How did Blossom and Crumb start? And tell me about your background?
I started Blossom & Crumb in 2015 focussing on wedding cake design after a very winding route to get there! My first career was as an actor. I grew up in West London in an artistic family (my father was a playwright, my mum is an amateur actress and lover of theatre and both my brothers are musicians). Being in the theatre was my one big dream from the age of three but it only took me five years of working professionally after drama school to realise that sadly it was never going to make me happy. This was 2005 and at that point, I went back to the drawing board and thought long and hard about my other passions. I knew that I still wanted to create and that I wanted to work for myself.
Then I had a lightbulb moment on a train in when I realised that I was alternating between reading Nigel Slater’s autobiography, Toast and Elle Decoration magazine and I suddenly realised that I wanted to find something in the place where food and design intersect. Cakes seemed like the perfect fit. I’ve baked all my life but had never done any proper decorating so I enrolled in a local community college course (this was pre-bake off and the boom in the cake industry so courses were hard to find) and then managed to get a job at Little Venice Cake Company who made cakes for weddings at all the big London hotels. I started in the office and gradually managed to wheedle my way into working more and more in the kitchen.
When I left it was with the plan to start my own company. But then I got sidetracked by getting married and a long journey to start a family so it wasn’t until 2015 when the time was finally right and Blossom & Crumb was born. In some ways, I wish I could have started the business when I first had the idea as now the industry is a lot more full but cake designs are so much more interesting these days and the wait to open the business meant that I had time to really hone my skills and so I was able to hit the ground running.
What made you specialise in wedding cake design?
I have always loved weddings. I think because they bring together so many things that I love – flowers, design, food, and fashion alongside romance and a big old knees-up! I spent my childhood drawing wedding dresses and bouquets but never thought my path would lead me to the industry as a supplier. When I originally envisioned my cake company I always assumed I would do wedding cakes. I think that creatively they seemed like the most exciting area of cakes to work on because they are elevated in terms of design but still have to taste amazing. I also love the symbolism of the wedding cake and that it is both a centrepiece and something to be shared amongst everyone. And it never stops being a huge privilege to be asked to be part of a couple’s big day.
How are you finding lockdown? Personally and professionally?
Professionally it has been very tough. I had a reasonably busy year ahead and, of course, all of my bookings for Spring and most of Summer have now moved to 2021. I have been lucky in that everyone so far has postponed rather than cancelling but I have really felt for all the couples who have had to move their dates. I am “homeschooling” my two boys (although I think we’d be in special measures if Ofsted were to drop round!) so I have decided that it is simplest to just shut up shop for now apart from the odd little local order.
I am in awe of the cake makers who have managed to pivot to mail order businesses but it just isn’t right for our family just now. But there are a lot of personal silver linings. I have been able to slow down in a way I have been longing for and spend time with family although I would obviously be able to enjoy it much more had this all been a choice. It has been an emotional rollercoaster in many ways but I am also extremely conscious of my privilege in all of this as all lockdowns are certainly not created equal.
We can scrape by (just!) on one income, we are happy being together as a family and we have a garden to sit out in when the weather is nice. My heart goes out to those who are not as lucky right now. I have also managed to finish my new website after almost a year of tinkering so I call that a win!
Who is your ideal client/brief?
My style is modern and romantic with influences from the natural world. My ideal clients are design-conscious and creative and planning a wedding that is uniquely theirs. I love a brief that stretches me creatively. It is brilliant when couples come with an open mind and are obviously happy to push a few boundaries.
What marketing tools do you use?
Instagram is definitely the biggest one although I am trying to get to grips with SEO and have a blog on my to-do list! I am also trying to spend a bit more time on my Pinterest boards as I think that is an incredibly powerful tool if you can master it.
Top tips for brides when choosing a wedding cake
It’s definitely worth looking on Pinterest or similar to start to get a feel for the sort of wedding cake that you like in general terms e.g. rustic buttercream, classic super smooth white fondant and then find a cake maker who specialises in that style. Once you have found someone you like then I would stop looking at other people’s cakes. You will get the very best from your cake maker if you don’t ask them to copy someone else’s work or bring images of other people’s cakes as inspiration to your consultation.
Definitely bring colours, examples of stationary, any cuttings from magazines that you feel express your style – those are all immensely helpful. From there, you can trust your cake maker to be able to ask the right questions to create something totally unique that really speaks to you. And of course, the flavour is incredibly important. Read the cake menu and check that it chimes with the sort of flavour combinations that you enjoy. You are choosing a cake at the end of the day, and the taste should be just as important as the design.
What is your favourite flower?
I really struggle with this one as I absolutely love flowers! I used to do flower arranging as a hobby as a child. I can still remember the images in my 80s books that suggested heavy use of props like sea shells and even vinyl records for a “cool” floral arrangement! I love Scabious, Ranunculus, Hellebores and Dahlias but I would aways come back to a properly scented rose. I love the palest pink David Austin rose that I have in my garden so much – I can’t wait for it to flower.
What does a typical day look like for you? Do you have a self-care ritual?
In non-lockdown times it starts with taking the boys to school. I try to pack all my baking and decorating into their school day so I have until 3 pm to get it done. After school, I try and juggle some emails with spending some time with the boys and then it’s into dinner and bedtime and often back to the studio to finish the work I didn’t manage to do in the school day! My husband often works from home even in normal times so sometimes I can keep working once the boys are back which means an earlier finish but I miss out on spending time with them which can start to feel uncomfortable if I do it too often.
I try to fit exercise in around all this but it is often the first thing to fall by the wayside when I am busy although I was getting much better at prioritising it this year before all this and have been managing to keep up some of that progress during the lockdown. I really struggle to fit in self-care and I am one of those people who finds it hard to relax unless I am on a beach somewhere far away. If I do sit down for a minute I’m usually up again a minute later pottering. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean I am massively productive – it’s usually slightly aimless pottering rather than me efficiently getting jobs done!
Megan is still currently taking bookings and hosting virtual consultations for 2021 weddings. It is worth getting in touch with Megan sooner rather than later as next year’s diary is looking quite busy with 2020 postponements
Website – Blossom and crumb’s website
Instagram – @blossomandcrumb
Photography – Cate Castleton
If you would like to know more about our floral services please head over to our Contact Page and get in touch. I would love to hear all about your project!