Live Your Best Life: Vaani Wadman
I have another Live Your Best Life interview for you and I'm delighted to feature Sugar Plum Bakes creative cake designer Vaani Wadman this time. I first 'met' Vaani on Instagram, then we got to meet, briefly, in real life but I'm still waiting for the chance to taste one of her incredible looking cakes! In this interview series we focus on what living the life you want, contributing to the world in a way that works for you and being the best version of yourself each day, means for each of us. There's no perfect way to live and the inspiring women I talk to here don't have everything figured out, they're simply doing what they can to live the best life they can.
So, let's read what living your best life means for Vaani…
Welcome Vaani! Can you tell us a little about yourself, what your life is like and the path you took to get to where you are today?
Thank you so much, Gabrielle, for inviting me to be a part of your inspirational series. I am a mother and a cake designer. My life is filled with taking care of my family and also running my business. I feel very lucky that I spend my working hours creating cakes for weddings and joyful celebrations. I am a hopeless romantic so coming up with wedding cake designs is perfect for me! Although, I did start out in quite a different career.
When I graduated from University, I worked in the Oil & Gas industry as a Chemical Engineer. I loved the practical aspect to the job but I'd always had a creative streak and knew that I wanted to have a job where I could be artistic. Once I had my children, I was no longer able to travel with work and I got stuck at my desk – which really wasn't fulfilling. I'm a real homemaker and missing out on my children's early years was making me very sad. With the support of my husband, I found the courage to give up my dependable salary and take the plunge to make beautiful cakes for a living! I manage my work around my family, so it means I can be there for my children when they need me. I love being able to work on my terms.
What inspirational quotes or mantras hold meaning for you?
It probably sounds a little cheesy, but I was really moved by the film Dead Poet's Society when I was young and so "Carpe Diem" (Seize the Day) has always been an inspirational quote for me. I do try and make the most of each day and live for the moment. In more recent years, I've found the quote by Maya Angelou has resonated a lot with me: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Making people feel good through my work and in my day-to day interactions is really important to me.
The Maya Angelou quote is a favourite of mine too. How do you recognise when life’s getting on top of you?
With all the busyness of my life, this isn't something I'll be aware of until everything starts unravelling. It all gets rather disorganised and I'll start forgetting things!
What do you then do to get back to how you want to feel?
I'll often take a step back and have a good look at what's tipping me over the edge. I've learnt the hard way that my family are the ones who suffer if I say 'yes' to everything, so it's always with them in mind that I am more careful about the jobs I take on. I've got better at saying 'no' to things if it means that I can have more time to be more present in my life. I've also learnt to take better care of myself, I swim regularly and walk my dog most days in the park. Getting out into nature is really great for bringing clarity and also hugely inspiring for my work.
Can you share with us what are your plans, hopes and dreams for the future?
I'm not a big planner. I might have an idea of what I'd like for the future but I'm always open to change and feel I need to be adaptable. I think I make instinctive decisions, and I try to listen to my self-voice about the steps I take. My own business has been very organic in its growth and I love the journey it's taking me on.
Finally, Vaani, what does living your best life mean to you?
I'm sure I would have had a different answer for you if you had asked me 20 years ago. Like many people life has thrown me some heavy blows, especially in my years as a new mother, but it has made me focus on the positives all the more. I'm very grateful for my beautiful family: my children and my husband. I think I'm more accepting of life's limitations, and don't waste my energy fighting something that can't be beaten and try and channel that energy into the things that matter. It means that I think much more about living my best life now, about giving the best of me now and cherishing those precious moments.
Vaani runs a cake business called Sugar Plum Bakes and makes luxury, bespoke cakes and cookies. Vaani loves to collaborate with her clients to create unique designs. If you would like to learn more about her cakes and edible creations, you can check out her website and blog and connect with Vaani on Instagram.