Whether it’s a wedding, birthday, christening – any special occasion – the creative Kyrie Sheppard can create a magical cake topper that will steal the show at your celebration. From standard designs to one-off custom orders, Kyrie can help. This super-mum has followed her dream to start her own business, which has led to her creations being sold all over the world …
Hi Kyrie. What’s your association with the Greater Port Macquarie area?
I’ve called Port Macquarie home for just over a year; I was born and bred in Forster-Tuncurry. I moved away to the Gold Coast to study graphic design at uni and lived there for six years, and then a couple more years were spent in Mildura, Victoria. I fell pregnant with my first baby and my husband (who also grew up in Forster) and I decided to make the move back to the coast to be closer to family.
When did you first become interested in creating cake toppers?
I’ve always enjoyed designing; however, I never fell in love with designing people’s logos, websites etc. as I’ve always been very crafty and found that doing digital designs weren’t fulfilling my crafty needs.
When I first started making cake toppers, there wasn’t much available on the market so when it came to my own wedding, I figured there was no need to buy something off someone when I had the ability to design my own cake toppers. Back then it was all about the bling, so everything I made was encrusted with crystals. And I didn’t just stop at the cake toppers – there was a ring box, signing pen, cake knife and serving set, signage, champagne flutes and whatever else I could get my hands on – ALL IN BLING!
Thank goodness the crystal craze eventually fizzled out, as I would spend countless hours hand gluing tiny little crystals to everything.
What are the origins of your business, Glistening Occasions?
After making my first cake topper for my own wedding back in 2011, many of our wedding guests loved what I had made and asked if I could make something for their own events.
We got married in Bali, and as soon as we returned home I decided to set up a Facebook page and start sharing some photos of my work. It was just a little hobby that I was doing on the side whilst still working full-time designing for a newspaper, but it was enough to fulfil my creative needs.
Before I knew it, the little hobby was steadily growing, and I was pulling constant all-nighters to get orders made. At this stage I was designing my cake toppers and then having another business cut my designs for me, but as Glistening Occasions started transforming into more than just a hobby, I decided to take a leap and purchase my own laser cutter. It was the best business decision I ever made and whilst scary at the time, making such a huge investment sure paid off and took me to where my business is today.
What are some of the more interesting cake toppers you’ve made?
Oh, that’s a hard one! The custom designs are always fun to make; however, I do really enjoy creating 3D cake toppers to get lots of intricate detail with layers and different colours.
I never get to make much for myself, so I actually think making my own baby shower cake topper is still my favourite to date. I always like to push the boundaries and create cake toppers never seen before, so when it finally came time to create something for myself, it had to be something special.
I wanted to create something fun, so I made a large round timber cake topper with wording inside, and it had a tonne of layers to make a deep enough area to fill with florist foam. I then inserted fresh mini roses all around to form a fresh floral wreath and timber mixed topper.
I’m pregnant again and due in June, so I’d best start thinking up some ideas for my next cake topper!
How do you work with clients to design items for their special occasion?
A lot of clients purchase directly from my website; some are standard designs, so they just select the colour option and design they want, and I cut and post it out. Others purchase custom designs, like “Mr & Mrs Smith”, through the website – and I then work on an artwork proof with multiple design options for them to select from and then cut their chosen design.
I do also get a lot of completely custom orders that are not available for purchase through the website, so I have a good chat to the client about their ideas and wishes, cake size and get to work designing something one off for them. A lot of the time clients will send me pictures of the cakes they are having and ask for my professional opinion on what colour I think would match well, and I always feel so humbled that they trust me enough to help them with that decision.
Your cake toppers are shipped all over the world! Who are some of your more well- known clients?
I’ve been fortunate to work with some amazing people and businesses. Some of my favourite businesses I have created toppers for were Kmart (this comes first, as I’m a Kmart addict), Pandora and Forever New.
I’ve created cake toppers for Kylie and Jackie O, for Larry on The Morning Show and even the Powerpuff Girls – along with some other celebrity toppers that I’m unfortunately not permitted to brag about.
To this day I still get so excited when I get to work with some seriously talented cake makers, but my favourite client of all is honestly just the everyday person ordering for their wedding, their engagement, their child’s birthday, a christening, because it is these people who come back time and time again, refer their family and friends, and it is these people who truly appreciate my work and always send me such lovely emails, thanking me for my efforts.
Where can we contact you?
You can view a whole range of my products on my website: www.glisteningoccasions.com.au
On there you will find a contact form that you can fill out, or you can alternatively email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to chat about any of your cake topper/laser cutting needs.
You can also follow my journey on Instagram; however, I must warn you, there are a lot of pictures of delicious cakes with my cake toppers that may find you heading straight to a cake store to end that healthy eating!
Thanks Kyrie. Interview by Jo Robinson.