I just can’t wait any longer to share with you what I have been up to!
MORE INFORMATION & PHOTOS COMING SOON! Introducing an adorable, quarterly subscription box that is delivered straight to your door with ALL of the elements needed to create magical memories with the kids in your life! — We took the stress out of baking, and only left you with the fun part!
As a cake artist and mommy, my kids have grown up baking and decorating with me. Over the years, we have created tons of incredible memories spending time with each other in the kitchen, and I want to share that opportunity with you!
……. but most importantly, ENJOY time spent together.
Sweet Elizabeth is proud to offer the first subscription box of its kind! Each box is packed with goodies & includes: – Dessert Recipe Cards – Decorating Tutorials – Specialty Ingredients & Supplies – And SO much more!
*You will receive an email with each box that is FILLED with extras! Such as: playlists & talking points to use while baking, themed printables, shopping lists, and MORE!*
Recommended for kids ages 3-12 or children at heart who love dessert!
——————————————————————————————————————– ——————————————————————————————————————–The Sweet Elizabeth Subscription Box makes the PERFECT gift! Whether the kids in your life love creating things in the kitchen, watching baking shows, or you want to spend more time with them doing something fun and different, this box is sure to put a smile on EVERYONE’S face! ——————————————————————————————————————– ——————————————————————————————————————–
This box is GREAT for: – The independent, Food Network obsessed 8 year old! – Pre-Planned FAMILY TIME – A Fun Day at Grandma’s – Mommy & Me Activity – Easy Treats for School & Family Holiday Parties – Unwinding after a long day at work with a glass of wine, while creating a delicious & adorable dessert!
This box contains several different activities. Do them all in one day, or spread them out to keep the fun going! ——————————————————————————————————————–
Each and every box will be themed differently, and include new recipes and decorating techniques! Boxes will be themed around the holidays & seasons closest to their ship dates.
One of the things that I am most excited about is we are gearing these boxes towards school-aged children. They can take their creations to their school or family holiday parties to share their new skills with everyone!
You will be billed on the 1st of every third month. (March, June, September, December)
Boxes will ship out within the two weeks following.
In 2016, the top wedding cake trend was all things METALLIC.
Brides wanted everything from towering cakes that were covered in solid gold to delicate cakes intricately detailed with edible metallic accents – and I was ALL OVER IT! I have always been a little *ahem* bling-y (to say the least) — so this trend was right up my alley!
I’m sure the answer is yes, and if you’re anything like me you did what you always do and researched your butt off until you found thecrown jewel.
How in the world was I supposed to achieve a metallic finish on a cake?
I tried a million different products in the process. That’s right — one MILLION! Okay, maybe not a million, but there are a TON of products out there that claim to give you a brilliant metallic finish on any confection you can imagine. Some definitely didn’t disappoint, but others were comicalto say the least.
I tried everything from highlighter dusts, gold and silver leaf, and everything in between.
Why would something so popular be so hard to find?
The products that gave me the best results were gold and silver leaf, but they were SO expensive and time consuming to use. You also could only cover entire surface areas with them, so any small metallic painted details were out of the question.
Highlighter dusts in gold or silver were the obvious option at the time. When mixed with vodka to the proper consistency, the dusts gave the most beautiful metallic finish. These products that were labeled “Non Toxic” or “Food Safe“. This meant that I could totally use them on my cakes, but I would have to educate my client on the proper removal of every part that was painted before serving their cake.
What a PAIN!
Of course they were BEAUTIFUL, because it would be way too easy for me to just stumble upon a product that was truly edible and worked the way it was supposed to! The slew of other dusts or paints that claimed to be “metallic” were just gold in color, or had a tiny bit of shimmer, and almost always came out streaky.
Remember what I said about the whole “mind blowing” thing? It’s coming, trust me.
I had done it. I had mastered the correct painting consistency by mixing all of these different brands of dust with vodka, I was a pro in brands that manufactured metallic products in the US, and I was left right back where I started.
Well — almost back where I started, plus a few grey hairs — did I mention that these highlighter dusts that I speak so highly of are a royal pain in the butt?
For starters, they are a bit expensive. So penny-pinchers like me try to save their dust in little cups after the alcohol evaporates which leaves you with a poof of dust that goes EVERYWHERE the next time you try to use it.
