Probably the biggest event of early 2014 for me and Chris was the announcement that Chelsea's Cool Cakes was merging with another company, Spiselige Kunstverk, to form Slikkepotten kakebutikk.
The merger had been a long time in the planning and finally came to fruition in March of 2014. Here's a little background:
Last year was mainly focused on getting Chelsea's Cool Cakes up and running as a functional business. It was a ton of work, but it finally got going! Then, sometime in the summer, my friend Katrine (who was running Spiselige Kunstverk, an online webshop importing and selling cake decorating supplies and classes) was helping me with a huge cupcake order and we were discussing our business goals and stresses. Somehow, we got on the topic of possibly merging our two companies to form a bigger company and take the stress out of running a business all by ourselves. I was initially quite skeptical of the idea, as I had put so much work into officially starting Chelsea's Cool Cakes and it had only been up and running for a few months, but over the next few weeks as we continued discussing it, it seemed like a better and better idea. So, after a lot of prayer and soul searching on my part, we officially decided to go for it.
We started looking at potential locations and figuring out all the nitty gritty legal details surrounding opening a new incorporated company. It was a very loooong process. After about 20 different names, we finally settled on Slikkepotten kakebutikk (Sleek-eh-poht-en cock-eh-boutique). A “slikkepott” is the Norwegian word for a rubber spatula used for baking and “kakebutikk” directly translates to “cake shop” so in English the name would be The Rubber Spatula Cake Shop. It doesn't sound so great in English, but “slikepotten” is considered a cute word in Norwegian. We get compliments on our name all the time here in Norway (in the US we get mostly raised eyebrows ;) )
After many locations fell through for various reasons, we finally locked one down in Sandnes, a town just south of Stavanger (just like Provo/Orem or Las Vegas/Henderson for all you guys back home). It was previously a chocolate shop so it was already setup quite well for our style of cake production. We got the keys on March 1st and started the intense process of semi-renovating it and making it our own, officially having our Grand Opening on March 22nd.
Slikkepotten's business model is designing and producing custom cakes, importing and selling cake decorating supplies, and teaching courses and masterclasses. It has been quite the journey getting it up and running, and even though at the time of writing this it has been open for a full six months, I feel like it still has a VERY long way to go. It has honestly been a rollercoaster of a year regarding the business. Even though I think giving up Chelsea's Cool Cakes was a fantastic decision (it has been SO SO SO much better having someone else to help run the business and opening Slikkepotten has given us so many more resources to expand both of our original business ideas), I'm still not sure I'm enjoying the process of being a business owner. I simultaneously feel immensely proud at what we have accomplished so far, and immensely stressed and overwhelmed by all there still is to do. At least once a week I feel excited by what the future has in store, and at least once I week a feel like all I want to do is quit.
Overall, it has been A LOT of very hard work and long, long hours with a lot of sacrifices on both my part and Chris' (I could NEVER have pulled this off if it wasn't for Chris' help and support. That definitely needs to be said). We're slowly plugging along though and hopefully good things continue to be in store for our little business! There will be many more posts on Slikkepotten kakebutikk in the future, I just wanted to use this space to give a little background before confusing you with details.