While most Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information students spend their weekends partying away, catching up on sleep or working on assignments, Adeline Tan and Lee Su Fang (both CS’19) will most probably be found baking cakes and decorating them late into the night.
“When I was 18, Instagram had become more popular and people started creating accounts to showcase their hobbies. I started an account to share photos of my bakes because I really liked the process of taking photos and styling them,” said Tan.
In the first two years of their businesses, they each received an average of four to eight cake orders every month. These days, they have been accepting fewer orders due to increasing school commitments.
Customised themed birthday cakes and cupcakes form the bulk of orders which Tan and Lee bake every weekend. Floral themed cakes are the most popular among their customers - who include their friends, family and also followers of their Instagram pages.
For Tan, special occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are when she sees the most demand for her brownies and cookies.
Over the years, both of them have found their own niche.
A signature style of cake Tan often bakes these days come either in the shape of an alphabet or number, topped with a layer of mixed berries and macaroons.
Meanwhile, Lee has been baking specialty cakes for corporate events and weddings. Over the past three years, companies such as Faux Fayc Cosmetics, Lazada and Club Med have commissioned her to curate dessert spreads for their media events.
“I’ve never been very artistically inclined, so to be able to find my medium to execute artistic work is really quite fulfilling,” said Lee.
Apart from the ordinary vanilla sponge with cream, both of them also enjoy putting their own spin on cake flavours. Some quirky cake flavours they have explored include Ondeh Ondeh and Thai Milk Tea.
Lee’s six-inch cakes start from $60 while her two-tier cakes (six and eight inches for each tier) start from $200. Tan, on the other hand, does not have a fixed price for her cakes, as it depends on the customisation.
Today, Tan has 3,239 followers on Instagram, while Lee has 1,182.
Their increasing popularity on the social media platform and word-of-mouth referrals from their satisfied customers, have seen both their businesses come a long way.
“I’ve never been very artistically inclined, so to be able to find my medium to execute artistic work is really quite fulfilling.”
Lee Su Fang (CS’19)
Both bakers said their journeys began when they got hooked on Youtube baking videos, but their love for baking materialised in their respective home kitchens.
Now that Tan and Lee are graduating, they look forward to doing more baking in their humble kitchen spaces at home.
Lee has plans to do baking full-time for the initial few months following her graduation and is considering furthering her studies in a pastry school overseas. Tan said she will continue her business alongside her full-time job in future.
“It’s nice to know that you can make someone’s birthday better and that what you make can bring people happiness,” said Tan.