Let Them Eat Cake

 

LPTrendsPeople.

Kendall Cole is passionate about cake art. And art it is. From Kathryn’s desk in the spirit of eating sweet things this Halloween season.

I have eaten a lot of cake in my day, and known a lot of artists, but when Kendall puts them together – well, eating is the last thing on my mind. Sticking the amazing creation in a glass box sealed to keep it perfect forever seems more fitting. Slicing into it almost makes me want to cringe at the very thought. People do however. I mean this IS the whole point – to have your cake and eat it too!

There are a lot of good cake decorators out there, but very few who bring it up another notch from decorating to masterful designing. When Kendall creates a cake it literally transforms from good eats to good art. I have had the privilege of tasting one of her masterpieces at a New Year’s Eve party. Not to mention viewing it in person. I dare say that although a picture is worth a thousand words, seeing cake art displayed in front of you trumps a thousand pictures.

Kendall’s 3 dimensional delicacies definitely tantalize your taste buds while wowing you visually. Add the scent of sugar and realization that you will get to eat the art, and now you are Alice at the tea party. It just doesn’t get any better than that!

Recently I asked Kendall some questions about how she evolved from nudes done in graphite to cakes, mostly dressed in fondant. I didn’t ask her how she stays so skinny with pounds of sugar, butter and chocolate replacing paint tubes, but obviously, she doesn’t lick the tools, and this is good to know!

Did you ever think, while getting your art degree from Chico State, that perhaps you’d like to design and create cake art one day?

All my life I knew I was going to be an artist. What I didn’t realize is how diverse the field of art could be. At Chico State I majored in Studio Art and I studied things like drawing, design, glass blowing, art history. I admired cakes, as any young feminine girl would, but I never considered the possibility of cake decorating as a career.

How did you get started doing this?

During college, I worked as a coffee Barista at The Upper Crust Bakery in Chico, California. I enjoyed the quick-paced bakery operation and the dynamic and friendly atmosphere, but I always envied the creative and elegant cakes emerging from the kitchen. My artistic abilities became known at work, and eventually I was promoted to cake decorator where I was taught a series of skills to beautify these delicious baked goods. The new position gently transformed from a fun outlet for creativity to an inspired career path.

Do you wish you were a pastry chef, or does that aspect of it not appeal to you at all?

A pastry chef is anyone who is skilled in the making and display of pastries, desserts, and baked goods. This job description encompasses cake decorators, as well. Although I enjoy whipping up a batch of cupcakes and preparing my all-time favorite mini cheesecakes, my specialty really revolves around adorning the finished product.

We eat with our eyes, so in my opinion, the manner in which a dessert is presented is equally as important as how delicious the product is on the inside. Culinary school can be a great stepping stone for finding work in a kitchen, but it is not the only way. I bring a fresh perspective to the kitchen, as I approach food from an artistic angle. I treat my frosting as paint or clay and my tools as a means to model an edible sculpture.

I know you’re in the process of building your own business, creating these very artistic and outstanding cakes! What do you envision for That Little Cake Shop?

That Little Cake Shop is not your average production bakery, rather a fine arts approach to edible centerpieces. My values inspire exquisitely decorated cakes, polished to perfection; the ultimate wedding cake. Although I focus mainly on special occasion cakes, I also produce individual sized items such as cupcakes, tarts, eclairs and the like.

You are focused, obviously, on this passion for creating cake art. Do you think that down the road you will want to diversify and use your artistic skills in others ways – perhaps a gallery of original paintings, or some other medium you especially love and have on the back burner for now?

With a background in drawing and painting and a love for the human figure, I will continue to create on paper. In this form of art, I am the client, and I can enjoy the open-ended results of a drawing coming to life. I still love this practice, but my imagination always seems to fall to new cake designs.

I think this is an indication that I have found my passion, and the right career for me.

What have been some of your greatest successes, to date, with cake art?

The beauty of the business is in the variation. Demand for cakes comes in all forms, keeping my weekly tasks new and exciting. Rarely have I created the same cake twice. My art background consists primarily of the human figure, therefore my favorite cakes involve the sculpting of a human body (of course, these tend to be some of the more crude cakes).

