Meet Rosie

23 July 2017
 

Surpassing expectations

With a 10-year career flying Lynx helicopters in the British Army behind her and four children, Rosie Dummer knows a thing or two about work-life balance. “I want to make money, of course I do,” she says. “But not at the expense of having a life. I’m more driven by achievement than financial gain.”

Her second career as an ‘extreme cake maker’, blogger, presenter and tutor—all under the Rosie Cake Diva brand—is a far cry from Rosie’s previous career that saw her become the British force’s first ever female pilot. But having left the Army behind, a conventional career didn’t appeal. “A 9-5 business environment just wouldn’t suit me or my life,” admits Rosie. “With this business, I’m able to work from home and be with my family. As well as being a cake artist, I teach, present and write – I’m selling me, not just my services.”

Grand designs

It all started when Rosie taught herself to bake and decorate cakes after having children, making cakes for friends and family before taking on paying clients. But she was never going to be content with creating ordinary, run-of-the-mill cakes. As her creations became more elaborate, they began to attract attention. “I’m a really excessive person,” she laughs. “I thrive on improving and surpassing expectations—that’s where the diva comes from.”

And surpass expectations she did: after winning the Wedding Cake of the Year award in 2012, Rosie took on increasingly ambitious projects, including a life-sized Grenadier Guard cake for Buckingham Palace and a 6-feet-tall Christian Grey cake that was eaten on the Graham Norton Show.

Adapt and thrive

But Rosie is the first to admit that her business is about far more than just baking show-stopping cakes. “I decided very early on that I would adapt the business to whichever opportunities presented themselves,” she explains. “Opportunities like teaching and presenting meant I could shape the business model suit me and my family.”

There’s been no shortage of opportunities as Rosie’s online profile has grown. Her blog is hugely popular with baking fans all over the world, especially in America. But it’s Facebook and Instagram, where she has a combined community of around 1.5 million followers, that have been game-changers for Rosie. “They’ve been entirely responsible for my business success,” she says. “They gave me the ability to showcase my work widely and that led to cake orders, teaching gigs, media opportunities and presenting work.”

American idol

Having a worldwide following has brought a few surreal moments along the way, too. As a tutor for US-based online learning site Craftsy, Rosie is building a reputation even bigger than her cakes with American audiences. She recently found herself explaining who Mary Berry was to her fans there. “To be more famous in the US than our own national baking superstar sounds crazy,” she laughs. “But that’s the power of social networks. They give you the opportunity to reach the worldwide public directly and build this community that helps you spread the word even further.”

Learn more about Rosie Dummer and Rosie Cake Diva:

Website: http://www.rosiecakediva.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rosiecakediva/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rosiecakediva/