Tea time treats Chesterfield’s Natalie Owen puts her heart in to her baking to create utterly delicious homemade celebration cakes and other family teatime delights with the best ingredients.  Her new business, Nat’s Sweet Sins, already has regular customers and is receiving commissions for special birthday cakes. Natalie can be proud of her achievements and now wants to encourage others who face life problems.  She described her own family tragedies: “My mother passed away when I was 12 and my father died four years later.  I was then in foster care before living alone.  My first marriage was very abusive and I lost my baby due to the violence when I was pregnant.  Afterwards, I was hospitalised for mental health treatment.” “I’m now much happier and my health is better,” Natalie said, “I had worked with other young people who, like me, had to learn to live independently.  But it was very depressing when I wasn’t able to work because of my illness.  My second husband is a great support  and becoming self-employed has given me new confidence.  It makes me feel ecstatic when customers enjoy what I do.  I haven’t had a lot of praise in the past  so now I feel quite different.  Hand-making cakes needs care and passion and is very therapeutic.” Explaining her journey, Natalie said, “The mental health charity Rethink gave me lots of encouragement and the Work for Yourself Business Adviser has been brilliant.  I have more plans for the future such as setting up my own tearooms and giving cookery classes for other people with mental health conditions when they start to live independently.  My mum taught me to cook when I was very young because she was ill so I was able to look after my father and me when she passed away.”  Natalie’s portfolio of special birthday cakes fit any age: from Hello Kitty for a three-year old to Sheffield Wednesday football colours and logo for a thirty-year old.  She can cater for a complete tea party and makes other favourites such as fruit, cherry and lemon-drizzle cakes , cup-cakes and cookies to order.  “Anything delicious,” she said, “Like the double chocolate muffins and the vanilla cream fudge that I’ve just made.  People love home baking with the proper ingredients rather than the mass-produced versions.  You can taste the difference.  My customers ask for their own special cakes or choose from my list of classic baking.”
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