The dusts also flake and dry out as you paint, which poses a huge problem when you are painting details on a white cake and gold FLAKES ALL OVER YOUR BEAUTIFUL WORK!!! (Not that I’ve ever had that happen or anything)
If you spill it, it’s almost as bad as dropping a gallon of vegetable oil on your floor because cleaning it up is literally the worst.
And forget about using a paint palette that you may ever want to use again.
What’s that, you put it in your sink with all of your other dirty dishes? HA, GOOD LUCK. (I once saw a photo of a lady’s dishwasher after she put her highlighter cup on the top rack — literally every dish in her machine was stained gold and greasy for the rest of its being.)
But other than that (and the whole not really being edible thing) they were PERFECT!
I could go on but I’ll spare you the reading …
And can we talk about Rose Gold for a second? This color became insanely popular because, let’s face it, it’s downright GORGEOUS! But finding a true Rose Gold was like finding a needle in a hay stack — and to find an edible one? — FORGET IT!
I was nearly about to give up and just use the devil highlighter dust forever. If I had to explain to my clients at literally every meeting and pickup why and how they needed to remove their beautiful metallic accents so be it. I gave it one last ditch effort and boy did Google provide!
*Queue MIND BLOWING MOMENT*
I stumbled upon THIS blog post by Viva La Buttercream.
Kerrie — I know you don’t know me, but you changed my life in more ways than one. In this short blog post, Kerrie reviewed Metallic Edible Art Paints By Sweet Sticks, an Australian based product. In the time it took me to read the post, I was instantly sold.
THIS WAS IT, the search was OVER! I had found the illusive metallic food paint that was 100% EDIBLE!
Well, I thought the search was over…
I could not figure out how to get my hands on this PERFECT product. Since it was an Australian product, it was super hard to find in the United States. After what seemed like hours of searching, I finally had the crown jewel of metallics ordered and headed from the land down under to cajun country for some testing of my own.
Did it pass the test, you ask? Uh, DUH!
It was perfection in a bottle. One coat for an even finish, it dried rub free, AND it was TRULY METALLIC!
Ya’ll. My excitement level was through the roof. Probably way too high for the average caker, but I guess I’m not average.
Being the normal person that I am, I reached out to Miranda over at Sweet Sticks shortly after trying the paint (shortly being like 5 minutes after it dried on my test fondant) to see how I could start selling her paint in the US because I needed to tell people about this game-changing product.
METALLIC ALL THE THINGS because this stuff is the real deal.
I started stocking the paint in August of 2017 and am now the US Representative for Sweet Sticks. I have all of their products available on my website, as well as Amazon, and my Etsy Shop.
When I attend big cake conventions like SoFlo and Show Me Sweets to teach my cake designs, I also have a Sweet Sticks booth to share how this paint can change your cake game (and cookie, and cakepop, and macaron, and candy apple, — you get the point).
So yeah, there’s my journey of the search for the PERFECT edible metallic.
*(Not that my being a huge Steve Irwin fan growing up has anything to do with this, but I still feel like it was destiny! One of these days I will make my bucket list trip to Australia … but that’s a topic for another day.)*
If you want to see others using the paint, be sure to follow me on Instagram and check out my story highlights for all of the reasons you need this paint in your life.
OH! And guess what, now they make a PALETTE that literally looks like it came straight out of Sephora — but it’s for cake.
So, here’s to you, Kerrie, and your awesome blog post!
As in 2,555 days. How in the WORLD did this happen so fast? Time really just needs to slow down.
And to really put into perspective how quickly time is going by – I finally edited the pictures of her cake from LAST YEAR.
Yeah – like somehow in the past year I haven’t had time to sit down and get these things together.
I’m behind on every birthday photo book and am literally running trying to keep up with how quickly time is flying by. I’m scared to blink, and every day is spent trying to enjoy each tiny moment with my girls because I know I’ll look up and another seven years will have passed just like that.
Sorry for the sappy intro, but dang! I don’t want my babies to grow up! Last year, Peyton was in love with cats – so naturally her party was kitty themed, as well as the cake. This year she has moved on to bigger and better things – yep, you guessed it, My Little Pony.
This party needed to look like a rainbow threw up a beautiful array of colors and glitter, and I’m pretty sure we nailed it — from the Cutie Mark tattoos to the Rainbow Photobooth Cake, everything had a hint of My Little Pony and of course a sprinkle of Rainbow Dash!
