THEY are wives, all mothers with two kids, they have careers that keep them on their toes. They tread on another common ground, the spot by the oven-these women are in business of baking, too.
Maybe, it was fated for 30-year-old Carol Co to get into baking. Not only is the family business into the retailing of baking and restaurant supplies, which make everything she needs for baking within reach, her sweet tooth made it logical for her to create her own version of her favorite desserts.
Mary Kathleen "Kay" Gempesaw, 40, took up a cake decorating course when she opened Baby Cakes with her sister-in-law. Her partner bakes and she takes charge of decorating the made-to-order cakes. Kay knows of Carol since she purchases her sweet shop's needs from her store.
The scent of freshly baked bread is what Katrina "Ina" Sison-Briones, 37, wakes up to with the commissary of the family-owned bakery just next door. Is it surprising that she ended up working in the family business? Ina is the HR and Administrative Head of Royal Breadhaus and its Cake Line Department Head, which involves conceptualizing the cakes and its designs before it lands on the shelves of the outlets. Carol knows of Ina as a client of the bakery supply store.
Other than this connection, these women don't know each other on the personal level. Not until Marks & Spencer hosted an exclusive tea party that got these ladies together. In this event, they found yet another common interest that instantly bound them together like long-time friends, like little girls playing with teacups.
Teacups. Yes. The women love tea and have a fascination for teacups and they scour the marketplace for the finest pieces they can lay their hands on.
Over tea and biscuits, the ladies shared their thoughts on what made them collect these fine, delicate beverage receptacles.
Ina's fondest moment while collecting is she got to bond with her mother, who also loves collecting antiques and vintage home decors. "She taught me how to appreciate period pieces and identify which has value."
For Kay, it was when she went tea set hunting with her kids at the Covent Garden.
"A seller and collector told us a story of the legend of the Blue Willow Pattern. It's about star-crossed lovers in China who turned into Doves after they died. My kids and I remember this story every time we use our Blue Willow Tea set," shared Kay.
Carol finds everything she has collected precious. Even more precious is her bonding time with her daughter, "We get to play with the tea sets," she said.
These ladies are just three of the big and growing community of collectors. When asked what advice they can give to budding collectors, Ina said, "Choose carefully. Consider which pattern or print and shape of the teacup that really catches your fancy. Most importantly, make sure the pieces are in best condition before purchasing because the condition will determine its value."
"My advice for budding collectors is to use their collections. These beautiful pieces are meant to be used and enjoyed," said Kay.
Carol shared hers, "Buy the genuine pieces, and what catches your eyes."