Olofson Design was founded in earnest during the latter part of 2011, after several years teaching myself cake decorating techniques and working out what kind of cake decorating made me tick. I realised very quickly that novelty cakes and children’s celebrations just didn’t get my creative juices flowing, so it became apparent that bespoke wedding cakes offered me far more scope to utilise my design skills. My background is in art and design, with both my parents being artists and having gained a degree in Fine Art Photography at the University of the Arts London, the visual arts really is in my blood
How would you describe your style or are you influenced by the client’s desire/theme?
My style is something that is very adaptive, as I work closely with the client to design something that is reflective of their personal style and wedding theme. But I do lean towards design that has beautiful detail, strong shape and texture, and plays with colour in some way. I have to admit that I am always looking for an excuse to crack open the antique gold lustre and metal leaf, but it has to feel contemporary and relevant
Where do you get inspiration for your designs and is there a current trend?
Inspiration initially always comes from the client which I then interpret and put into my own vision. The dress is consistently a wonderful source to start from because there are textures and shapes and details in abundance to pull from. Aside from the venue and theme it’s also a great indicator of the bride’s inherent style and gives me a feel for the direction to take the design in. I don’t really adopt trends, preferring to look to sources outside of the industry to keep things as fresh as possible, but I can’t help notice the rising number of requests for ruffles and ombre, as well as toweringly tall cakes!
I prefer the larger unfussy ruffled style of flowers, as well as any in unusual, offbeat colours. Fresh spring green foliage always lifts an arrangement and I definitely prefer the more unstructured displays. Ranunculus, anenome, peony will always be my favourites and recently I’ve fallen for hyacinth and its heady smell
What sort of information do you need to know when meeting with a prospective client for the first time?
As many details about their wedding day and style as possible! Because of the way I work, I need to know everything, down to what kind of napkins they’re having as they all help to give me a vision of the day and therefore the perfect cake. It’s like designing a couture gown, you need to know the setting, the vital statistics, the impact wanted. We start with the basics such as the number of guests, the venue, the date and then move onto more in depth discussions about the design elements. Our initial meeting is always about getting to know them before moving onto these details, I find that if I can get a sense of their personalities first, it’s easier to read what kind of things they’re going to love
What sort of lead time do you need when taking on a project and would you do more than one wedding per weekend?
Everything in the wedding industry is booked so far in advance, so we usually work with a minimum of 6 months lead time. We definitely need as much time as possible to facilitate the design process, which can take months as the client gradually confirms the different elements of the wedding day. We only ever take on one wedding per weekend to ensure our full focus and expertise is dedicated to the wedding cake and eventual set up in situ
Are prices fixed or is each cake tailored to the client?
Everything we do is bespoke and so there are no set price lists. When clients come to us we have to go through a little bit of the initial design process before we can get an idea of cost as it is dictated by the decoration and level of design. This process sometimes surprises new clients, but we have to get straight into the design to ensure we’re estimating cost as best as we can- it only takes the addition of a single sugar flower bloom to increase the hours of handicraft by a day!
What is the most fun part of your job?
Definitely when I’m brainstorming ideas with the client – I’m getting to know their style and there are ideas flying around, it’s full of potential and often I’m told it’s the most exciting part of planning the wedding after the dress. After that, I love getting to the part where it’s just me and the covered cake. I’ve spent months designing, hours writing detailed plans and it comes down to executing the decoration. I go to my happy place during those hours, when it’s just me and the artwork
Well the cake is such a huge part of the wedding day, it has a starring role in the photos and all of the guests enjoy a slice, so I keenly feel the responsibility of living up to that and going beyond the clients expectations. The key to it is to connect with the client early on, so that we both understand where we’re coming from and then the communication runs easily and we’re all confident that it’s the best it can be
What makes you laugh?
I can’t help but laugh when I’m with a couple and they have different ideas on what they want from the cake. There’s something so wonderful about it as it symbolises everything they’re bringing to the relationship as individuals and the wedding is often the beginning of a lifetime of planning and compromise. If you can plan a wedding together and not let the differences of opinion get to you, you have a pretty good starting point for wedded bliss!
So if you haven’t found the solution for your sweet tooth yet, see what Ceri has to offer on her site – it might be wise to plan for a wedding dress with an elasticated waist!