Possibly the yummiest chocolate I’ve ever had @nectarandstone. Full of Oreos and topped with gold leaf. #amazeballs #tooprettytoeat #notreally.
A single Instagram post from Australian fashionista Rebecca Judd and just like that, Nectar and Stone’s following jumped from 10,000 to tens of thousands.
It came as a welcome surprise to Donna-Caroline Khoo (casually, Caz), creator of these prettiest of prisms. While they were made famous in an instant, she’d long been refining her cookie-filled, chocolate pyramid.
“It’s taken so much work to perfect and master. With a lot of desserts you trial it, it doesn’t work, you go back to it… same with macarons, they took me months. Months!” But still, she persists – always – and perhaps that is part of the reason her baking blog has become a burgeoning business in only a year.
This self-dubbed “dessert designer” takes to the kitchen as a couturier would the catwalk. So, we just had to know how her business philosophy and digital savvy work hand in hand.
For me, it’s been hit-and-miss. I can’t say that I’ve done anything right from the beginning. I’ve made lots of mistakes. I had no idea what I was starting or how I was getting there. I think the only thing I could best pass on is just to be disciplined and consistent in executing what you want the end result to be. Starting with a good product is the first thing to do.
I think you can do anything if you put your mind to it. You just have to be committed to what you’re doing and go through with it. I spend many hours in the kitchen, many hours photographing, many hours on Instagram – it’s work, but you have to do it if you want to succeed and are passionate about it.
Work with light.
If you want a really beautiful white, crisp photo, start by practicing – and taking photos at different times of the day. Dusk or first thing in the morning, if it’s not sunny. As soon as that sun comes through it filters yellow light, and that yellow light just throws the camera off.
To hashtag or not to hashtag?
I don’t think there’s the need to hashtag too much. I don’t hashtag at all now. If you’re a brand and you’re consistent with your representation of photos, the people on Instagram understand who you are.
Why am I following you on Instagram? Because you offer something. If it’s a personal account, keep it personal. If it’s business, show the business. If you love shoes, show shoes in every photo – just be consistent. It becomes predictable and that’s what Instagramers like.
Who to follow?
I don’t follow a lot of cake people. The only people I follow in the cake industry are ones that I really admire. Katherine Sabbath in Sydney is one of them. She does crazy, wild things. We push ourselves and push the boundaries of the dessert industry.
Images courtesy of Nectar and Stone