The Purple Cow: A Guest Post by Charlotte White

“Well, it doesn’t really have anything to do with cake. Shouldn’t it be something a bit more ‘cakey’?” he said.  I was really excited to be sat in my first proper ‘grown-up’ business meeting, up until this moment.

It was my first year as Restoration Cake and I was trying to get to grips with the concept of charging strangers for my creations. The afternoon was to be spent with a colleague who knew all the financial stuff. I went to the meeting with a website, a Twitter account, a growing list of orders, and a name.

“Restoration doesn’t really say ‘cake’,” he said.

The name Restoration Cake came to me in early 2009, as I sat at my dressing table (yes, I am totally spoilt) putting on my make-up to go to work in an office I absolutely hated. My boss didn’t like me and didn’t really attempt to hide this fact. I had just bought a house with the man I love and there was also this big thing looming called a ‘recession’ so I kept calm and I carried on.

Photography Credit: Sacco & Sacco Photography

I spent a lot of time daydreaming and, as I applied another coat of mascara, I looked at my bookshelf laden with history books and thought about how awesome the Restoration was. I have studied various aspects of 17th Century History from the age of 18 and am always collecting new books to read on the subject. For me, the Restoration was the moment that the world went from brown to rainbow colours and an age of oppression, puritanism and general dullness came to an end. Probably doesn’t take an awful lot of pop psychology to figure this lot out!

So while the word ‘Restoration’ may have very little to signify ‘cake’ in itself, it speaks volumes about the cake maker.

“How about ‘Charlotte’s Cakes’ or what about ‘RocknRoll Cakes’, you love RocknRoll!” he said.

I cringed.

Photography Credit: Lisa Jane Photography

Kat has discussed the issue of putting your own personality into your business many times before and I cannot express how strongly I feel about the absolute necessity for any entrepreneur to put their personality 100% at the centre of any enterprise. The beauty of a small brand that is built around an individual is that it becomes easier for clients to relate to and easier for the business owner to keep authentic. I’m not a big corporation with a mission statement, drawn up by men in suits; I would hate that. These days more than ever, brides & groom’s value the personal touch, the attention to detail and the individual attention they receive from small businesses like mine and yours. Unless you’re Starbucks or McDonalds, your business should be a reflection of you – your hopes, dreams, beliefs and eccentricities. Never forget that. It is what will make out stand out from the crowd. And that crowd is getting bigger everyday.

You need to love what you do, right? If you are going to work for yourself, it is going to be a truckload of hard work (believe me, I know) so if your heart is not in it, you will probably just give up. Chances are that there will be other companies offering similar products and services to you. They may even be undercutting you on price. So how do you set your company apart? How can you differentiate your company to convince clients to book you over the cheaper guys down the road? Well why not try being yourself? Use your individuality and build your brand identity around it. There’s no