Emily Lamb, Director of Prop Options

A leading supplier in luxury and bespoke cake stands

I completed a Business Management degree whilst I was pregnant with our second daughter. I worked hard at it, but it wasn’t at the forefront of my priorities, so when Mila was four months old, I got a job as a night-time receptionist in our local A&E department.

Just like her sister Olivia, Mila is in demand as a child model – having had her first commission at nine days old. For her first birthday, we planned a fun cake smash shoot. The only trouble was that the photographer couldn’t find a cake stand short enough for a one-year-old to sit at!

Fortunately, at the time, my husband Brad made his living building boats. As a carpenter and a skilled craftsman, he built a bespoke stand himself. That’s how – in the strangest possible way – we found our niche: making custom cake stands of different heights and diameters in all kinds of colours and designs!

We began advertising on Etsy in 2017 and things just took off from there. I’d come home from the night shift and take the girls to school whilst Brad went off to work; then I’d sit down and start processing all the orders from cake makers, photographers and brides-to-be. Brad would build in the evenings whilst I went back to A&E. It was a slog, but we made it work. By January 2018, we’d grown so much I could quit at the hospital.

Brad gave up his job this year too. Thanks to his talent for pricing and profitability, we may need to take on staff soon. I lead on all the back-office stuff, as well as helping out in the workshop when needed. I don’t get any more sleep than when I worked nights, but we’re building something for ourselves so it’s worth it.

Recently, we did our first ever cake show – the biggest of its kind in the world. For someone like me with a fear of being people-facing, it felt like extreme immersion therapy! We unveiled our new metal and marble products and made loads of great new contacts. Heading into 2020, we’re in a stronger position than ever – all because we saw an opportunity and ran with it!

Prop Options