Chasing Designs | London Ontario Photographer
Here is part two of my local business feature! I am so excited to introduce you to the wonderful and talented Erin O'Neill Burke of Chasing Designs. If you have a wedding or special event in your future, Erin is your girl. I met up with her recently and was stunned by her intricate upscale cake design.
Erin is an event planner and designer based out of London. She is originally from Tavistock and lucky for us she serves London and surrounding areas (including Woodstock).
I want to share this little interview I did with Erin prior to our visit. I have been following Chasing Designs on facebook for some time, and, though I had always admired her cake designs from afar, I was impressed by how incredible they were to see in person. These are not your average cakes -- sugary sweetness meets high fashion with outstanding fine details. These cakes are a definite nod to both modern and vintage couture. Erin's edible and inedible cakes made me feel like I was in a boutique featuring a collection of high fashion designs (that were masquerading as cakes).
Rachael Little: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Erin O'Neill-Burke, Chasing Designs: My catch phrase is “Inspired by you”. I like to learn as much as I can about who the cake is for; their style, vision and interests. I try to bring the “feeling” of that person into the design and flavours. I like to try new things and show that beautiful doesn’t have to be boring – bend the rules, so to speak. I personally love the work of “The Pastry Studio” based out of Florida, whose specialty is Couture Cakes. I aspire to their level of design and success.
Rachael: Could you describe the aesthetic of Chasing Designs?
Erin: I tend to gravitate toward contemporary and modern designs when I’m creating a showpiece. As I said above, by trying new techniques and thinking outside of the box, I hope to show that the sky is the limit, don’t be afraid to be bold and unconventional.
Rachael: Which of your cake designs are you most proud of?
Erin: The “Mint Petal Cake” is a one of a kind. A real show stopper! This piece took me days to construct as each petal is rolled, cut, shaped and then adhered to the cake base, one at a time. The end result is a delicate, paper thin and entirely edible petal effect. The peach satin ribbon and handmade topper adds height and drama to the otherwise simple second tier.
Although the Mint Petal Cake is impressive, my favourite piece thus far has to be the “Peach Feather Cake”. The handmade feather base (non-edible) adds such a softness and tangible texture to the smooth modern lines of the cake itself. Set atop a silver candlestick, the entire design is stunning.
Rachael: How long does a wedding cake take to make from start to finish?
Erin: That entirely depends upon the size, ingredients and embellishment details of any particular cake. A single lilac flower stem, can require anywhere from 25-50 individually hand modeled blossoms that take several days to make. The cake itself requires baking, torting, filling, frosting or ganaching then covering in fondant and embellishing. Some processes required preparation days in advance and time to allow certain steps to set before moving on. Time management is imperative! It would be safe to say that a typical cake would take a full 24 hours to complete, spread out over several days. A more complicated cake, such as the HALO Helmet is more like 48 to 72 hours of non-stop work, spread out over many days.
Rachael: What has been your most popular item to date?
Erin: Cake Pops or Cake Bites have been a huge hit. Who doesn’t love cake on a stick?! My Pops and Bites are actually baked into the shape of a ball, rather than the popular technique of mushing up a cake with icing and hand forming balls. I find the texture to be very doughy. My Pops and Bites are like biting into a true piece of cake!
Chasing Designs isn't just a cake design business. In addition to Erin's event planning skills, she is also a talented artist. She creates handmade wedding invitations, custom artwork and logo design. See some samples of her work, here.
Erin has a busy year ahead of her with plans for trade shows and steady growth into the London area. I personally cannot wait to see what she comes up with.
If you are interested in meeting with Erin for a design consultation for your upcoming event, check out her facebook page, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you have been enjoying my local business features. I just love getting to know entrepreneurs with such passion for what they do!