This was one of those cakes that didn’t get assembled until we got to the venue – which is always a crap shoot considering you have no idea how the lighting will be. And this time, I lost .,. BIG TIME.
Dark was not the word for the party room, so needless to say, the photos of the cake are less than impressive. I still loved this cake and Peyton did too, so I have to at least give you a glimpse. But nothing kills my soul more than a poorly lit venue and crappy pictures of a cake that was actually really cute!
All I can say is time better slow down because I am absolutely NOT ready for her to be eight.
I’m back again, introducing you to yet another one of my creations. Yes, this cake is from MAY. I know — behind much? BUT, at least I am finally officially revealing it. If you didn’t read my last blog post about Photobooth Cakes, be sure to click here to do so before continuing on so you don’t miss any of the good stuff!
If you’re a Harry Potter fan, GREAT — this cake will make loads of sense! If you’re not a Harry Potter fan, I will try to explain everything, I promise!
So without further ado, I introduce you to the Daily Prophet, Photobooth Cake style.
Yep. Here it is, in all its glory! Probably my favorite cake to date. Although I tend to say that with every new cake I make so I guess it should hold onto that title tightly before I make my next cake! If you’re looking at this cake and trying to wrap your head around what exactly it is that you are looking at, let me shed a little light on the situation.
But first … a little back story, of course!
My husband and his family are die hard Harry Potter fans. Not to the extent that they each own a cloak, but pretty close. I have about a million ideas running around my head on where to take my Photobooth Cake invention next, and time to experiment in my cake studio doesn’t come very often. So when I see an open opportunity for a babysitter and a practical cause, I take it quickly! Which is EXACTLY what happened when I was asked to make a joint graduation/birthday cake for two of those giant Harry Potter fans I mentioned earlier.
So, here it was. I needed to make a graduation cake, that could also pass as a birthday cake. The recipients happened to have a common interest that they were passionate about. And I needed to satisfy the urge to make another EPIC Photobooth Cake.
My Photobooth Cakes generally have three major components:
Hanging Cake – Generally in the form of a hat of some sort – Ha! Pun ABSOLUTELY intended!
Sculpted Cake – Generally in the form of a bust or something for the forefront of the scene.
Photobooth Frame – This ties the whole piece together and makes it recognizable as a working photobooth. This can be anything -a poloroid frame, instagram frame, etc.
And……begin brainstorm session.
My husband and I bounced ideas off of each other for about fifteen minutes before deciding that the Sorting Hat was an absolute must – somehow in my years of caking I have never even had the opportunity to make one, so here was my golden opportunity. Component one, hanging Sorting Hat cake — CHECK.
If you are not a fan of Harry Potter, here are some Muggle terms for you from a trustworthy source before I get too excited and start speaking in practically another language!
Firstly, Muggle: is a person who lacks any sort of magical ability and was not born in a magical family.
Hogwarts: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, shortened Hogwarts, is a fictional British school of magic for students aged eleven to eighteen, and is the primary setting for the first six books in J.K.
Sorting Hat: “The Sorting Hat is a sentient hat at Hogwarts that magically determines which of the four school Houses each new student belongs most to. These four Houses are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin.During the opening banquet at the beginning of each school year, the first-year students are lined up and their names read aloud alphabetically. Each then takes a seat on a stool and the hat is placed on her or his head. The hat is battered and old; it’s patched, frayed, and extremely dirty. In order to speak and sing, a tear along the brim opens like a mouth. After a time of consideration, the hat announces its choice aloud for all to hear, and the student joins the selected house.”
The Daily Prophet: The Daily Prophet is a wizarding newspaper based in London. It is the primary source of news for British wizards.
You can also watch this video which will explain a lot, and also bring you an immense amount of joy if you are a fan.
This is pretty much how the rest of the design process went, and since it all happened way too fast and we were both entirely too excited, I also have no idea who said what. All I know is that we came up with a pretty cool idea in a VERY short amount of time! It went a little something like this:
“So we have a hanging Sorting Hat cake, now wha–?”
“Holy CRAP!!!! How awesome would it be if everyone who took a picture with the cake was being “sorted” into a house?!?”
“Yessss! So the bust would have to be in the school uniform. Would they (cake recipients) be Gryffindor?”
“Eh, probably — but I don’t know, maybe Hufflepuff for Con–”
“Well we have to pick one so Gryffindor it is.”
“Okay, well what about the frame? Should we do a plain frame and a giant Great Hall backdrop?”