The highest acclaimed cakes are always tree-dimensional and giant. I’ve done everything from Scotty dogs to rainbow trout to military tanks. Every project possesses a new set of challenges and problem-solving. It keeps my brain working and makes the days go by quickly.

What have been some of your greatest challenges along the way to becoming the expert cake artist you are today?

I always seem to put more pressure on myself than anyone else which is why my greatest challenge of the year was designing my own wedding cake. Completely open-ended projects present the most challenge, for there are so many new ideas I would like to explore. Choosing only one becomes the hardest part.

Where would you like to be in 5 years, in terms of your career as a cake designer, businesswoman and artist?

Kendall with one of her cakes. Photo by DJ Feuerborn

In five years, I hope That Little Cake Shop will not just be online but have a mom-and-pop style storefront where passer-bys stop in for a cup of coffee and a lemon bar. My cakery will be known for having the most exquisitely adorned cakes in the city. My reputation will be based in impeccable designs and charming decorations.

We will keep you updated on the development of That Little Cake Shop as Kendall makes her dream business come true. I have no doubt her personal fame as that little cake artist will also grow once those sensational sweet creations of Kendall’s find their way into the community.Visit Kendall’s website. 

For more of Kathryn’s interviews, you might also like:

Behavior Modeled, an interview with celebrity model and author Naima Mora.

Author JM Richardson, JM Richardson Has The Key

The Altucher Confidential

 

LPTrendsThe Altucher Confidential – Ideas for a world out of balance.

James Altucher wears a lot of hats – trader, investor, writer, entrepreneur.

Author of I Was Blind But Now I See, How To Be The Luckiest Person Alive and The Wall Street Journal Guide to Investing In the Apocalypse.

James Altucher has opinions and ideas that we think are well worth listening to. Whether talking about his daughters, tips on being a better writer or dealing with crappy people, his approach is honest, irreverent and thought provoking. Altucher’s blog, The Altucher Confidential, is remarkable both for his uncanny ability to be so very relevant, and for his novel, sometimes quirky, always entertaining perspectives.

What hats are you wearing and which ideas to keep a world out of balance do you prescribe to?

Soul-preneur Extraordinaire – Mastin Kipp

From Lori’s desk…

As a writer, editor and soul spelunker, I spend hours each day excavating the internet, searching for tidbits of wisdom to spark new insights worthy of sharing with fellow seekers. Over the years I have amassed a virtual treasure trove of inspirational entrepreneurs, websites and books upon which I rely to further my daily journey. The crown jewel of this collection is The Daily Love, touted as “a free daily e-multivitamin for the soul.” Mastin Kipp is the heart, soul and entrepreneurial genius behind the site, providing a daily inspirational or thought provoking message that never fails to resonate.

via TheDailyLove.com

With a stylish voice that borders on snarky-ness, Mastin explores subjects including friendship, heartbreak, renewal and ego. In this week’s post, “You Don’t Know As Much As You Think You Do! LOL!”  he asks us to “Imagine giving up the need to be right, to be in charge or to feel like you “know” everything. What would that be like? How would your ego take that? AND – what new possibilities would there be in your life?” As usual, this post hits home powerfully. I, for one, fall into the need-to-be-right trap too often, and need this kind of nudge (sometimes a whack!) to snap myself back to reality.

With passion and authenticity, Mastin Kipp has built an enterprise of love by unabashedly grabbing readers’ attention and freely sharing what his readers seek – insight and new perspectives to expand the soul. Even his email address speaks the language of sharing and caring - WhatImGoingThru@TheDailyLove.com! Check out The Daily Love and get some love for yourself!

Soul-Full Business and The Zen of Marketing

From Lori’s desk…

Walk into the Aikido & Healing Arts Center of Roseville and you immediately sense its unique energy. Housed within the walls of an extreme eco-friendly building, the center is an entrepreneurial vision come-to-life on many levels – an endeavor of healing and peace – for the planet and the community. Eric Miller is the center’s director, and below he shares with us the opportunities and lessons inherent in marketing a soul-filled business. I hope you’ll find inspiration in Eric’s article and share your feedback.

