When not busy at her day job co-running a design studio and an e-commerce site, graphic designer Esther Mun moonlights as a master creator of customized cake toppers with her side endeavor, Lil’ Cake Toppers. With her impeccable attention to detail, every Esther-made cake topper is full of quirks and will add a personal touch to any occasion: weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, dohl parties, etc.
When and how did you start your side business, Lil’ Cake Toppers?
I discovered blank wooden toppers at a fair while selling our own product line, Start Here notebooks. They were already decorated with generic designs and it was too expensive for my taste. The first thing that came to my mind were the traditional Korean wedding outfits my parents wore in 1977 and how cool it would be to customize them with all the details. After painting a few toppers for friends as wedding gifts, I started to do more themed weddings like Hawaiian, Indian, and traditional Korean for friends and family. I saw them as one big family of toppers and more requests from acquaintances encouraged me to build a simple site to showcase them. But it ended up turning it into a place where you can order your own customized toppers!
What’s the most interesting order you’ve received so far?
One that I am working on right now for an October wedding, a Bavarian leiderhosen groom and Ukrainian bride! It’s gonna be HOTTT. Definitely going to be featured on the site as soon as I’m done!
Which topper has been the hardest to make?
I think I’m going to hit challenging ones for September and October where the grooms are completely bald. The shape of ears are depicted with the positive space of the hair. I need to figure out another way to make to ears visible with a thin line or something.
Aside from Lil’ Cake Toppers, you also co-run a design studio, Little Fury, and an e-commerce site called Start Here Mart with your business partner, Tina. We’re curious to find out what an average work day looks like for you.
Always start with a good cup of coffee and hearty breakfast. Every Monday, Tina and I go over our rough game plan for the week. Each week, obviously, the day is different. I usually hit up studio paper work, bills and crap in the morning, and then start jamming on Little Fury projects. Take care of Start Here Mart inventory stuff when I need some time to stretch or be off the monitor. We like to take longer nice lunch breaks, food is one of the the most important time/elements in our work day!
Where do you find your design inspiration? And how would you describe your design aesthetic?
Usually researching online, and in books and magazines. This is what you land on when you log on either Little Fury or the Start Here Mart site, and it sums up our design aesthetic well: “Clean, Simple, Functional marks the fury way of design. We may be little but the impressions we create are big. Whether it’s our designs, collections, or product line, in the house of fury, pretty things are always made simple.”
Are there any other projects you have in the works?
As for Little Fury, we just launched a few new projects that we’ve been working on. Connecting Nurses, and Little Rock Film Festival which we really enjoyed working on. On a personal level, I always have other projects going on. I’m currently working on a make-up artist friend’s website and a necklace made out of pistachio nut shells. HAHAHA
Check out Esther’s growing empire:
- Lil’ Cake Toppers
- Start Here Mart
http://startheremart.com (5% of your purchase goes to Helping Haiti and Opportunity Int’l)
- Little Fury