Fee Range: C
Paris Cutler started out in stock broking then became a law student, went into recruitment and got married to a Venture Capitalist. It was that wedding that caused her to, eight years later, have over 10 staff, a business that has revenues of over 2.5 million dollars per annum, four books sold globally, an eight part TV series, the largest cake decorating school in the southern hemisphere, a huge celebrity following, a licensing deal with the BBC Worldwide and, most importantly, provided Paris with a vehicle that defined what women can do for her nine year old daughter Estelle.
Eight years ago that vehicle was a one-woman operation called Planet Cake. Paris was horrified that her poorly designed, shoddily made wedding cake had cost her $1400. Cutler said, "I looked at it and thought I could have set fire to the $1400 and felt I got my moneys worth." It wasn't even that she was passionate about cake decorating but identifying a market that had not been explored gave birth to Paris Cutler, the ENTREPRENEUR. The passion soon followed.
There are few examples of the Paris Cutler's in Australia. Gina Rinehart has taken her father's company, Hancock Prospecting, to dizzying heights making her the first female billionaire in Australia. Janet Holmes-a-Court, who was married to Robert, Australia's first billionaire, took over Heytesbury Holdings [now Heytesbury Pty Ltd] when her husband suddenly passed away. These women took flailing businesses and turned them into huge industrial concerns. Although Planet Cake is no Hancock or Heytesbury, Paris is following an illustrious line of women who have expanded businesses way beyond the founder's vision.
Paris has driven Planet Cake to be the premier cake decorating company in Australia. In fact, Paris' vision is that her cakes are props for parties. She often refers to her company as a "props" company supplying the hero cake to be the centerpiece for parties and functions. Identifying early the need for awareness and celebrity endorsements with a couture brand, Paris courted any home grown or visiting celebrities offering them cakes for their birthdays, weddings or simply to welcome them to our shores, an essential strategy to create awareness with the media and hence their readers. After producing works of art for Nicole Kidman, Rhianna, Lady Gaga, Guy Sebastian and David Campbell, Planet Cake was soon on the radar for blue ribbon clients, ASX100 companies and luxury brands such as Tom Ford Beauty, launching new products.
PARIS CUTLER -- I'VE GOT SOMETHING TO SAY
Public speaking is one of the roles Paris enjoys the most about having a profile in business and in the media. Paris has a knack for talking about the usual business practices but does not shy away from the ugly side of business or the effect it can have on your personal relationships. Some of the topics Paris likes to cover are:
* Building a brand;
* Learning and succeeding from failure;
* BHAG -- Big Hairy Audacious Goals including motivation and strategy;
* Women specific issues -- family, parenthood, glass ceilings, women in business;
* Small business -- when are you small and when are you big?
* Motivation -- how to stay "on game" and move from rags to riches;
* How did I become an entrepreneur?
* Personal Empowerment -- managing fear, having a vision;
* Leadership and management -- weeding out problem staff, stop pleasing everyone, it's your business now grow up!
* Social media -- valuable or just another PR tool?
* Conversations with my daughter -- what do you say when children see you fail? What do you do when the business needs you more? How do you find the time to raise a child and raise a business?
* It cost me my marriage -- I chose my business over my husband;
* Having a TV show -- why the hell did I agree to this? How to juggle multiple businesses at once.