Are you networking on twitter? You should! We meet the greatest people (from all over the world) online and Christina is no exception! Fun girl and fun business!
Name: Christina Patterson
Education: Graphic Design Diploma from Fanshawe College (London, Ontario)
I used to be in graphic design, but quickly realized that I didn’t want to spend my life making brochures and mocking up websites. It was at that point in 2004 that I started my Custom Cake Topper business.
What you wanted to be when you grew up: I always wanted to be an Artist.
What you are: I am the Owner/CEO of www.idocaketoppers.com,
Since 2004 I Do Cake Toppers has been making quality sculptures for clients world wide, including celebrity clients such as David Copperfield and Regis & Kelly. A hand made Custom Cake Topper is the ultimate keepsake after the last of the wedding cake is gone and the party is over. Custom Cake Toppers have made the perfect gift for many Weddings, Anniversaries, Birthdays, Retirement parties and any other event that is worth celebrating!
Where you are located: In beautiful Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Company Website? www.idocaketoppers.com
What inspired you?
I have always been an Artist and I was really drawn to the idea of making Art my full time job.
How long have you been in business?
I started the company officially in 2004
How did you fund it?
I was working three Jobs at the time and doing the occasional topper. As my topper business grew, I scaled back on the other work until it was 100% toppers. This method was the smartest option for me, even though it meant that I had a real tough couple of years workload wise.
Do you have a Fairy Godmother (or Mentor)? I wish I did…but no.
Do you belong to any Business Organization or Networking Groups?
I have on occasion tried to get involved with some local groups that are in the entrepreneur or crafting vein, but to be honest I am not much for organizations.
Current Business Challenge?
I think there are certainly a lot of challenges in this current economic environment and for me this means that I need to make every advertising/marketing dollar count.
What are you doing about it?
FB and Google Ad words have really good analytics systems so that I can really see my return on investment. If I can see the effect of my marketing dollars in a quantifiable way then its much easier to justify the cost.
Favorite motivational quote:
Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. – Rumi
One Artist Husband and one needy Shi-Tzu
If so, how do you balance family and business?
Finding a balance is certainly a work in progress. I try to make time every day to meditate, spend time with my Husband and work on personal projects. The challenge comes when the line between what’s work and what’s fun gets blurry.
I am currently reading Four Hour Work week by Timothy Ferriss. It’s a really great book with a lot of helpful suggestions on how to work smarter not harder.
What do you want to change most about your world?
I wish that people would be more open and accepting and pursue their passions more.
What are you most proud of?
The fact that I have been able to make Art my career and creating an army of satisfied customers since 2004
What advice would you like to offer other Start Up Princesses?
1. Know your value proposition: Are you the Prada of your industry or the Walmart. This becomes very import when positioning your product, identifying your competition and building a successful brand.
2. Get to Know your customer: Talk and interact with them, learn all about them , this can help uncover new product ideas and services that you hadn’t even thought of before. Many business’ fall into the trap of assuming they know their customer and then acting on those assumptions…big mistake.
Favorite Magic Wand (tool/resource)?
Social Media is definitely my favourite tool.
If you could design a tiara, what precious stones would you use?
Lots and lots of red rubies
Did I leave something out you would like me to know about yourself or your business?
I just want say to all the other Start Up Princesses out there. Believe in yourself and your business, don’t listen the army of nay sayers and always make sure that your business is travelling in the direction that you want it to! I think it is great to a have blogs like this that promote women in business and feel that as successful women, the knowledge that we share empowers us all.