work is absolutely beautiful!

By now I was well & truly engulfed in the baking & cake decorating world.  In my journey of cake enlightenment, I calso ame across Peggy Porschen who has truly amazing talent when it comes to beautifully decorated cakes, cookies & cupcakes.  My husband & I visited her gorgeous cake parlour in London's Belgravia & tasted some of the most divine cupcakes I've ever had!  The moment we stepped inside the parlour we were transported to a magical cake wonderland.  It's full of gorgeous cupcakes, beautiful cakes & sweet treats as well as Peggy's own brand of merchandise.  I have since purchased most of Peggy's books & even met her briefly at a book signing in London's Fortnum & Mason. 

My last year in London was spent practicing the skills I had been taught at the classes I attended, giving baking away to friends, starting a website & Facebook page & researching the logistical ins & outs of starting a baking business from home in Melbourne.  

And so here I am today sitting in my kitchen in Melbourne just starting out on my own cake adventure.  I've completed my food safety supervisor course, registered my kitchen with the Council, opened business bank accounts & have designed my own business cards & postcards (to name but a few things!).  I'm all set.  

It's been a lot of work just getting to this point but I've had so much support from my husband, family & friends that it's made it completely do-able!  I've certainly reached my goal of finally doing something I enjoy.  I have loads of ideas for the future of MonDelish & am loving every minute of it.     

MonDelish - Anemone cupcake



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