The Point of Connection
By: Eric Miller, Co-Owner of Aikido & Healing Arts Center of Roseville

Developing a new business, packed full of hopes and dreams all bundled together and then working tirelessly to pitch that vision to the rest of the world is a large task.  When the budget isn’t there for a five-star sales and marketing team, then it is up to the business owner to communicate the underlying message of the product in order to illustrate what makes it so valuable and worthwhile. The challenge is putting that bundle of ideas, feelings and passions into a simple, coherent message. This is where a good sales and marketing team can help with their objective approach.

Planning and building the Aikido & Healing Arts Center of Roseville was a large undertaking by all those involved. The Martial Art of Aikido is not well known in the U.S. Trying to explain how a healing arts center fits in with a Martial Arts program made for some interesting conversations with new customers until we could find our way through to more accurately and succinctly convey what we were about. It was a gradual evolution for us to come up with an effective message to reach people and gain their interest and their trust.

Connecting in a way that not only stirs the heart, but also makes sense intellectually has been our mission. The lessons learned for us throughout the various marketing avenues we embarked were that with something as unique as the art of Aikido, to truly connect with people required a different approach. Though the movements of the art are inspiring to watch, until it is experienced firsthand, the practice can appear ethereal and mysterious, or even out of reach.

At the core of Aikido is the principle of connecting with people and building community. It is about the strengthening of the mind and body and assisting others to find a healing path for what ails them. Eventually we found that through direct personal conversation, demonstrations, and workshops, the message of it could truly be felt. Fortunately, this type of advertising and promotion has been the least costly. With the endless array of marketing and networking services out there, it was easy for us to get lost in the sea of it. What we have experienced in the past year since we opened is that nothing is more powerful than making direct contact with people. For customers to hear and feel how passionate you are about what you do and why you do it goes a long way.

Recently, I read an article on how to construct a great pitch. The process of creating a great sales pitch often involves a gradual chiseling away of the great monument or concept into a more simplistic form. Being able to explain a product and capture a number of key elements into one sentence was more challenging than I realized. Aptly named the elevator pitch, I thought it was a brilliant method for revealing how well you truly understand what it is you’re selling. It taught me that if you can take a very involved subject and sum it up into one sentence then you have a clear grasp of what it is you are promoting.

Communicating a message that people can relate to and quickly grasp is a great approach when you only have a minute to do it and you want to put your best foot forward to represent the company or the product. We had a lot of pieces on the table: Aikido, other Martial Arts, various mind, body and spirit workshops, offices for lease, networking programs, etc. After sorting out the pieces and searching for the common threads, we were able to find the central theme. When we were able to accurately capture the message then it infused in us more confidence in what we were doing and drove forward the various programs we had created.

What we have learned thus far in the journey is that no matter the subject or the complexity of something, when it is presented in a way that stirs the heart, the mind and spirit together then you have succeeded in conveying the story of the product or service you are trying to sell. This is also the continual practice of Aikido – to unify the whole and to find the central point that makes everything flow.

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Learn more about the Aikido & Healing Arts Center of Roseville.

What challenges have you overcome in marketing your soul-full business? Please share your experiences with us.

self-expression: a valuable business asset?

by Lori Anderson

With lightning-bright sparks of creative brilliance, Tara Gentile’s business advice touches a chord in my spirit time and time again. In a recent issue of Leading Possibilities, I profiled Tara and her unique, soul-centered approach to guiding creative entrepreneurs toward success. This week she shares the importance of self-expression in business. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a well-known enterprise, authenticity is the new business imperative.

As our society evolves, consumers are choosing to support businesses of conscience. Tara shares “There is opportunity for commerce in the very roots of our creative spirits.” As a creative entrepreneur, this shift resonates profoundly, reminding me that my work can be valued, and yes – even profitable, in new ways I have yet to imagine. “Being extraordinary means discovering self-expression in everything you do,” Tara says.

If you’re a like-minded spirit who is exploring the new world of soul-centered profitability, read Tara’s latest article and share your thoughts. How has your career path been affected by recent shifts in your consciousness?

What insights can you share?