If you live in Canberra, chances are you have heard of the incredible dessert designer Pip & Lou. In fact, even if you don't live here, the name will most likely be on your radar because whether you are a big dessert fan or not, Pip & Lou is more than just that, it is art. Camille founded Pip & Lou as a means to save on birthday cake costs and also to provide cakes to her friends and family. Her passion for desserts slowly turned into a journey in creativity, pushing the boundaries, creating a booming business and connecting design, art and style into something edible and enjoyable.
Camille first caught my attention with an honest and gripping account of her personal story which resonated with me, being very similar to my own experience and reading her words gave me the guts to be more publicly open and honest about my own situation. You can read about Camille's story here. Giving a voice to those who may be too afraid to speak out is not only incredibly inspiring but also vital to the process towards change, empowerment for women and a desperately needed shift in culture. Camille has created a successful business through determination, strength, sheer passion, hard work and through the most challenging of circumstances. Her story is a remarkable one.
With features and interviews springing up all over the place lately, I was lucky to borrow a few minutes of Camille's time to ask her a few questions about her business, her style and what matters to her most.
How was the idea of PIP & LOU. born?
PIP & LOU was born in 2013. Financially, my divorce had kneeled me and so I started making cakes in place of buying birthday gifts for family & friends. People who attended the parties began to request orders & the journey into 4 years of incredibly hard work building PIP & LOU. started from there.
What initial steps did you take to turn your vision and dream into a start-up business?
I decided on a business name, signature branding & marketing approach to get my signature floral + dessert 'beautiful mess' out there. At the time it was considered too outrageous & too messy.
What is a typical day in the life of being a dessert designer?
Lots of admin! Lol I think the general assumption is that I 'just make lots of pretty cakes'. That's certainly the exciting part, unfortunately there is a great deal of admin that goes into managing such a busy business.
There is also a lot of unpaid hard work that goes into creating new dessert collections. PIP & LOU. takes great pride is being 100% authentic & a great deal of time goes into the development of signature styles.
How do you come up with your designs?
It's a cliche, but they just come to me. My work is 100% freestyle unless repeating one of my previous designs. I'm self taught & I really just take it as it comes.
Anyone who follows my business would know that I'm quite defensive of my work. I put all of my heart & spare time into maintaining that my work is one of a kind and so it's really disappointing when it's replicated, falsely attributed to others and sold out from under me.
What inspires you both creatively and as a business person?
Working against the grain. Challenging myself to continuously innovate and surprise myself.
When you are not in the kitchen, how do you spend your down time?
My brain is on constant overdrive, I'm always dreaming up a new idea & business direction, even in my down time but I like to get outdoors as much as possible. Spend time with my fiancée & daughter & catch up with my very patient friends, get my hair done etc.
Where in Canberra do you like to eat, drink, brunch and shop?
I love small quirky off the wall places. For food at the moment I'm loving Casey Jones Gastro Pub in Casey, their pappardelle is insane! I shop a bit all over the place
I love Thurley & Asilio. They're completely off the wall.
Black + ridiculous statement jewellery.
5 things you can’t live without…
Biggest lesson in life/business so far?
You're not irreplaceable. There is always a new 'next best thing'. You can only be authentic. That way you can be secure in the fact that your success is your own. There is no greater sense of accomplishment than that. That is where you find the drive innovate. The ones who change the game, never followed the pack, the trends or anything for that matter.
Where do you aim to take Pip & Lou over the next few years?
PIP & LOU. is in a constant state of evolution. I have really crazy plans, but we will just have to see. : )
If you would like to see more of the beautiful work by Pip & Lou click here.