Your 30A Wedding Cake Topper
This week on Your 30A Wedding Cake Topper I get to feature Nicole W. Clark from www.minicouples.com. This will be the second blog that has featured someone I’ve never met in person but was introduced to via Instagram. I happened to come across her Instagram page in the Discover section. Why do I think these should be considered for your 30A wedding cake topper? I mean, just look at the picture below! They’re the most unique I’ve come across!
But, I didn’t immediately reach out to her like I did Karen at Majestic Oaks. I merely hit the follow button for @onthecaketop. Periodically, her pictures would pop up on the feed and eventually I messaged and asked Nicole if she’d be interested in being featured on an episode of the podcast. However, there were a few things I didn’t realize about her until later. The first unknown to me was that she lives in Ontario, Canada. The second thing was that she had been in business for FOURTEEN years.
Something you may not know about me is that there are two topics that I particularly enjoy discussing. The subject of weddings is an obvious choice. That’s where my business focus is. The other thing I enjoy talking about maybe obvious as well because I’m a business owner: business itself. There are so many cool aspects of running a business that I find fascinating and I always enjoy hearing from others about the perspective and experience.
Since Nicole has much more business experience than I do, I couldn’t help but steer the conversation in that direction. That is the place we will pick up the conversation!
The Beginning of the Journey
DJ Josh: Nicole, let’s start from the beginning of the journey that has brought you to this point. How did you come up with your business?
Nicole W. Clark: It took a very long time. After I graduated from art school, let’s just say there’s not a lot of people hiring art students for positions that offer big paychecks. I worked at an art gallery, a magazine, a museum. One of my jobs was retail. I had a lot of jobs before I found a business that I could do full time. Before I found what I’m doing now, I also had to go through a lot of business false starts.
The idea for creating cake toppers came to me when I was planning my own wedding. I noticed that there weren’t a lot of different wedding cake toppers to choose from. Etsy definitely wasn’t what it is now. Most of the cake toppers available were the mass-produced kind and I couldn’t find any that were custom-made. I wanted to make something that was unique. I made the first prototype and that’s how my business began!
Advice For Someone Starting Their Own Business
Josh: Because of your experience, do you have any advice to give someone considering starting their own business?
Nicole: I get asked that a lot. I would say that you just need to get started. I hear from a lot of people that aren’t happy in their jobs. They wish they had their own business. It is hard to start your own business, but it’s not impossible and is absolutely attainable. I’ve read and heard some people say that, if you start a new business you should just quit your job and be completely committed to it. I don’t think that’s necessarily good advice.
When I was starting my businesses, I worked during the day at my day job and then came home and continued working on my project. I kept at it until I found something that worked for me. You don’t need a huge amount of capital to start up. You just need to be consistent working toward your goal every day. My main priorities for my business is I wanted it to be something that would allow me to work on my own and be in a muumuu all day. If someone were to tell me that they want to start a business but they don’t think that they can make it happen, this is what I would tell them. “Just go for it. If you don’t think you can jump in with feet, just start small and keep going.”
Breaking Inertia and You’re Not Ready ‘Til You’re Ready
Josh: I agree with that. There’s a saying that goes, “You’re not ready until you’re ready.” You have to make the decision that starting the business is what you’re going to do.
Nicole: Definitely! Also, the idea doesn’t have to be big and flashy. I don’t think anyone would describe my wedding toppers like that. You just need to find something that you can improve on, that you can excel at, and then latch onto the idea and just go with it. I think the hardest part is just getting started.
Josh: It’s the inertia of breaking out of your normal routine. The challenge you run into is your routine is already set in a way that you’re used to. If you’re still with your day job and considering branching out on your own, being able to progress toward creating your business could be a good indicator of whether or not your heart is in it. You still have to take care of your daily responsibilities in addition to working on your new business idea. If you realize that you’re not quite as committed to it as you should be that may be an indication that, while it may be a good idea, it might not be YOUR good idea. But I think your good idea turned into a great one. What do you make your cake toppers out of?
The Process of Creating
Nicole: I use a non-toxic polymer clay that will last for years and years. I can even make additions to the original cake toppers. A lot of my couples will order a cake topper for their wedding. After a few years, they’ll ask me to add a new puppy or their first-born child. The cake topper then grows as their family does. Throughout the years, some of my clients continue to add figures to the original topper. Something else they might do is order a new cake topper for their anniversary.
The Surprise and Power of Her Impact
One of the surprises for me in this business has been how close I’ve become with a lot of my clients. I’m very introverted and I don’t make a lot of connections easily. I’ve been doing this for 14 years and I’ve grown with a lot of my clients. When they order an addition or an anniversary topper, they usually send me an email updating me about how their family has changed throughout the years. In those emails, they often tell me that they look at it and it reminds them of their wedding day, how their marriage has affected their life, and how happy they are together.
As an artist or craft maker it’s just so powerful to realize how something you made can have that kind of impact on someone’s life. When I started, I just thought I was making something I enjoyed. I thought once I shipped it off that would be the end of it. But the longer I was in business the more I could see the effect it was having on the couples I was making the wedding cake toppers for.
Josh: I can see why they would feel comfortable sharing with you because, in a way, you were able to recreate them in a way. That’s pretty rare. I’ve actually never seen a cake topper like the ones you make at a wedding that I’ve been at. Usually, they’re the plastic figurines or something similar. To me, it’s another way for a couple to really personalize the wedding to themselves.
Nicole: I have noticed a trend over the years because again I started 14 years ago how personalization has become a very big thing. A lot of things can be personalized these days and that, obviously, works out very well for me.
Personalization For Your 30A Wedding Cake Topper
Personalization has absolutely been a trend for 30A area weddings. It just makes sense that something like what Nicole makes will start to be popular as a more common 30A wedding cake topper in the very near future! Just because she lives in Canada does not mean she can’t provide these adorable, customized pieces for a wedding on the Emerald Coast or anywhere in the States for that matter. She mentioned to me that the majority of the cake toppers she creates are for clients in the U.S. Check out her website, Instagram, or email her directly to start the conversation about how she can create a wonderful cake topper for YOUR wedding here.
Nicole, thanks so much for being a part of the podcast and allowing me the opportunity to get to know you and your business a little bit better. Our conversation was fun and enjoyable! Here’s your continued success with your great idea. Here’s to all the couples that are in the process of planning their wedding that will be truly their own. And, here’s to making your wedding a highlight 🙂
Want To Hear Or Read More?
You can find the Make Your Wedding a Highlight podcast on Apple Music, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher. Know anyone you think other couples planning their weddings would love to hear from? Have them get in touch with me at this email address. I’d love to chat with them to see how I can highlight them just like I have Nicole!
In case you missed last week’s blog, I actually highlighted me on Getting To Know DJ Josh.