Hi there! :)
Welcome to my CakesDecor Profile! How sweet of you to join me! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Make yourself comfortable and let me tell you a little bit of my story.
My name is Veronica and I am the Owner, Self-Taught Pastry Artist/Confectionery Artist and Instructor at With Love & Confection ~ A Sweet Boutique in Easley, SC, USA. I was born in San Antonio,Texas. I'm the oldest of four siblings- three sisters and a brother. During my grade school years my family and I lived in Denver, Colorado. While living in Denver my parents, my (middle) sister and I became Christians. When the Lord called my dad to preach in 1982 he decided to study at Bob Jones University. We moved to Greenville, South Carolina and have been here ever since.
When I was 17 years old I became interested in cake decorating and started teaching myself using Wilton books and magazines. In 1985, cake decorating wasn't main stream like it is today. There were no Youtube tutorials or extreme cake decorating shows on Food Network so when a person wanted to teach themselves they had to learn the hard way! (For petal dust we used non toxic chalk. Can you imagine?) During that time I also taught myself to design and create gingerbread houses and in 1987 I entered my first Gingerbread House Competition in the Good Housekeeping Magazine. Our old oven went out before I could finish baking all the pieces but that didn't stop me! I just fired up the stove burners, placed my gingerbread pieces on a giant 2" deep sheet cake pan up-side down, placed it over the burners and covered it with another giant sheet pan. It worked! I was able to bake the rest of my gingerbread that way! Necessity is indeed the mother of invention! My pink Victorian gingerbread house was awarded runner-up! Not too bad for my very first gingerbread house. ;)
Word got around quickly about my gingerbread structures and decorated cakes and it wasn't long until everybody at our church was placing orders for my cakes. My father even talked his boss into ordering cakes for all the employee's birthdays. Eventually I was recommended to the brides at Bob Jones University and before I knew it, I had cake orders every week! I'll never forget the first Kitchen Aid mixer that my parents bought me when I turned 20. (I still have it, btw! Needless to say, I burned it out years ago!) My brother bought me my first (Wilton) gumpaste flower cutter kit on that 20th birthday as well. (Still have it AND use it!) My family has always been very supportive and encouraging and I love them for it!
By the early 90's I wasn't doing quite as many cakes. In 2000 I decided to enter the Good Housekeeping Contest again. This time I designed and created a teapot shaped cottage. I received runner-up again. It was a little disappointing. That same year I won a cookie decorating contest and was awarded the grand prize which was a trip to Wilton school in Chicago. I completed the Master Class and received my certificate. I also entered the Grove Park Inn Gingerbread House competition with my mushroom shaped gingerbread cottage but didn't place.
In August 2000 I met the love of my life and we got married in February 2001. We now have two beautiful children. We have a daughter (12) and a son (10). I had the honor of leading them each to Christ at very young ages. They both show artistic abilities and my daughter is becoming a very good baker! I've been teaching her to bake since she was a toddler. She has entered 3 pieces in The National Gingerbread House Competition at the Grove Park Inn in Ashville, NC. At 3 years old she placed 1st. At 9 she placed 2nd and at 10 she placed 3rd.
Recently, I have had the honor of having 3 of my cakes featured in the international Cake Central Magazine. The cakes featured two of the techniques I developed--The stone look and the weathered wood with peeling paint technique. On one of the cake designs I incorporated gingerbread which has been a dream of mine.
In November 2012 the Lord led me to open a bakery store front. As we were trying to get all the details taken care of Cake Central Magazine contacted me to design a cake fore their January issue and to my surprise-- MY DUSK FOREST CAKE DESIGN MADE THE COVER! And to think! I almost decided I was too busy trying to open a bakery to design it! SO GLAD I pushed myself! My family has been there supporting me with all their love, time and talents! On March 11, 2013 we opened the long awaited With Love & Confection~A Sweet Boutique and have not looked back. In the old store front we have completely redesigned the aesthetics to compliment our original sweet art. We wanted a place were our clientele would feel welcome and loved. We were recently voted Best Bakery in Pickens County! It has been our honor to be Easley's Premier Macaronier. WL&C has been excited to introduce and educate our beautiful community about pastry arts and particularly the French Macaron. Our shaped macarons and Macaron Wedding Cakes have been featured on the Carolina Now show with Jamarcus. Our "pie queen" friend, Francine Bryson of The American Baking Competition, is a huge fan of our Macarons. Our Sweet Boutique is an exquisite venue to host birthday parties and bridal/baby showers. We also hold our popular scratch baking and cake art classes.
Teaching others the art of cake & confectionery design makes me happy. I love to see the faces of my students light up when they finally see their cake coming together and they are so thrilled that they actually decorated a cake from start to finish in just a few hours! I've made many life long friends through teaching my art and that also makes me happy. I thank the Lord every day for blessing me with that privilege. :)