It was by a “sweet accident” that Valeri Valeriano and Christina Ong discovered their passion and talent. On Mother’s Day April 2011, they wanted to give their two friends (also their employers) whom they consider their “second-moms” something special but not expensive and so they decided to try and bake for them. They scoured the internet and stumbled on a tutorial about making a Sunflower Cupcake using a ziploc-bag improvise. This was when they discovered about buttercream. Few clicks after, they saw a tutorial on how to make a cupcake bouquet and instantly fell in love with it.
The special day came and they surprised their friends with lovely homemade gift they made. They both really loved it even though some the cupcakes were coming off the wrappers. One of them, Aida, was really the one who convinced the ladies to improve it and brought the idea of making a business out of it. It is as if she saw something from that bouquet although what’s all there was were dry cupcakes that are almost falling off from the pot. It was the start of it all. From then on, they practiced every single day. In June 2011, Queen of Hearts Couture Cakes was then founded and they have braved to open their Facebook Page with the hope that people would appreciate their work and hopeful that one day, someone would be enticed to order their sweet treats. Weeks passed.. then months…but not a single order.
It was a really tough business, but they were determined. They knew they had to do something and so they have scoured through the internet and searched for all the local schools in their area even the neighbouring cities. They have sent about 50-60 emails introducing themselves and attached a couple of pictures inspirited that they would like them and hopefully order. Again, no one bothered to reply. Then one day, they had a phone call from a local Nursery School. It was one of the organizers for the school’s Summer Fair. They are in desperate need for a cupcake seller as the parent who volunteered could not make it. Even if it was only 3 days until the event, without hesitation, they said yes. As soon as they put the phone down, they rushed to the grocery and bought everything they needed. They did not waste a single second. They baked through the night in their cramped studio apartment. They were not able to sleep as the cupcakes were on their bed..and just everywhere. They have baked about 200 cupcakes, 150 cakepops…in their humble 5liter oven that can only bake 6 cupcakes at a time.
They sold everything and not only they had their first wedding cupcake order but also had invitation to another fair in the local park.
It was a very challenging process. They have worked countless hours, made a lots of mistakes, wasted so many butter and icing sugar, broke few hand mixers..the long list could go on. But all these did not really stop them. Instead, these became their inspiration. Not only that they were very keen on perfecting their craft..but also, they wanted to prove that buttercream is not just for filling cakes.
When they were given a chance to showcase their talent at the Cake International Show London in 2012, they made the most of it. It was their first ever live demonstration in front of so many people. They were very nervous and their whole body was literally shaking, but no body knew. Consequently, they had inquiries and requests for buttercream cake decorating classes.
They braved announcing their first Buttercream Floral Cupcake Class in May 2012-they had 1 student. Then on the next, they had 2..then3..then 4..then 6..then the next thing they knew, they were invited to different countries to hold Buttercream Master Classes.
From 1 student, then 2, then 3..back in 2012…
We started just like you. (we are not superwomen or genius..not at all!)
There were times that we have already given up..then tried again. Tired..no sleep..but we carried on. Then practiced again… There was a time that we were even juggling 2 jobs but because we were passionate (meaning obsessed) about buttercream and very eager to learn, we again, carried on.
We definitely know how hard it is to establish a business, to find your niche and to be competitive in a cake community that is only getting bigger and bigger everyday. It could also be expensive as well. (a very expensive “hobby”, isn’t it?)
We understand you. We want to help you. And by saying this, we want to make sure that you get the most of every penny you will invest in our class. We do not keep any secrets..we share everything we know to make you understand everything and make sure you will be able to apply the techniques in any of your future cake projects. You can also be assured that all the techniques that we share in classes, except the flower piping techniques, will stay in classes and will never be in any Craftsy video, tutorials, blogs, etc.