Company Name: Tiers Of Happiness
Interview with: Ilona Deakin
Location/Coverage: Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, London
What does Tiers of Happiness do?
Tiers of Happiness specialises in creating bespoke cakes, mini cakes and cupcakes for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, christenings and corporate events.
How did Tiers of Happiness get started and how long has the business been going?
Having started as a hobby baker and making cakes for family, friends and word of mouth, I decided to register my business in 2012. After a couple of years I was able to leave my day job and devote all my time and efforts to cake decorating.
My main focus has since been on wedding cakes as I know how important it is to have a perfect wedding cake. Each wedding cake is an exciting creative process, from composing a design and tying in with a wedding theme, to baking varied and delicious flavours.
Have you always wanted to make cakes for a living?
With my mother’s artistic background, creativity has always been something I have felt enthused and motivated by. Arts and Crafts has always been a strength of mine from childhood; previous stints of working with clay has helped towards developing my skill when putting together my sugar creations.
But it wasn’t until I got engaged that I was set in the right direction. I bravely took on the massive challenge of baking and decorating our own wedding cake. With confidence in my abilities and feeling incredibly motivated, I booked myself on an intensive sugar craft course and self-taught everything involved with making and decorating multi-tiered cakes. I loved the experience and feedback from my customers, and still find it the most rewarding path I have ever taken.
Who works at Tiers of Happiness? Do you have a team?
I work on my own but I have partnered up with a very talented baker who bakes most of my cakes, allowing me to concentrate on the decorating part more and developing my business.
What type of wedding cakes do you make?
Many of my designs have eclectic and bohemian influence with an elegant and chic look. I also enjoy contemporary and flamboyant styles that enable me to deliver a cake with wow factor.
Each cake is a unique piece of art, and the cost reflects the time that goes into all the detail and the quality of ingredients and materials. Our three tier cakes start at £390, and if you would like something with a wow factor then we are looking at around £500, depending on the level of detail.
What sets Tiers of Happiness apart from other wedding cake makers?
Based on my own experience as well as that of friends, I started the company with the tagline of flavours and finesse. Frequently I have found that although cakes can be decorated to a high level of detail, the actual cake itself might not taste amazing, so I have been working hard to ensure that the quality of the cake on the inside is as high as the cake on the outside. I love to introduce clients to new and interesting flavours – a Victoria sponge cake is lovely but pumpkin and pecan is so much better, and a welcome surprise for the wedding guests! Equally, if a customer has a flavour in mind that is not on our list, we are happy to develop a new flavour specifically and have our client taste it for approval.
The second unique element of the business is that I have been known to take on challenging cakes that other decorators would not. In particular, I brought one customer’s cake, a movie inspired cake that they had been planning and designing themselves for years (with huge level of detail), to life. My best work occurs when I am given the opportunity to create something unusual, vibrant yet elegant and chic.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Receiving great feedback is the most rewarding thing, being able to do something that I’m passionate about, and meeting other creative and interesting people in the industry.
Random question… If you could make a wedding cake for anyone who would it be and why?
If Gustav Klimt was alive I would love to create a cake for his wedding as I’m a big admirer of his work and style. It would have a lot of gold leaf on it, unusual patterns and textures.
Do you have a favourite cake that you have made?
I would say my Feather Samba Queen Wedding Cake as I love vibrant designs and feathers! This cake also won me a gold award at the Cake International competition which made it that much more exciting. I really look forward to bringing more fabulous designs to life with this year’s wedding cakes!
What’s your favourite cake to eat?
Amongst my favourite flavours are carrot cake, spiced apple cake and my delicious Walnut Love flavour inspired by my Czech origin.