Flexible Business of the Month – Lily Vanilli

What’s your business?

A bakery in East London. Traditional cakes and pastries, cake sculptures and celebration cakes.

How is your business flexible?

Apart from opening to the public one day a week it’s more like a freelance bakery. I work on different projects all the time from consulting, to catering, art projects (I’ve collaborated with the V&A and the Wellcome Trust) and making the sculptures, its something different every week and the business has always been built so everything is versatile and adaptable.

Do you have a main office or is most of your work done on the go?

No office, I work from home, the bakery, or wherever I happen to be. That works well for me and the majority of my admin is paperless so I find I’m able to work quite happily on my phone and laptop.

Do you work set hours?

Never. I’m always working on different projects so one week might be 20 hour days, another will be very quite with perhaps one wedding cake. I have staff who work on the regular baking for our café each week and I’m more like a freelance baker.

What technologies does your business use to help it be flexible and productive?

Just my iphone and my mac. I use my iphone for email, calls, calender and social media.

What one technology couldn’t you manage your business without and why is it so important to your business?

Oven timer.

What are the advantages to running a flexible business?

It means you can offer a flexible service. The baking is always fully bespoke and very versatile. Also, it means I can work in other cities (I’m currently working on projects in Abu Dhabi and Kerala).

How does being a flexible business benefit your customers?

It means I can offer a flexible service that’s fully bespoke, tailored to the particular brief, client or event.

Does it take a certain type of person to be a flexible worker?

I think most people would find it easy to adapt to, although it perhaps requires a little bit of self-discipline and to an extent an embracing of new technologies.

What tips would you give to someone who wants to make their business more flexible?

If it’s a system that’s new to you try and employ someone who finds it more intuitive. The hardest part will be unlearning old habits, beyond that it should make working life simpler.


To find out more about Lily Vanilli, click here, like the Facebook page and follow Lily Vanilli on Twitter.

Follow @O2BusinessUK and @SmartaHQ and head to O2 for great tips on how flexible working can improve your business.

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