The Cake Duchess
Tell us a little bit about your background:
I was born in South Africa. I come from a multicultural background. At the age of 18, I moved to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, followed by Chicago, USA in 2003 and lastly to São Paulo, Brazil in 2008 before I settled in Cape Town in 2012. Whilst abroad, I was afforded the opportunity to study Hospitality Management, Visual Communications (Advertising, Fine Art, Photography & Graphic Design,) & Public Relations. I was always fond of baking and art. It was not until I moved to Brazil that I realized that I could combine all of the areas I had studied in to become a Cake Artist.
What does a typical day look like for you?
It always begins with a good cup of coffee and emails/daily correspondence to clients and my suppliers. Depending on the day of the week, I am either meeting amazing clients, doing research, baking, covering cakes, delivering and setting up of cakes, or either of 2 of my favourite things: painting or making sugar flowers. All in all, it involves art or cake.
Tell us a bit more about your creative process?
My creations need to always tell a story, so the research process makes up the majority of the process for me. I delve in to my client’s event and story and piece textures and flavors together to make every creation unique and personalized.
How did you get into the wedding industry?
To be honest, my initial dream was to be a Wedding Planner. I have always loved the romance surrounding a wedding day. The emotion, the fun, the moments that last a lifetime. It was after I started my cake journey that I realized that I didn’t need to work in all areas of Cake Art. I loved meeting clients, the science and flavor combinations in baking, transferring a story onto a cake canvas and of course, setting up of the cake.
How has your work evolved since you began?
It has evolved profoundly. I will always love Baroque. However, I believe I love textures even more and find that the element of texture suits any style. Sugar flowers play a huge role in most of my creations.
What is your favourite part of your job?
My favourite part would be receiving the most amazing comments from my clients days after their special day. It makes me want to improve my skill more and more! I also love adding the final touches to a creation. The sugar flowers in particular.
I am in love with teaching! I love empowering belief and confidence in my students. Seeing the wonderment in their eyes after a long and exhausting week, leaves me with tremendous fulfillment.
How early do engaged couples need to book?
As early as a year in advance! Once a couple has confirmed a venue, it would be recommended for a couple to start engaging vendors.
We love seeing your cake workshops on Instagram. Tell us a bit more about these?
I do 4 – 5 group workshops per year, in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The focal point is usually sugar flowers. However, I also fuse other cake art techniques so that students attain an overall understanding to a wedding creation. These workshops are usually extremely hands on and intensive, and are 5 days long.
I also offer one on ones mainly during off peak season. The duration of private courses can range anywhere from a day to 5 days and are designed around the needs and requirements of the student.
What are some of the challenges in your business?
Not enough time in one day! I love natural light when working. So once the sun sets, it takes away from natural lighting, making it a little tough to decipher colours the correct way.