“Ummmmm….. **Thinking**…. wel–”
“THE DAILY PROPHET!!!! We could do the giant newspaper with graduation as the headline and have the date and everything!”
“OMG! And since the newspaper moves it will be JUST like the movie!!” (We are screaming at this point)
“AND we can make it play the soundtrack!!”
“Yesssss — we can video it and everything!” (<—-Guess who totally forgot to video it? ME. FACEPALM. Ughhhhh. Still kicking myself for that one!)
(Looking back on this now I should have totally made all four ties and let everyone place their corresponding tie on the bust before taking their photo! Ugh, don’t you hate when you come up with an incredible idea AFTER it’s too late?!? Or forget to do something like RECORD it which was your WHOLE IDEA IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!! — I’ll put this in my new blog series, “So, what did I learn with this cake?”.)
And that was it, design process complete. I roughly sketched out the cake concept and its three major components.
Hanging Sorting Hat Cake
Student Bust Cake in Uniform (Gryfinndor Tie)
Custom Giant Daily Prophet Frame with Date
In addition to the main components, I had to create some photobooth props, and since I am ALL about Interactive Cakes, a sound button playing the Harry Potter soundtrack was a MUST. I also had additional paper printed for the background of the photobooth to really tie the whole thing together. The structure was built, the cakes were made, and we were ready to make history! (Okay, a little dramatic, but I’m literally getting excited again writing this 7 months later.)
Sometimes, no matter how much you plan, things just don’t work out. And that’s okay. If there is only one thing I’ve learned in my years of caking, it’s to adapt. If something goes wrong, fix it or hide it — that’s your only two options. There is more truth to that statement than you will ever know. So much truth that I’ve decided to start a new blog series about it soon, so keep your eyes peeled.
Fast-forward to party day and after an hour and a half long ride with all of our precious components, we were ready to assemble. Woo-hoo!
And then it happened.
Something went wrong.
It’s pretty much the story of my life, but like I said — ADAPT. My husband is the backbone of all of my operations, he always helps in times of crisis and has this way of putting me straight into “fix it” mode even when I’m surrounded by chaos.
Long story short, the sheer size of the frame indoors created some serious issues. We developed a pretty clutch backup plan which would have went off without a hitch if it wasn’t for that thing called the outdoors. The cake was supposed to be set up indoors, however our only option was to move the entire cake outside. If I lived in California or someplace where the weather was all unicorns and rainbows we would have been all set. But here’s the thing — I live in Louisiana. You know, the place where the humidity is like 1000% at all times and you can simultaneously fry an egg on the sidewalk?! Yeah, that place. (Side-note, it randomly snowed here for the first time in years yesterday by some freak accident, and now its hot outside and everything is melted … so there’s a little insight for those of you who are unfamiliar with my territory.) So the cake was moved outside, and set up just the same. The ONE day the wind decided to blow in this Sportsman’s Paradise was, you guessed it, PARTY DAY! Shocker. Other than battling the weather the only thing that changed was the background of the photobooth which kills my soul to this day. Every time I look at the pictures I think about how much better it would have looked it we would have had a wall the cover so the newspaper effect was a little more believable. But, it was still a pretty awesome despite all of the trials we faced.
Everyone LOVED the cake, and the Harry Potter fans were beside themselves! We managed to get some decent photos of the cake but not before the Louisiana sun literally melted the brim right off of the poor Sorting Hat! After our race against time with the heat, I brought the cake inside and sliced up some deliciousness. All in all, it was a FANTASTIC day that proved to be a great learning experience and definitely one for the books! If you want a Photo Booth Cake at your next event, be sure to inquire at email@example.com.
An except from my previous blog post that still very much applies:
“So NOW the party has an awesome photo booth, with an awesome cake, and EVERYONE at the party gets to take a picture with it! All I’m saying is if you are having a party or planning a wedding, you NEED one of these. End of story.
Imagine all of your guests actually getting to see the cake before it’s cut, you getting to see all of your guests pose with their EDIBLE photo props, and now you have photo documentation of everyone who was at your party to enjoy for years to come. Not to mention everyone gets to enjoy some delicious cake!
I have about 7 million themes in my head, so try me!
Interactive Cakes are the next big thing people! If you missed my Interactive Cakes class in Austin be on the lookout, hopefully I will be teaching it somewhere else soon! In the meantime, check out my Photobooth & Hanging Fish Classes :)”
I finally get to show you the newest addition to my heart — but first a little back story….
