Tell us a little about yourself using a Haiku.
Heart, star, elephant.
Floury hands tenderly sculpt
sweet treats from childhood.
Tell us a little about the origins of bonniebix.
The “bonnie” in “bonniebix” [one word, all lower case] comes from my Nanna on the maternal (Irish) side. She was formally known as: “Alice Kathleen Kilpatrick” but was “Bonnie” to friends and family. Nanna died when I was a child, yet I have always felt a strong spiritual connection to her. Bix is short for “biscuits.”
I started making shortbread biscuits when I was about 20, purely for pleasure. It wasn’t until two decades later that I began selling them for profit. Now friends and family have to PAY for them.
The first shortbread biscuit I ever made was an elephant shape. Its legs were wonky and the trunk snapped off, but I didn’t give up. I strove and strove until I learned how to get them perfectly shaped.
Why shortbread? Sometimes I even ask myself that. An animal-shaped biscuit, pale yellow with sugar on top, harks back to my childhood and to images I saw in picture books, especially Christmas images. Perhaps those images left a positive imprint on my mind? Perhaps I wanted to emulate them? What I do know is that making my biscuits beautiful and giving them to others, gives me enormous pleasure. It’s like the glow you experience when you’re a kid and you’ve just finished opening your Christmas presents.
Describe your work life.
I enjoy all the funny little things associated with being a full-time baker. It amuses me when people stare at me at the supermarket as I load 20 party buckets of M&Ms into my trolley. I once had to wipe sky blue icing off the ceiling. Sometimes I get hundreds and thousands in my shoes. The other day when I returned to my apartment after a grocery trip, I saw a trail of footprints leading from my apartment door to halfway down the carpeted corridor – a footprint trail in baking flour.
What inspires you the most?
My customers inspire me the most. I listen to what they say. If I can make a customer happy, then I’m happy. It was a friend at book club who suggested putting honeycomb on my shortbreads and now it’s my best-selling flavour. Another friend and fellow market vendor (Sandra from BoldandStriking) begged me to fill my shortbreads with lemon curd. Sure enough, my customers love it.
What are your ultimate dreams for bonniebix?
Selling biscuits is pleasurable and it pays the bills, but ultimately I want to be a writer. Being self-employed gives me the freedom to do both. Right now, I have a novel under wraps (young adult fantasy fiction) and one day soon I hope to sell it off my market table, right beside my biscuits. I’m also a prolific letter-writer. My snail mail pen-pal, Antony, lives in England and our correspondence is in its 16th year. He’s an incredibly important part of my life. Currently, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Launching bonniebix was a risk, but it paid off.
What will we find from bonniebix at our August Bend and Snap Market?
This month there will be a strong focus on my Frozen shortbreads. That movie is definitely a ‘big thing’ at the moment.
Come join us for our upcoming market day on Sunday 31st August 11:00am to 4:00pm with a delicious variety of stalls showcasing the wonderful work of the local art and design community.
We will also be indulging in a little crafternoon fun at market day with an UPCYCLED ORIGAMI WORKSHOP presented by the talented ORIGAMIG. Forget the standard paper plane and/or chatter box (though we can make them too if you like!) and get folding and sculpting gorgeous intricate creations under the guidance of our resident origami guru!
Be sure to see our other gorgeous stall holders where you will find a range of delights both unique and sustainable – such as fancy glittery hand-embroidered cushions, owl plushies, tea towels and various homewares, bespoke botanical bouquets, steampunk, retro, gothic or Victorian garments and other items, upcycled vinyl, paint, thread and vintage furniture, strangely beautiful upcycled garments, origami jewellery, origami decoration, delicate paper crafts, handcrafted candles, unique children’s vintage clothing, handmade children’s accessories, whimsical pictures and other magical bits and bobs, beautiful terrariums and low maintenance eco system wonderlands, sweet shortbreads and much much more! *breathes*
Stall holders for our August market include: A MURDER OF RAVENS, BLACK & GOLD, DARLING, BONNIEBIX QUALITY SHORTBREADS, BOTANICAL STYLING BY LIZ, GYPSY’S SEWING BOX, THE HANDY STUDIO, HANNAKIN, KATRINA-MARIE, MAYBELLINI, ORIGAMIG, PETITE MAMIE, PLATED IMAGE, RADICAL THREADS, SARZ DESIGNS, SCRABBLE KITTY, STRANGE BEAUTIFUL ME, TERRARIUM LABORATORY, UNFAZED & CONFUZED and many more!