Sunday, June 19, 2011

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

Since the launch of CREO, I have been asked by several friends, "Where did all this come from?  I never knew you wanted to be a baker."  It's true.  This is not something that I have secretely been pining to do...spending years dreaming of just how and when I would start my own "caking" business.  Collecting recipes, fine tuning techniques, writing my business plan...nope, never happened.  This is all just one big, happy accident.
The truth is, I have for many years been nurturing my creative side.  People who know me well will say that I have always been crafty.  I learned to sew and crochet at a very young age, loved color and would re-arrange my room every few weeks, trying desperately to make my pitiful little escape just a little more aesthetically pleasing.  In my young adult years, however, I channeled all those creative energies into the performing arts.  Fine tuning my craft as a singer/dancer (and having lots of fun along the way) occupied every waking moment.
It was during several soul-searching months in Nashville that I began to re-connect with visual arts - drawing, painting, decorating.  I think I decided then that I always needed to have some sort of project in play to feel truly fulfillled.  All of that manifested itself in painting anything I could get my hands on (pottery, lampshades, floorcloths), jewelry-making and ultimately, lots of household DIY projects.  Add into the mix a love for cooking that I never knew I had (years on cruise ships prohibited exploration of that hobby).
So when my boys came along, I was drawn to what seems to be a rite of passage for most new moms..let me see how I do baking them a birthday cake.  My amazing MIL had given me a cake decorating starter kit (thanks, Mom!) and I was off to the races.  I didn't think much of it all at first.  Just had fun with it and was quite pleased with the results.  But the more complex the designs, the more excited I became at the possibilities.  The skills that I have been nurturing all these years...building, cooking, painting...they all just happen to coincide in the form of a "caker"!!!
At the same time, I had left my advertising gig of 14 years and was looking for a way to bring in some extra cash, as well as keeping the artist in me alive.  I hadn't realized how much I had really wanted to own my own business until I went to my bookshelf and found no fewer than 5 books on "How to follow your passion and start your own business", "Creative Cash"...you get the picture.  So, I started researching, asking questions, playing with recipes and CREO was born.  Now with each confectionary project, I find myself learning something new - a way to blend colors, a tweak to a recipe, a construction method or a piping or decorative technique.
This week was especially challenging and fulfilling.  I was asked to re-create a wedding cake from the 1970's for a couple who was being surprised with a 40th wedding anniversary party.  The cake was very traditional, with tiers and columns, lace doilies, lots of fluffy buttercream and tons of greenery.  The party's host (and a dear friend) and I did our best to interpret the original design in a way that was tasteful, yet true to the integrity of the original.  I learned how to tier a cake and make fondant roses for this project..and I think we were all quite pleased with the end result! 

So, that's how all this happened.  And now each week seems to bring me a new design challenge - which I thrive on!  "Wicked - The Cake" is next week with Star Wars cupcakes to follow!

Until next time! 

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