Interview with the mumpreneur behind Cakesnake and a giveaway!
Remember my kitchen makeover from a few months ago? Well, here’s a new product I’ve just discovered that has improved the organisation of my cabinets even more! Introducing… Cakesnake!
Cakesnake is similar to the plate rack I had used in the original
makeover to store my bakeware, only this is more
I’m loving the gorgeous red colour (it also comes in white), the rubber grip feet
and the conveniently wide seperators. Now instead of stacking my muffin
trays and cake tins on top of each other, I’m able to organise them
neatly side by side. What’s even better is that the product is designed
and manufactured locally in Sydney!
Cakesnake in my kitchen
Now, meet the mumpreneur behind Cakesnake: Elizabeth Procter.
Elizabeth was kind enough to allow me to pick her brain and share some insights in her journey into business.
Elizabeth Procter, founder of Cakesnake
How did you get started with Cakesnake?
Cakesnake initially came out of frustration. Frustration with messy bakeware! I know it sounds silly but let me explain.
Two years ago, we moved into a house and we put in a new kitchen. It was great, except for the bakeware cupboard. I couldn’t find a good way to store those pesky muffin tins, cooling racks, cookie sheets etc and they would crash about whenever I tried to access them. It was annoying.
At the time, I was buying a lot of bakeware because we have 3 small children and I wanted to bake goodies for them. So I mentioned the problem to my husband, who is a product designer and after quite a lot of thought, he came back with the Cakesnake rack. Well, it was a bit of bent aluminum tube then but it worked like a dream. It went into my kitchen cupboard and into it I put all of my bakeware. I loved it! I showed if off to everyone who came over and most of them wanted one too. I started to search the Internet and was amazed to discover that there really wasn’t anything like this out there. Thus, Cakesnake the business was born.
We now make the Cakesnakes in my husbands’ workshop (our large garage where he built machines to make them,) get them painted in Western Sydney and I send them all over the world from home. People order them over the Internet. Marketing them is my biggest pleasure and challenge. Trying to get the word out there. But I truly believe that we have a fantastic product, so that inspires me to persevere.
The birth of the product also collided with my desire to run my own business, one I have had for many years. I have been a stay-at-home mum for the past 6 years, so basically, my stuff has been on hold. But now, with the children getting a bit older, some precious time has emerged. I do the majority of my work in the evenings or when the youngest child naps. The days are often hectic, but it’s worth it. I take great pride in being a mumpreneur! As mothers, we often underestimate how our experiences at home with the kids, can inspire good business ideas. It has also been very important to me that I demonstrate to my children that running your own business is hard but very rewarding. They talk about Cakesnake a lot and I love that. They are seeing the business grow in front of their eyes and I think that is invaluable.
Is this your first business?
This is the first business that I’ve developed and run, but I have always been on the peripheral of my husbands business, which he runs from home. He is a product designer and started specializing in church furniture 7 years ago. He is the designer and owner of www.procson.com.au
It’s a niche market, which has steadily grown. He designed Australia’s biggest selling church lectern. I occasionally do factory pickups, the odd invoice and a bit of the accounts but the majority of Procson is him. It has meant however, that I have had a front row seat to watching what is involved in running your own business. We talk about marketing, production, finances, customer service and design constantly, mostly around the dining table, so Cakesnake has, in many ways, been a natural extension for me.
How would you describe your journey thus far?
So far, a cocktail of excitement, terror and hard work! Setting up any kind of business by yourself has its associated trepidation. Will it work? What if it’s a flop? How will I cope with running a business and managing the home and family? All of these thoughts go through my mind from time to time but the excitement motivates me beyond the fears. I love this product!
I honestly think it’s a brilliant, stylish, simple solution to a universal problem in the kitchen and I want the world to know about it. There is the thrill of a sale and the joy of seeing it published. But really, in between every high and low is a constant stream of hard work.
What are the most crucial things you have done to make Cakesnake a success? And where do you see Cakesnake in 5 years’ time?
I think having a good product, which is design registered is a good start. It took several months of research to finally decide on the specifics of the product. This initial research and development phase was essential, to get the best size and colours. We tried many variations because we wanted people who bought it to be really happy with it (and tell their friends!) Trying to get the word out there has also been crucial.
Cakesnake in 5 years time? I’d like it to be a leading edge kitchenware brand. We have several more product ideas up our sleeves, so watch this space!
What three pieces of advice would you offer entrepreneurs starting out today?
- Try to do something that others are not doing. If everyone else is providing it (a service, for example) or the market is flooded with similar products, then steer clear! Trying to start a new business in a saturated field is an uphill slog. Look for a niche market. It’s harder to identify but you have a much greater chance of succeeding.
- Use your ears! Really listen to feedback. In the beginning, we built prototypes in different sizes and colours and surveyed everyone we knew to get their opinions. You might find out that your idea is no good. That’s fine. You can always come up with new idea. I think it’s important not to hold too tightly to an idea. “Fail early, fail often” is the pathway to a good idea.
- Read and listen to anything by Winston Marsh. He’s an Aussie marketing guru who we have stuck to over the years. His advice is gold. His material is especially good for people starting up a business, as opposed to marketing consultants who only deal with big corporations. His website is full of free tips and strategies which are practical, helpful and down to earth. If Winston says it, do it!
Thanks to Elizabeth, 4 lucky JENIUS readers will win their very own Cakesnake!
How to enter the Cakesnake giveaway
Simply log-in to the entry form below via Facebook or name & email address. You will receive one entry per task you complete. So if you tweet about the giveaway, you’ll get one entry. If you also answer the question, you’ll get a total of two entries, etc. The more times you enter, the bigger your chance is at winning!
Four lucky winners will each receive one Cakesnake (valued at $39.95) in their choice of red or white.
Terms and Conditions
- This giveaway is open to Australian residents only
- You must use the Rafflecopter entry form below to enter the giveaway
- To complete each task, you must first click on the +1 DO IT! button. Follow the instructions for that task, then to record the entry, remember to hit the green Enter button on the bottom right! You must do this, otherwise your task won’t register as a competition entry.
- 4 lucky readers will be chosen at random and will each receive one Cakesnake (valued at $39.95) in their choice of red or white
Storage rack for bakeware
For more information on Cakesnake, visit the official website.