Tell us about your business.I can still remember it vividly. Sitting around the lunch table with my work friends...talking about cupcakes. They had all just enjoyed an impromptu cupcake treat that I had decided to bake the night before. My friend Katrina said, "You know, you should do this professionally!". I laughed and thought...yeah, right...that seems like too much of a dream. But the idea stuck...and rolled around...I started playing with business names and logo ideas. Pretty soon my dream bakery was completely formed in my head and I longed to make it a reality. After some extensive research and investigation...and money!...I made my dream a reality and launched my business. It's been amazingly fulfilling to have a creative outlet that allows me to be happy while also adding joy to other people's lives. I love being challenged and working to create new and different designs. It's very rewarding to hear that people love the taste of my creations as well as the design. I always push myself to try new things.
Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.One of the challenges when starting my business was figuring out the laws for NC in regard to food production. My research and investigation led me to discover that I needed to be licensed, inspected and tested. I maintain a clean and tidy little kitchen that is inspected by the Sate of NC. I pride myself in keeping things organized and adorable. I've just gotten married and we're in the process of moving and fixing up a little place. It's my goal to reopen once I have a newly inspected kitchen that is bright and new and full of inspiration! I often dream of a cute and rustic little kitchen filled with brightly colored canisters and jars of sprinkles. I'd love a fun and bright space to be inspired and creative, while also having access to all of the tools and materials I need to bake and decorate. I do the best I can now, and I try to be crafty and utilize the space that I do have. It's fun and challenging, and the dream of a bigger kitchen keeps me motivated!
What inspires you?I'm inspired by the need to prove to myself that I can do it if I just set my mind to a task. I often find myself thinking that I can't, or that I don't have the skills. I'm always learning and I crave that, but it is so gratifying to stop working and realize...wait, I did it! I'm very critical of my own work, and I try to be content and happy with the results. That can be hard for a creative person, so I struggle to always commend myself on a job well done will also admitted to my faults and limitations. I find other baker's and cupcake decorator’s work so inspiring. I will look for hours on blogs, Facebook, Google, books, etc. just to drool over what others have accomplished. TV shows about cupcake bakers really speak to me, and I love to see the different ways people approach a challenging designs and the way they create new flavors. You can really see people's love of their craft in their work, and it's my hope and dream that others can see that in my work as well.
What makes your business stand out?I like to think that Bitsy Bakes stands out because of my attention to detail and a love of the craft. I love the surprise and joy I see in people's faces when I'm able to create something unique and delicious for their special occasion. Sometimes I get very specific direction about design, but other times my customers let me decide. I always strive to go above and beyond to make people happy, while understanding that these cupcakes will be served at a special occasion in someone's life. I love knowing that I get to be a small part of their happiness, because joy is what makes life wonderful. Adding a smile to someone's face and hearing that they also loved the taste makes me happy. I hope that when people receive my cupcakes, they know the joy and heart that I put into every bite, and every detail. My loyal customers make me beam with pride because I know that I must have done something right to earn their respect and continued patronage. I feel exceptionally lucky.
What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?It may sound cheesy, but truly...never give up. I think people often get discouraged when a challenge or long-term goal seems insurmountable. I know I felt that way and continue to feel that way at times. But truly...there is always a way. A dream should never be given up on. Strive to make it a possibility in whatever way possible. Start small, take little steps...as long as you're getting closer to your goal then you are making progress. Also, enjoy the journey. It may be challenging and labor intensive, but stop to appreciate every moment and congratulate yourself on your accomplishments. Too often I think people get lost in all of the negativity or difficulties surrounding following a dream, and it's hard to look up and still see the future that seems so far away. It's still there, we just have to know that times can be challenging, but as long as we're working hard, making smart choices, doing what we love and striving to be good people along the way, then anything is possible.
What does American Made mean to you?To me, American Made means. Pride in your ability, pride in your craft, and pride in others work. American Made means a company started from the ground up. It means hard work, perseverance and defiance in the face of obstacles and people who say you can't. It's having a dream and having the confidence to see it through. American Made makes my heart swell with emotion and knowledge. Just having the knowledge that others have been down this road with me. I am not alone. Everyone's experiences are different, but we all tried. It takes a lot to start your own business and even more to keep it going. Some days are harder than others, especially when finances are on the line and it's not your only job. Most importantly, American Made is the DREAM. The dream of fulfilling the promise of "doing what you love so you never work a day in your life". It's the promise of rewarding your hard work by sharing your passion with others and the pride in knowing that this business is made with your heart.
Mark Your Calendar
NOMINATIONS ENDAug. 31, 2015
Final day for entering the Audience Choice Award competition.
VOTING ENDSOct. 19, 2015
Final day to cast your vote for your favorite makers.
WINNERS ANNOUNCEDOct. 23, 2015
2015 Editors' Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
AMERICAN MADE SUMMITNov. 7, 2015
Don’t miss our networking event and maker lecture series in New York City. Tickets are available now.Discover the American Made Summit