Daniella Boutros – Principal Cake Designer, ButterCreme Lane
Posted February 21, 2019, by Jenny
Daniella is a successful small business owner, entrepreneur, brand ambassador and media personality. She founded ButterCreme Lane in 2012, a creative and custom design celebration cake company. In that time, Daniella has delivered over 10,000 custom celebration cake creations. She has crafted celebration cakes for hundreds of celebrities, politicians, sports people and community leaders, and Daniella is a frequent guest on Studio Ten, The Today Show and Radio 2GB programs.
Life wasn't always sugar flowers and beautiful frosting ... Daniella has overcome her fair share of adversities and has proved that with courage and determination you can come out on top.
Tell us what a day in your world may look like
My day starts at 5 am when I take a deep breath, meditate and pray to help settle my thoughts for the day ahead. I’m straight on to clients enquiries for a few hours then I run around between media commitments and in-store activities. I still decorate all the cakes you see, so I juggle between all my roles and have learnt to enjoy and be grateful for all the tasks I get to do as an owner of a business. I try and finish up these days by 6 pm (I don’t always, but I do try). I love to spend the evening cooking and feeding loved ones.
Tell us about your study journey and how you overcame your learning adversity
So to put it straight, I was a high school drop out. I left school when I knew I just wasn’t able to keep my confidence up any longer. Dyslexia was too hard to beat in a school system they didn’t (especially at the time I was in school) cater to students like me. Although I was lucky to have great teachers who made my high school years fun and happy no matter how much I struggled with reading and writing.
I’m not sure I have overcome it, not sure I ever will… But I have learnt ways around it which is good enough for me. Running my own business was one way I thought I had a chance to create a work life that I could build to suit my learning needs. No matter how hard it still is I am truly grateful for what I DON’T have, as it gave me a drive like no other to show that I can do anything despite the adversity I face/faced.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
Oh, an interior decorator or psychologist. Funnily enough, I get to decorate all my stores and sets for shows and dealing with clients and my work team every day I kind of get to practice psychology... So it all worked out in a way!
Tell us about how at just 16 you started your first business
I knew I had to leave school if I had any chance of retaining any self-confidence. I asked to meet with all my teachers and parents. I explained I had a business plan & I would only need $500 and if I turned it into $1,000 would my parents then give me $1,000….. It wasn’t easy and there were so many hard bumps along the way but I could never give up (even though I tried). I was lucky to always have many great people around me – and I still do - who believe in me so much that even when I'm on the floor with nothing left to give they are there pulling me up saying "not today!" My biggest success is the person I have become, I am stronger and braver than I ever could have imagined.
What inspired you to start ButterCreme Lane?
It was very simple. Sure I loved baking, but it wasn’t my passion. My passion was people. I used to say that if I could open a store and people could come and I could make them smile …. That was my dream and passion. So when I started baking just to spoil family and friends and I saw their faces and how they would light up. I knew I was onto something.
Now I get to watch my clients enjoy the BCL family and we celebrate with them through some of the most special moments in their lives, we watch as their families and relationships grow. It’s everything I could have dreamt of building and more.
What’s the most interesting thing that’s happened to you in your career?
Oh gee, this is a hard one! I’d have to say at this point having my story shared in the media. I was such a shy child but seeing how much it helped others to hear what I struggle with and went through has been such an interesting journey. I have learnt so much more about myself and others. I never thought this would teach me so much love & understanding but it truly has and I have no doubt will continue to do so.
Name a career highlight
Making cookies with THE COOKIE MONSTER! Oh, and making a guest appearance on a documentary for Salt & Pepa with one of my cakes made for Pepa’s birthday! Yep, still smiling about both of those!
Name a career low
Everything that I did from 2015 – '17, oh what a shocker, this is when the business was going through its biggest growth. I let it get out of control and let the control get out of my hands! I learnt a lot but I created a mess of my business and it took me a year to get it back in order. I am thankful to be smarter and now know how to have a better team and also be a better boss.
Name something you still don’t know
How to read and write…. It will be something I won’t ever really know. I laugh now about it and on the days I cry about it I try and remember how different my life would be and all the wonderful people I wouldn’t know if I hadn’t been on this journey.
What’s the most important career tip someone has given you?
Not to give up when the going gets tough, it’s usually the push you need to turn the corner to greatness. By the way, this doesn’t just happen once in your lifetime, it keeps happening no matter what level you are at, so you need to get really good at dusting yourself off and getting up again and again and again!
What career advice do you wish someone had given you after you left high school?
Work for someone else first! There is so much you learn about business and yourself when you work for others. I wish I had had the guts to give it a go and learn from great people in different industries.
What important qualities and skills should people have if they want to become a baker?
Patience, perseverance and creativity. Being in a kitchen will test your limits, you need to learn to self soothe and push through frustration quickly and calmly.
What important qualities and skills should people have if they want to become a business owner?
Guts and a clear vision! If you want to be a boss it’s going to push your every limit. There is no space for ego, so get ready to open your mind to every learning opportunity that comes your way. Don’t lose what you are aiming for and have the guts to go for it even when the odds and people are against you.
What’s next for you?
A nap I hope…. Hahaha! I have so many exciting projects in the works, nothing I can lift the lid on just yet but what I can say is that I'm looking to opening up my kitchen doors to start workshops, I am looking forward to this so much and can’t wait to meet and create with everyone.