Sally Hetherington – Freelance Writer and Cake Connoisseur

by Claire Minnaar

Tell us a bit about YOU and your family (where you are based, single / married, number of kids, etc)

Married for 11 years, live in Claremont with husband and two girls aged 7 and 4 (nearly 5!) and two daschunds.

What is the name of your company and when did you start your business?

Kanga Creations – website design and freelance copy writing and editing, started in 2006.

Iced by Sally – started this year (2011) however.

What inspired you to start your own business?

Originally started after I had my first daughter so that I could work from home around her routine. I have always wanted to get into something food related so when my youngest started at her sister’s school this year I had time to do a cake decorating course and want to get this business off the ground around their school activities, while still writing part-time when I get work.

What are the challenges you face or have faced being a working Mom and how have you overcome them?

Being a freelancer I am not guaranteed work all the time but when it does come in it tends to be a lot with a tight deadline. I get frustrated being bored in between and guilty when I’m suddenly loaded with lots of work! To overcome all this I make sure that I am very much involved in my daughters’ lives so that when I have lots of work I know that I have given them lots of time and energy. I also take my laptop with me to their extra-murals when I have writing work so that I can watch and work!

What is the hardest part or have been some of your struggles starting your own business?

Getting ongoing work. Now that I am trying to get my cake business off the ground it’s very much word of mouth and sporadic. Also just starting out I don’t have a huge portfolio and have to take pictures as I make cakes, so I can’t set up a proper website yet until I have more to showcase. Hopefully as I sell more and people get to try my cakes the orders will come in. Also I need more capital to invest in the gadgets I want to make fancier designs.

How do you balance your business and your family?

Quite well because of the sporadic nature of my work. I will continue to pick and choose my projects based on upcoming child related events so that I can always put them first.

What or whom has been the greatest support for you and your business?

My husband. He knows that I do it not for the money but for the personal reward for myself as a person and not just a mom.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

I would have done a degree in the food industry straight after school rather than going to University so that by now I would have years of experience and skills behind me.

What advice can you give other Moms out there who are starting a new business?

Persevere, network and accept help!

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us that I may have missed?

Having your own business is not always the “easy option” – you need to be able to juggle and be accountable for yourself. You also need to be quite disciplined if you are working from home and have flexible deadlines to make sure that you get down to it and don’t get distracted by household chores or friends wanting to go out for coffee!

If other Moms would like to keep in touch, how can they contact you?

Email: sally (at) (freelance writing) or sally (at) (cakes)

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