Interview #9: Raewyn from Cakes by Raewyn
I’m a self-taught, stay at home Mum of three Beautiful Girls. Originally from NZ but I have lived most of my life in Australia where it’s nearly always sunny and warm. I started decorating in March 2011 for my youngest daughter, Jasmine’s 1st birthday. I had never baked a cake before then and was instantly bitten by the bug!
I have recently been lucky enough to do a couple of classes with the incredible and generous Michelle Rea of Inspired by Michelle Cake Designs and the wonderful Trina Thompson of Sweet Ruby Cakes. We are extremely lucky to have some amazing teachers here in Australia and one day I hope to follow in their footsteps. I love sharing the things I learn and am so appreciative of the fantastic sharing spirit within the Cake Decorating Community.
My previous career was as a Beauty Therapist and Make Up artist. I had my own salon for some years and really enjoyed the work and the lovely clients. I have always been crafty and creative, trying my hand at all sorts of things over the years, painting, sewing, patchwork and now cake decorating. I LOVE what I do!! I see potential cake designs everywhere I go…and can’t imagine a gathering of any kind that doesn’t include cake….as Julia Child said “a party without a cake is just a meeting”
How did you first get started with cake decorating?
My youngest daughter Jasmine was about to turn 1 and I couldn’t afford to buy her a lovely Bakery designed cake, so I did some internet research and decided to make a 2 tier cake for her….how hard could it be? Haha! Luckily, my family and friends at the party were VERY kind to me and suggested I might have a flair for cake decorating. That was 18 months ago and it has been an amazing adventure so far!
What has been your greatest challenge?
My biggest challenge would have to have been designing and submitting a cake to be published in Cake Central magazine. This was the first real test of my creative abilities. Up until then, I had felt like I was just doing what I was asked. This time I was given an inspirational photo and theme and told to basically go for it. This scared the wits out of me….could I create something unique and interesting without being heavily guided by someone? I sketched the cake in about 5 minutes and was very clear about what it should look like….after I had submitted the cake, this really bothered me. I hadn’t second guessed myself as I usually do, and now here I was, having to wait an interminable amount of time to see if I had made a massive mistake in not coming up with 10 designs and going back and forth between them. I was so relieved and filled with joy when the cake was so well received by so many people. That cake has opened many doors for me and has finally given me the confidence to embrace my creativity and I appreciate every single lovely comment I have received about it :)
What is the most rewarding part of cake decorating?
I LOVE seeing people’s reactions to my cakes! I’m a total ‘big reaction’ junkie!! The louder the better! Just recently when the Amalfi Coast Engagement cake was picked up, I thought the neighbours might have heard the reaction – it was fabulous! It truly makes all the hours away from my family and the all-nighters worthwhile. I remember once, a lady picked up a cake for her daughter and hardly showed any reaction at all…I was devastated! I worried myself silly that she didn’t like it. It turned out that she was blown away but that was just the personality she had….I’m thinking of making a ‘big reaction’ requirement part of the deal haha! ;)
Could you give some tips to people who have just started decorating cakes or would love to start?
Don’t be scared! This is the best advice I can give. Don’t be scared to ask questions, don’t be scared to try new things and don’t be scared to put your work out there for people to see. Because Cake Decorating is such a creative pursuit, sometimes fear can get the better of us. You’re in a unique community of generous and supportive people that are more than happy to share information and help where ever they can. This is quite unusual in business and is something we should all be very proud of. Go for it :)
How did you find CakesDecor.com and what is it that keeps you coming back?
Not long after the site had started, the lovely Peggy, of Peggy Does Cake, posted on her facebook wall about a fabulous new site that was a warm friendly environment for cakers to share their work with their peers. I went along and had a look and immediately fell in love with the wonderful, encouraging atmosphere at CakesDecor. I was so excited by all the amazing talent and ideas being showcased. I love sharing my work with the CakesDecor community and enjoy finding new decorators to support and encourage just as I was.
Which one of your cakes is your favourite?
Oh that’s a horrible question Michal haha!!! They’re ALL my babies…..I can easily tell you the ones I don’t like…ahem ;) Ok, my favourite would be for sentimental reasons. My beloved Aunty and Uncle from New Zealand took his little 70th cake all the way back to New Zealand. They’re so special to me and I miss them terribly, so I wanted to make him a Holden cake, the colour of his treasured vintage Holden he restored over many years to celebrate the milestone I had missed. ! I was sure Customs would take it off him, and made them promise to stand there and have a slice each if it was to be confiscated lol!! But, luckily Customs allowed him through with his precious cargo, he carried it all the way himself, he wouldn’t hear of the cabin crew putting it somewhere ‘safe’ for him. So they had a big family gathering back at home with the family and ate the little cake I had planned as his Sydney morning tea. Everytime I see the photo of them cutting that cake I get teary and a big silly grin on my face :)
What’s been the biggest surprise in all of this for you?
I think the biggest surprise in all of this has been my children’s reaction to it all. All these years I’ve just been boring old Mum, who’s always at them to clean their rooms and all those annoying things. Now they LOVE that I can make cakes for their friends and they put in their orders a year ahead for their own birthday cakes. When I was published in Cake Central Magazine and chosen as CakesDecor Decorator of the Week, they looked at me with a little respect in their eyes…boring old, annoying Mum was actually doing something that they were a bit chuffed about and they told me they were proud of me….now THAT was very special and VERY surprising!Some of the Raewyn’s Cakes
- Part 8: Pamela from Pam's Cake Creations
- Part 9: Raewyn from Cakes by Raewyn
- Part 10: Kristen Erich from BlissPastry