Two years ago, I met the lovely Amy Trahan of Consign & Design in Prairieville. She was a new business in the area and agreed to let me host a Bride Day at her gorgeous store. (Check it out HERE)
We had an amazing time but I’ll keep this post short and sweet. Fast forward to February and her adorable baby boy is already turning one!
She asked me to do the cake — a golf theme — and gave me artistic license **eek**.
I played around with a few designs and ultimately decided to incorporate some cute photo booth props she had on her Pinterest board. THEN IT HIT ME!
Why not make the photo booth myself …. out of CAKE?!?
I had the idea and just had to roll with it. I really wanted to incorporate the golf hat but was having trouble figuring out how until my INCREDIBLE husband said, “Why don’t you just hang it?”
Uh, DUH. Here I have been sitting here for hours trying to design an awesome cake and he just walks right up with an amazing idea — that’s why I keep him around! Hanging fish, hanging HAT — ohhhhh the possibilities are ENDLESS! (Shamless class plug HERE & HERE).
So NOW the party has an awesome photo booth, with an awesome cake, and EVERYONE at the party gets to take a picture with it! She even had a photographer onsite to capture a photo of each of her guests as they entered that party! Excuse the overuse of exclamation points but I’m just too excited!!!
All I’m saying is if you are having a party or planning a wedding, you NEED one of these. End of story.
Imagine all of your guests actually getting to see the cake before it’s cut, you getting to see all of your guests pose with their EDIBLE photo props, and now you have photo documentation of everyone who was at your party to enjoy for years to come. Not to mention everyone gets to enjoy some delicious cake!
I have about 7 million themes in my head, so try me!
Interactive Cakes are the next big thing people! If you missed my Interactive Cakes class in Austin be on the lookout, hopefully I will be teaching it somewhere else soon! In the meantime, check out my Hanging Fish Classes 🙂
I’ll try to keep this post as minimal as possible for the shear fact that I can occasionally become long winded when talking about things that I find immensely exciting. However, I just have to give you at least a few details on what I see to be one of my favorite events of all time — definitely top five in my book.
So my sister got married. Yeah — my sister, you know, the one that always has my back. The one that keeps me grounded when I need an apparent reality check (which is more often than I like to admit), that one that listens to my business ventures and also gives me the financial side of it even when I don’t want to hear it. She went and got hitched to this awesome lumberjack of a man — and it was incredible. Since this post should mostly be about cake I’ll stick to the basics, but I must mention that they are both some of the most genuine and deserving people I’ve ever met — that is all. Well not really, but moving on….
So they got married in October, actually at the beginning of October — I know, I know — I’m a TAD bit late on posting this but believe me, it was way harder than you’d think to sit on these pictures while waiting for the time to sit down and actually write a blog post about these cakes. Anyway, leading up to the wedding I knew I wanted to make a beautiful cake for her — funfetti of course — and an out-of-the-box cake for him, but I had no idea what I would make. I gave her a ton of inspiration photos and she actually fell in love with a cake by De Le Crème Creative Studio, so I decided to put my own spin on it and it actually came out to be one of my favorites to date!
He, however, was a little trickier. What do you make a good ole’ southern boy who works out in the woods cutting trees and doing other manly things with huge machines for a living anyway? My husband and I came up with several ideas, but I had about a million people send me that awesome lumberjack cake from THE Liz Marek that has been going viral for like ever (insert jealousy here). Each person saying, “THIS is what you need to make for Trampas!”. In the end, I caved — EVERYONE wanted to see him with that cake at his perfect wedding, so I decided to put my own spin on it as well — and I hope I made Liz proud. Since I had artistic license on the piece and it was in fact going to my sister’s wedding, I figured if it was an epic fail I could just eat the evidence before anyone really had a chance to get too close!
So fast forward to the wedding day.
October 8, 2016
AND almost Gorgeous cakes…
They just needed the finishing touches!
I bought a BEAUTIFUL cake stand from Sarah’s Stands to display Erin’s cake. We surrounded it with candles (and eventually our bouquets). The backdrop was a beautiful white-washed brick fireplace at one of the most STUNNING venues I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. The White Magnolia is breathtaking. The entire day I had to keep taking deep breaths to truly take in how beautiful my surroundings were. The way the light came through the windows and antique doors…..ugh I want to go back! I sat in the barn on the morning of the wedding putting the finishing touches on the floral wreath for the front of the cake and I have never been more relaxed. If I had a studio with that kind of ambience and lighting I would never be able to leave.
