I am the mother of 4 boys and live in the small town of Deland Florida. During the day I work from home full time for a large medical insurance corporation. My background is quite varied. In my younger days I was a theatre major, heavily involved in community theatre, painting, sketching and writing. My passion for cooking and baking developed after having children and I have spent much time in the kitchen testing and writing recipes. To my amazement I have even had a couple of them published! When I am not in the kitchen I enjoy spending time with my kids and husband in the pool, at the beach or out exploring new things as often as possible. I am constantly trying to find ways to occupy my mind, cannot sit still for much longer than 10 minutes at a time, and am generally hyper and ready to take on the universe.
How did you first get started with cake decorating?
I have been an avid baker for many years. After visiting Paris with my mother 6 years ago I knew in my heart that I wanted to open a bakery one day. My recipes were solid but my baked goods werent display case pretty. I started with Wilton classes in June 2011 with the hopes of making cakes nice enough to display and also with the goal of making my boys birthday cakes look better. Then I found Icing Smiles and my goal was to become skilled enough to be asked to make a dream cake for a child. In July 2011 I lost my job, was devastated, and decided this was the time to stop being afraid and make Bliss Pastry a reality. Aside from the Wilton classes I have taken class with Geraldine Randlesome and Mercedes Strachwsky. Beyond that I look at a lot of photos and then just figure things out as I go.
What has been your greatest challenge?
My greatest challenge has been conquering my fear. I have been afraid of not being good enough. Of failing. Of succeeding. It is a daily struggle. There are many things in life I am afraid of but I make myself do them anyway.
What is the most rewarding part of cake decorating?
Watching peoples eyes light up like its Christmas morning is one of the top rewards of making custom cakes for others. I have to say that even more than that the personal sense of wonder that I have with every cake I create is still a magical thing for me. All of the dreams in my youth that were set aside to raise my children have been put into play in my new cake world. Things I used to love then set aside I now get to do again. With each cake I am not certain I can actually do it. And then I do. And I feel amazed and thankful and blessed. Cakes have healed a lot of wounds in me and if they hadn’t been healed I couldn’t go forward making people happy.
Could you give some tips to people who have just started decorating cakes or would love to start?
My biggest tip is- be fearless even if you are afraid. Never say “I can’t do this”. Just get in there and do it! You will amaze yourself. Challenge yourself, try new things with every cake. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be amazing!
How did you find CakesDecor.com and what is it that keeps you coming back?
I found CakesDecor through other facebook cake business pages that I follow. CakesDecor is a place where everyone is allowed to shine from the new cake designer to the seasoned pro. I have been with CakesDecor since the beginning and posted my very first decorated cakes here and even though I felt scared and shy I was encouraged by the kindness of the other cake designers. This is a cake home where everyone is equally valued and that is a rare and special thing.
Which one of your cakes is your favorite?
It is very difficult to pick my favorite cake because they each have a special meaning to me. Cakes are a form of therapy for me and each one has served a unique purpose in my life. Aesthetically I would have to say The Snow Queen is my current favorite. Shades of teal have been prominent in my cakes since I started and I am still in love with that color scheme. Emotionally The Golden Dragon is a favorite because the process of creating the chaotic and striking design elements allowed me to process the impending loss of a family member. It was cathartic at a time I very much needed it.
What’s been the biggest surprise in all of this for you?
The biggest surprise to me is that anyone at all enjoys my designs. It blows me away. Im very confident in my recipes but every time I post a cake photo I promise you I am waiting for someone to laugh at me. It is amazing to me when people compliment my work and I still get red in the face. When I try something new on a cake and I actually do it and people like it- it feels incredible and uplifting and yes rather addictive. The friends that I have made and the life lessons I am learning have made this cake journey the most valuable thing I have ever started aside from my family. Who knew cake could do that?!Some of the Kristen’s Cakes