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any orders for next day delivery. I continue baking, or packaging for the rest of the afternoon. Some days I meet my daughter after school at our local Curves Gym for a 30 minute work out. The evenings are usually spent taxiing her to her football training, work, clubs etc. Finally dinner, tv and last minute e-mails before bed.


How do you maintain balance in your life between work and play? I try to keep the evening and week-ends gingerbread free, but during busy periods (for example, Christmas and the run up to a food fair or exhibition), this is not always possible, then it can be me, my rolling pin and Radio 4 ‘til the small hours!


Do you ever have creative slumps? What do you do then? As with all hobbies that turn into businesses, the danger is losing the fun. It really helps when I get a challenging commission; earlier this year, I created Caius College


28 | ukhandmade | Winter 2010


Cambridge for their May Ball. This really got my creative juices going.


What’s the most rewarding aspect of working for yourself in a creative business? And the most frustrating? Knowing I can juggle my day around getting out into the woods and fields with the dogs is very rewarding, for that is the greatest privilege of working for myself.


I miss the camaraderie of work colleagues and not having someone else to chew ideas and issues over which can be challenging. You have to trust your own instincts so much of the time and they’re not always right!


What are your tools of the trade and which is your favourite? My Kitchen Aid has never let me down, so that’s in my top 5. Silicon products such as liners for baking trays and rolling mats are great and make life a lot easier, but most useful is my rolling pin that has guides


which take the guesswork out of rolling dough to the right depth. I have different gauges for cookies, house walls, bases etc. It’s a fantastic invention and so simple. It came with a few different gauge depths, and a friend machine-made me some others that suit my purposes perfectly.


How do you get the word out about your work? Mostly through food fairs. I find it much more effective if people can see my products first hand and I can explain all the options to them. My web site is becoming more visible to search engines lately.


How do you see The Gingerbread Emporium developing over the next 2 - 3 years? It would be great to have a partner to share the planning and marketing, the stuff I struggle with!


What advice would you give someone starting a creative business?


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