Waiting for it’s wreath! Here you can see the subtle marbling effect I was going for. If I could do it all over again I would make this a tad darker to show up better in photos — but, you live and you learn, right?
Later, I would sneak off to the kitchen and nervously put the finishing touches on the surprise Groom’s Cake. I wasn’t sure if he would like it, or if everyone would understand my concept (I had my knife and fork ready to dig into that baby just in case!).
Erin’s funfetti cake was a six tier beauty! It featured three marbled tiers, a metallic quatrefoil tier, and a little something I came up with for the two accent tiers — hammered gold! I can’t help it, I still love the way those came out! The cake was adorned with a floral wreath made from hand cut and dusted wafer paper leaves as well as tulips dusted to the perfect shade to match the real ones brought in from Root Floral Design. (Side not here…Ya’ll. The flowers at this wedding were unreal. Mia and her assistant really outdid themselves, and now I want a house full of everything they create on a daily basis.)
As beautiful as Erin’s cake was, Trampas’ cake was my jewel — Chocolate Fudge Cake layered with Milk Chocolate Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache. He also loves cheesecake so I did a vanilla bean cake and came up with a new recipe cheesecake filling — if only I could have some of that cake now (damn diet). Trampas’ cake was inspired by the oh-so-popular tree trunk cake going around the internet. I decided to make two stumps, one representing both the bride and groom. A little stump for my little big sister and a larger one for her burly hunky man. I opted out of the axe and decided to go with a vine intertwining from each trunk to represent the two coming together as one (gushy awwwwweeeeeee). Oh the symbolism. I made some pretty realistic moss to spruce things up (no pun intended) and added some meringue mushrooms. If I could do it over again I probably would have added in another shade of coconut “grass” but I was in a slight time crunch being as I was the maid of honor and had a groomsmen for a husband and a flower girl for my first born. Sacrifices had to be made people!
The cakes ended up being a huge hit — andddd finally I could breathe!
I know what you are all thinking and yes, my sister does still have their faces in her freezer.
And nowwwww that song is stuck in my head! Anyway, I did this cake a while back and am just getting around to posting it. It is definitely one of my favorites.
This non-traditional bride wanted something different for her wedding, so we decided to go with a cake that was inspired by a painting backstage at the venue where her reception was being held. Coincidentally enough, the Groom’s cake was a replica of the venue!
The wedding cake was handpainted using homemade edible oil paints!
You may have noticed a slight decrease in my online presence lately, and that’s because we are expecting a beautiful baby girl early this August! We could not be more excited about adding another smiling face to our little family of three, however that will mean a little less of me in your news feed — I know, I know … the devastation! (only kidding). I am currently in the process of designing and executing several new ventures for Sweet Elizabeth and I sincerely appreciate your patience with each and every one of them.
Due to my personal condition, as well as open orders and busy schedule, we are currently unavailable for the entire months of June, July, August, and October of 2016 with very limited availability in the remaining months for 2016. Booking for 2017 has not been opened just yet. I will open the booking for 2017 as soon as I feel comfortable to make a commitment to my lovely clients and their important events.
If you have any questions for me, please leave me a voicemail or send me an email. I truly appreciate your patience with my returns as I am doing my very best to enjoy this hot summer with my sweet 5-year-old as her last big hoorah before KINDERGARTEN (don’t even get me started) and our new bundle of joy arrives. Have a great week everyone!
Oh….and don’t forget to sign up for my class at Cajun Cake Expo this October!
Over the years I have perfected countless procedures, schedules, and skills. I use the term “perfected” loosely here, because what I have finally found to work perfectly for me, may not necessarily work perfectly for everyone. I feel as though for you to understand my madness, I need to take you back in time a bit to really get an idea of why I do things the way I do.
When I started learning to decorate cakes, I was still in high school. My love for Food Network and all things Challenge and Duff Goldman consumed every extra moment I had. Having acquired a love for art class during my senior year, I quickly realized that cake decorating could go from a hobby of mine to a business. I began making cakes with one of my family members and selling them to anyone who showed the slightest interest in our “business”. It was quite a ride. We were both so new to cake decorating and simultaneously trying to teach ourselves the “right” way to do things. During this time, I realized that the cake decorating business I thought I could create wasn’t going to be an easy ride. We endured late nights, cranky customers, cake-tastrophes, tear-filled deliveries– you name it, we encountered it! It was rough to say the least. But we both learned. With every cake, we learned something. We learned what to do and what NOT to do, and we both grew tremendously as decorators — as artists.
