Last season, I was presented with the unique opportunity to work with Shobna Kannusamy of Soirette Pastry Boutique. We had been following each other’s work for a while, and I am such a fan of her wonderful pastries. I absolutely have to stock up on a variety of macarons every time I visit, and there are always new flavours to try.
Shobna had the really fun idea to collaborate on a custom set of enamel pins for Soirette, and I immediately jumped at the opportunity because I knew it would be so much fun to work with her, and illustrating desserts is pretty much my favourite thing to do!
We had an initial call to bounce off ideas, and discussed having a set of three enamel pins: a set of macarons, a cake, and a cake slice. Shobna was interested in seeing how the macaron pin could have several macarons stacked in an interesting way, or if they could be in a box. She wanted the cake pin to have layers to create an ombré effect, and we could feature their popular Cherry White Chocolate Cake for the cake slice pin.
After the call, I got to work collecting images of Soirette’s pastries which I could reference, and then sketched out some ideas. I wanted to find a way to capture the fun and elegance of Shobna’s pastries in a design that needed to work as an enamel pin. Due to the size of enamel pins, I needed to ensure that the shapes were simple enough to be recognizable at a small size. My approach to this was to make sure the overall silhouettes of her pastries were as clear as possible. Shobna wanted to use rose gold as the metal colour, and I was really excited about the possibilities to use the metal colour in a unique way and bring out special details in each pin.
Reference images below are courtesy of Soirette.
For the set of macarons, after sketching out different ideas, the shape seemed to work best was when they were stacked and then contained in Soirette’s signature blue box, with a bow in the rose gold metal as an added detail on top.
For the cake, I thought it would be really fun to combine aspects of two different cakes. The first, the Honey Lavender Cake, with different layers of varying shades of purple for an ombré effect on the side, combined with the thick chocolate drizzle (yummm) of the Chocolate Hazelnut Cake, and with a rose gold highlight swoosh and embellishments on the top, to reflect the gold highlights that appear on many of Shobna’s cakes.
For the cake slice, I referenced Soirette’s Cherry White Chocolate cake, adding rose gold highlights to the layers and cherries.
Once the design was finalized, we worked on creating the pin backing, and created cute quotes to go along with each pin. Here’s how the final pins turned out!
This was such a dream project because Shobna gave me complete creative freedom - she had so many great ideas that I loved exploring in my personal style, and it felt like a true collaboration.
This is what Shobna had to say about the project:
“Cheryl was so much fun to work with. Her ideas and originality shines through her work. She is easy to get along with and will always do her best for you. We are proud to be carrying her products in our store!”
Be sure to stop by Soirette at 1433 W Pender Street in Vancouver to see all the custom enamel pins in person. They’ll be a perfect “sweet” accessory added to bags, clothing and more. You’ll also spot a selection of Quirky Paper Co. cards alongside the amazing pastries. Soirette specializes in delicious cakes, desserts and Parisian macarons, and you can take a peek at the magical pastries they have in store by following them on Instagram @lovesoirette.
Have a custom project in mind?
Past custom projects I have worked on include: custom greeting card designs, wedding invitation design, and enamel pin projects like the one above, and I am always open to new and interesting projects. If you think my design approach will be a good fit, I would love to collaborate with you!
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