It is my firm belief that we are all unique in this ever homogenizing society of ours. A cake is the perfect analogy for the parts we all take. There are those that try hard to be vanilla and blend in. There are those that put the icing on your day by adding that bit of sweetness. There are those that try to be sprinkles and add a bit of color. No matter what part of the cake you are, we all impact how someone’s day is going to turn out. Does it rise to the occasion and provide more inspiration ? Or does the person get burned ? Every time we put ourselves out there we have the chance to take a bit of life.
I see myself as a cupcake. In fact a cupcake tattoo is looming in my future. I would have soothing, dependable vanilla cake for a strong foundation. Luscious, rich buttercream icing with a saucy swirl. Lots of colorful sprinkles that give that little bit of sumpin’ sumpin’. My skills are like that I think. My education has provided the foundation for my future career. The icing on my cupcake is that unique point of view that allows me to see links and fix problems that others might miss. And my sprinkles ? Well that’s just me. I’m a creative swirl of nonpareils and jimmies whose interests are diverse and some would say a bit weird. Who reads books about bee keeping and doesn’t own an apiary ?
Cake decorating for me is another form of communication. It’s an opportunity to be a part of someone’s day and hopefully make it sweeter. My cakes started out communicating messages like “Happy Birthday” for my mom and family. It grew to include my kids and husband. Then it grew even more when parents attending the parties for my kids started asking me to make cakes for their kids. That was an exciting challenge. I had never put my cakes out there before for a client. I didn’t even charge at first because I was never sure if the cake would turn out the way I wanted it to. Putting it out there was easier to do when there was no risk.
Research helped so much to alleviate that stress. I love that part of meeting with a client. Finding out their favorite flavors and colors. What is the occasion ? What are their favorite characters ? What is their fantasy for their cake ? Sounds too much right ? You would not believe how excited people get when a cake is being made especially for them. Their eyes light up as they describe the confection of their dreams. I can see the cake taking shape as they talk and I know it’s going to be so much more than what they are describing. I just can’t help myself. It doesn’t matter what they are going to pay me, I will go beyond. Parents get positively misty when they think about celebrating another milestone with their precious child. Putting it out there is so worth it to know I get to be a part of that.
After the cake is designed and the recipe chosen, the fun begins. I gather the ingredients: sugar, salt, flour, eggs and real creamy butter. To use less than the freshest, tastiest ingredients is just beyond me. My name is going behind this cake, or at least my business name WiseCaker is. How can you create a fantasy for someone only to have it crushed at first taste ? Imagine going through the process of describing your cake, waiting for your cake and then getting a big mouthful of shortening and dried out nastiness. That is just not something I will put out there.
I have been fortunate enough to create some cakes that people would prefer not to cut. The temptation of cake and sugar wins out but it’s nice to know that there is a pause. A mom let me know that the mermaid cake I made for her little girl was so pretty, the little girl asked to keep it instead. A 65-year-old birthday girl declared her present themed cake was the most beautiful cake she’d EVER had. A client ordered a Cincinnati Bengals / Christmas themed cake. When it was delivered, he refused to let anyone at the party touch it and saved it for his family the next day. How cool is that ? When I put a cake out there and it is received so enthusiastically it makes the fear of getting burned worth it.
It’s time to use that solid education, the unique point of view and those creative skills to secure a position in an industry I’ve been waiting 15 years to be a part of. Decorating cakes was one my creative pursuits that kept me sane while working in jobs that innocently strove to suck the creativity out of me. I have been very fortunate to discover, early enough in life to do something about it, that being professionally creative is a necessity. Like making a cake, I’ve got the ingredients to rise to the occasion and make an impact. Now it’s time to put me out there.