When it was time to choose a college, I seriously considered attending culinary school here in Louisiana. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to live in this respect. I toured several campuses, and while I loved the art of cooking, I didn’t plan on pursuing a career in the restaurant industry. Pastry school seemed a little more my style, but I still couldn’t get passed the lack of cake decorating courses in the curriculum. Sure, after graduation I would have mastered the souffle and been able to create a killer creme brulee, but let’s be honest here — when would I ever use that in a cake decorating business? After much deliberation, I decided to attend LSU and major in business. Looking back on it now, I would have probably enjoyed a minor in marketing (my new-found love) and graphic design, but that’s neither here nor there. I had entrepreneurship in my blood, and a desire to succeed – just like my parents.
I continued to make cakes even after high school graduation, and began growing a small clientele. Shortly after LSU orientation I discovered I was expecting my beautiful baby girl, and my plans quickly for LSU changed. I have to say that at the time, I was unsure of what the future may hold for me as far as my education and blossoming cake business was concerned. That little girl has been the biggest blessing I could have ever received. Not only is she my absolute world, but I didn’t attend LSU immediately after high school, and honestly, I didn’t need to.
Maybe if I had attended the LSU Business Program I would have known the “right” way to do things right off the bat. And maybe if I had attended culinary school I would have found my go-to recipes faster, but who knows — and quite frankly, who cares? I have been able to spend every moment with my daughter, which is absolutely priceless. It took a lot of legwork (and 5 years), but I am finally at a point where I feel like I have a grasp of my business. I have perfected my recipes for my clientele, I have developed schedules and procedures that work for me, and I have been able to spend time with the love of my life while doing it. It hasn’t been easy, or stress-free to say the least, but I did it — and you can too.
The purpose of this post isn’t to brag, or say that I’m super successful — because while I feel like I have made progress, I still have a LONG way to go. The purpose of this post is to inspire anyone who reads it, to show that things won’t necessarily go as planned, but if you are determined to succeed, you can and you will.
There are so many cake decorators out there, whether they are moms, dads, or just hard-working single people. Across the board, there are certain aspects of the business that are the same for everyone. My biggest struggle over the past 5 years has been time management. I would have given ANYTHING to have all of the answers handed to me at the beginning. But having been through the ringer, I look back on my experiences and see that they have molded me into the person I am today, and I am thankful for that. I am thankful that every time I wanted to quit, or asked myself “What the hell was I thinking?” there has been someone there to show me why I am doing this. I have had incredible support from amazing husband and family, and I am thankful for that. I am also thankful to be in the position where I may be able to help ease the process for some of you going through the same challenges I faced.
I have tweaked recipes to get them exactly how my clients like them.
I have written and rewritten contracts and policies and emails over and over again until I have covered every possible problem I could encounter.
I have made to do lists and business plans only to run out of hours in the day trying to complete them.
I have made schedules and timelines to manage my time for each week’s orders.
I have encountered several business endeavors, many failed — some successful.
I have come up with countless inventions to make life easier – and one day I’ll find the time to patent them.
But the most important part about this entire post, is that I have put them all into one place for YOU to use. I will have my documents, templates, tasting guides, weekly schedules, to-do lists, business plans, business endeavor tips, and more available for sale in my online store in the coming weeks.
You literally insert your business information into these forms and you are ready to go. No more forgetting emails. No more lost contracts or missed lock-out dates. No more late rentals. No more ALL NIGHTERS, and the list goes on.
If you would like to make your life a little easier this year, I would strongly suggest looking into these online templates. I will post them as soon as they are ready … so stay tuned.
I hope that I have inspired some of you today, and I thank you for taking the time to support Sweet Elizabeth. Happy New Year!
AHHHH!!! The Bridal Packet is available for purchase in our shop! I could not be more excited to share this priceless information with all of you cakers out there who are having a hard time getting all of your processes down pat. Please check out the link below to learn more about our new line of downloadable templates and documents (including contracts, checklists, tasting tips, consultation layouts, and MORE!) MORE TO COME SOON!