An idea born from a school holiday baking programme, Trudi Brewer meets the brains behind Amy's Secret and visits her gorgeous Auckland home.
Baking with love is something Amy Todd does everyday. From cute cupcakes to bespoke wedding creations, Todd and her team make up to 30 cakes a day. And when her job at Amy's Secret Kitchen is done, she hangs up her apron, heads home and starts work on her fashion blog A little More by Amy. Here's a slice of her sweet life.
How did the idea of Amy's Secret Kitchen (ASK) develop?
The original business idea was a baking holiday programme for kids aged between six and 13. I love to see children learn an appreciation for baking. And the venue was in a secret location; hence the name. I ran them every school holidays and the rest of the time I baked cakes for family and friends, which became popular. So, over the years my sister and I have grown the business slowly together, with structure and simplicity baked into it.
Where and how did you learn to bake?
My Mum and Nana taught me how to bake with love, from a young age; an afternoon activity for me back then, was baking meringues with Mum and of course licking the bowl; now it is the other way around.
How much work goes into designing and baking special occasion cakes?
A one tiered cake takes me around 90 minutes, depending on how many elements a client would like to incorporate into their design. And then baking and icing a one tiered dream cake can take between two to three hours
In the early days you did it all, what is your role at ASK today?
I am the creative director, cake designer, head of icing and kitchen management.
What’s a typical working day for you?
Continuously ticking off my to-do list, which I write down every morning at breakfast. I start in the kitchen at eight a.m decorating cakes. I head out on deliveries and come back to the kitchen to edit images, design cake orders and work on new cake designs for the website. I head home around 5:30 and then, plan content for my website.
What do you love most about your career?
That I work for myself and I get to create magic every day.
What has been your career high to date?
It would hands down have to be learning the practice of Jin Shin Jitsu. These tools allow me to work around the clock and stay creative 24/7.
How has your career influenced your style?
Being able to dress however I like has allowed me to explore different options. And after five years I now understand that comfort is an essential key element to my style.
How would your describe your home?
An old villa transformed into a grounded, cosy home with timeless character.
Where do you find inspiration when renovating?
Pinterest, Elle UK and Vogue Living.
What makes a great interior?
Timeless texture, an example of that is the brick wall that was created from the chimney bricks. And the subway tiles and stone bench top. Also, grounding is key, and an example of that is the black accents and the dark floors.
What do you always have on your bedside table?
My amethyst crystal.
What is your favourite room and why?
I honestly do not have one as I adore every decision Tom (my partner) and I have made together while renovating our house. And now the renovation is complete; we can come home and relax without that huge workload on our minds. The best part is that summer is coming so we can enjoy entertaining our friends and family.
Describe your signature style?
Tomboy, with classic elements.
What is the one fashion item you will be buying this summer?
A pair of Golden Goose sneakers.
What handbag will you carry this summer?
My black Celine shoulder bag it's always over my shoulder. Tom often says, “You always look like your going somewhere.”
What does beauty mean to you?
Someone who has that sparkle of positive energy.
What would we always find in your beauty bag?
bareMinerals, I just adore their products. My beauty bag always has to have matching packaging; I could be a slight freak about that.
What beauty advice do you find yourself sharing?
Invest in your skin, and find a beauty therapist that is passionate about making your skin look and feel its absolute best.
Do you have a signature scent?
I don't have one. But when I do wear fragrance, it's to energise me and the room I walk into, so it's usually Touch of Spirit Saint Germain Aura-Sumo Spray
What is your desert island beauty product?
Aspect Hydrating Mask
Photography: Milana Radojcic
Makeup: MAC Cosmetics Josie Wignall
Pets pictured: Hank, the French Bulldog and Inky, the Persian cat.