Don’t pretend that you haven’t spent hours on her Instagram feed, obsessing over her perfectly iced cakes, with the perfectly placed drips. Stacked high with goodies, or flowers or any delight your imagination can come up with. Her style is so strong and her reputation so formidable, its super easy to spot a Smith’s Bakeshop cake!
We managed to get down and dirty with the girl behind the apron, Taryn Smith, and got to know a little bit more about her life, her passion for baking, how she got into the wedding industry and a little bit of everything else in between.
Over to Taryn!
Hooray: Tell us about yourself?
Taryn: I live on a beautiful small holding in Shongweni with my handsome, bearded hubby, Robin, and our three fur babies – we are kind of dog obsessed. And exciting news, we’re expecting our first two legged baby in July! At the moment we are just trying to fix up our little cottage and prepare for babygeddon as Rob calls it. I love to travel and see new places, try out new restaurants and foodie spots. I have a wanderlust list that is as long as my arm but saying that I am just as happy snuggling on the couch with my dogs.
Hooray: How did you get into the wedding industry
Taryn: I kind of fell into the wedding industry. I started off just selling cupcakes at the Shongweni Farmers Market all the way back in 2008 to make a bit of extra pocket money. I had no intention to do cakes or wedding cakes in particular, but a really good customer of mine asked if I could do a cake for her wedding and it just grew from there. I even made my own wedding cake! When I found my niche and realised I didn’t have to work with fondant if I didn’t want to, that’s when I rebranded and Smith’s Bakeshop became a full time job. In the last couple of years it has gone kind of crazy and I am very thankful for the first few people who believed in me.
Hooray: So tell us, what inspires you?
Taryn: There are so many fantastic local suppliers and Instagram has been an amazing tool for connecting with Durban creatives. Durbs is such a hub for creativity at the moment that I kind of wish I could redo my own wedding with all the cool peeps I’ve met over the years. Cake wise though I find a lot of inspiration from Australian bakers, I have no idea what is in the water down there but they are so creative and ground breaking that I often sit there thinking, wish I had thought of that. I don’t really read a lot of blogs but I do like to read the posts on here, particularly the business related ones (sometimes I wonder how I have a functioning business) and I find the blog posts from Jacki Bruniquel always seem to hit home.
Hooray: Running your own business can be hard, do you have a daily routine?
Taryn: Yes, I used to be quite bad with jumping into work emails, Facebook messages etc. as soon as I have opened my eyes in the morning but lately to find some balance, I removed Facebook off my phone and switched off notifications and I am trying to keep regular working hours to answer emails, FB messages, whatsaps (there are way too many ways for people to contact you now) and a proper lunch time. Usually I like to bake early, especially when it’s so hot, and then it’s getting supplies and packaging etc. On Fridays and Saturdays it’s go time for most orders, so that is usually a bit different and more like organised chaos, often with getting up really early. Saturdays we also have either the Shongweni or I Heart Market along with setting up wedding cakes and delivering orders.
Hooray: What do you love most about your job?
Taryn: Making cakes and treats that are pretty and tasty and that make people happy makes me happy, it’s the best getting a mail back from a bride saying how happy they were and that the whole cake was demolished. Also being able to work flexible hours from home and cuddle a dog if I need to is pretty awesome too.
Hooray: If there was one thing you could change about the wedding industry, what would it be ?
Taryn: I really have no idea. This is not wedding specific but I know clients seem to think we are all “funemployed”. I can understand they are super excited for their big day or life event but, really, do you have to send multiple whatsaps at 11 at night or 5am on a Sunday morning? We keep business hours too you know!
Hooray: Name 5 of your favourite wedding vendors that you enjoy working with
Taryn: 1. Glynnis from Talloula, not only an amazing floral stylist and pulls of the most stunning weddings with her team, but she has just been the most amazing support to my business and me.
2. The ladies from Bash Paperie, I love their work and often find myself stalking them on Instagram.
3. Carolyn from Adore Weddings, seriously the nicest person on the planet who just happens to make the most beautiful arrangements.
4.Cindy from Love laugh Proteas, I just love flowers and Cindy is one of the best, and she is pretty awesome herself too.
5. The Shank Tank, super cool husband and wife team take the most gorgeous videos and photos, what more could you want?
Taryn, thank you so much for sharing with us. We absolutely love your cakes and are totally delighted to hear that you are going to be having a baby in a couple of months! Hooray!