I was eighteen when I found a small beginner’s cake decorating kit on one of the clearance tables at JCPenny. It had about four tips, maybe a dozen disposable bags, and a small instruction book. It looked fun, and it was less than $3, so I bought it. My first attempts weren’t pretty, but it didn’t matter. I had lots of younger brothers and sisters who didn’t care much if it was beautiful or not, and so I practiced and got better. When my friend got married, I threw her a bridal shower and made pretty little cakes for the occasion. Then I went to college and studied English and eventually got married. I don’t know what happened to that little beginner’s kit.
Several years and two babies later, we were living in a little town in Colorado, and I decided to try my hand again. I made some sample cakes and desserts and started my own little business. I booked a wedding cake and made some beautiful cookies and cupcakes for Valentine’s Day and I was on my way. Then a drunk driver in a stolen car hit us head on and instead of making cakes and cookies, I was in the ICU and then months of physical therapy. We didn’t stay in Colorado. We moved to Utah to be closer to my family who could help take care of our babies while I recovered.
Nine months later, I made the wedding cake for my cousin. Within a year, I was making a wedding cake a week, was featured in the local newspaper, and had my own business–Karey’s Custom Cakes. I made wedding cakes for about a dozen years. During that time, we were blessed with two more children, I taught my neighbor, who later had her own wedding cake business, and my sister, who pretty much became my partner.
Then we moved and decided it wasn’t the right time to scramble to recreate the business in a new place. I went on and did other things for a while and our family grew up. My youngest daughter, Savannah, went on a mission to the Dominican Republic. Several times she wrote home telling me she wanted me to teach her how to do wedding cakes. After her return home, some interesting things unfolded (too much to go into right now), and it seemed her wish was actually a good idea, and The Dessert Studio was born.
Even though I’ve had years of baking experience, it’s a whole new world. Gone are the days of a bride opening the phone book and calling to order her wedding cake. Social media is our new phone book and there are difficult algorithms to conquer to be seen, we have to worry about search engine optimization and whether or not potential brides will even be able to find our website. In some ways it’s easier and in others it’s a lot harder. Word of mouth is important, but so are hashtags and likes and collaborations. I guess that’s why we make a good team. I can teach Savannah how to bake and decorate and she can teach me how to get our work noticed.
Please follow our instagram @thedessertstudioutah and share us with anyone you know who needs a wedding cake, a birthday cake, or an event catered. Thanks and have a sweet day!