Lucy Burton Weddings
THE BIG QUESTIONS
WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL TITLE?
Director & Founder (it still feels mad how official that sounds!)
WHAT DO YOU DO ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
I run my wedding cakes business around working full time in restaurant PR, so life can be a bit crazy sometimes! Usually I’ll run through LBW emails before heading to the office, then spend my evenings planning for upcoming commissions. That could be anything from emailing customers, doing a cake tasting at my flat, ordering ingredients or sketching out a new commission. I also write recipes for magazines and brands and take on ad hoc food styling commissions, so often spend evenings testing recipes. I love that no day is the same.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD AND WHAT CHANGED?
I always wanted to be a journalist - I used to dream about presenting BBC News at Ten! I suppose I am writing…although it’s more cake recipes than current affairs.
WHAT ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS DO YOU HAVE?
I studied English Literature at the University of Exeter - and had the best three years. I worked like a madwoman in my final year and graduated with a first, which is still one of my proudest achievements actually. A couple of years into real life, I knew I wanted to work in food and to train properly; I went to the utterly amazing Leiths School of Food & Wine where I completed my professional cookery foundation.
WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
Starting a business isn’t for everyone - and that’s ok. But it also means that people might advise caution, and actually what you need to be is ambitious. Take advice but also take risks - if you care about something enough, you can make it happen (although if you decide to work for yourself, be prepared to work harder than you thought possible!)
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY?
Elizabeth David and Anthony Boudain - for their stylish, unorthodox and honest approach to food, and for shaping the way in which we talk about it. They deserve every ounce of their legacies.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CURRENT WORKING ENVIRONMENT?
At the moment, my business is very much a side-hustle. While this definitely has its challenges, I love that making wedding cakes and writing recipes never feels like work. And my office is my kitchen - and that’s my favourite place to be.
WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOUR DAILY WORK ROUTINE IF YOU COULD?
To have more hours in the day would be amazing.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF PROFESSIONALLY IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?
I’d love to one day grow my business to the point where it could support me full time. The pipe dream is to write a cookbook - must revisit that proposal…
DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN BE THE SAME PERSON AT WORK AND IN PRIVATE?
Yes, definitely. My business and cakes are so dictated by my taste and preferences (a good and a bad thing!), and I can’t imagine doing it any other way.
WHERE AND IN WHAT ROLES ARE WOMEN IN THE LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE AT YOUR COMPANY?
I’m very much a one man band at the moment - so I suppose you could say we’re a 100% female company!
DOES DIVERSITY MATTER TO YOU?
It’s fundamental - it should be a given in 2018, but so often isn’t sadly.
HOW GOOD IS YOUR WORK LIFE BALANCE?
One of the downsides of the side hustle is that your free time can get swallowed into the business. I’m getting better at stepping away from my inbox - but there’s still progress to be made!
WHAT QUALITIES DOES BEING IN YOUR ROLE NECESSITATE?
Flexibility, creativity, style - and stamina.
ANY FINAL COMMENTS?
Ladies-who-Launch is bloody brilliant. Emma Tattersall, you truly are Wonder Woman. Sorry this has taken me over a year to do xxxxx