Goodness gracious…I count my blessings every single day for having the pleasure of knowing so many AMAZING local wedding vendors in the Charlotte area. Mandie of Got what it Cakes is one of those super-hero talented type of vendors and I’m honored to feature her this week as my Fabulous Featured Friday!
Mandie and I were booth neighbors at our last bridal showcase and from the instant that we met I knew her talent was not only breathtaking, but that her personality was just absolutely divine. It’s always so important to surround yourself with positive people…and Mandie is one of those positive ladies that you can’t wait to start a friendship with. I admit, I ate way too many samples the day of the show…but I was just doing my part and helping her get rid of any extras…right?
Here’s to you Mandie…a continuos smile, a warming laugh and a big heart. Love ya girl!
1. What inspired you to begin working in the cake arts?
I’ve always loved design, color, pattern, fabric, etc. and was designing people’s homes as a consultant. Around the same time, cake shows debuted on TV, and I was obsessed with watching them! So I said, “I bet I could do that!” And having the design background made it quite easy for me to envision the cakes, not only on the outside, but the construction of them as well. I also found a wealth of knowledge online, especially YouTube! So although I hadn’t taken any classes, I tell people that I was taught by the best, whether it was watching famous cake artists on TV, or watching their YouTube videos. I also wanted a job that would keep me at home so I could raise my babies at the same time. And with North Carolina being one of the few states that allows baking from home, I thought, ‘I’ve got to go for this!’
2. Tell us about Got what it Cakes and how you started your business. When did you know you wanted to make your talent into a business?
Most clients either send me a picture of a cake that they’ve seen that they like, or they don’t know where to begin. If I like the cake they’ve sent me, I usually tweak it to add my own spin on it, and because I just don’t like to copy anyone’s work. If I don’t think the cake was executed well, I’ll redesign it, and get the clients approval. If they don’t know where to begin, I always ask for them to send me the invitation, party decor, party outfit, etc. From there, I custom design the perfect cake! I’ve definitely gotten to the point where people just trust me to do whatever I want…I often get into a zen when decorating, and I let the cake tell me where to go. If it’s a wedding cake, then we always design at the consultation. I ask them 3 words to describe their wedding, and to bring anything that will aid in the design process. And we can usually create the perfect centerpiece for their big day! I don’t feel like I have a style, per se, but I hope that people see my work as very clean and detailed. I also want to be more of a modern designer…no old school cakes here!
4. Tell us about your favorite cake that you’ve created and why it was so special to you?
My children’s cakes are always my favorites! I don’t know if it’s because they watch me make cakes all day long every day, and it’s finally their turn, or it’s because I get to do whatever I want…no pressure!!! But I also hold a very special place in my heart for all of the Icing Smiles cakes that I’ve done. Icing Smiles is a charity I volunteer for, where we provide custom cakes to critically ill children and their siblings. Knowing that some of these cakes may be the last cake they ever eat, makes me weak in the knees. But ispires me tremendously as well! I also loved the replica I did of the Levine Children’s Hospital for another charity I support. It was huge, fed 400 people, had 5 flavors throughout, and weighed 150 pounds! I was very proud of myself for that cake!
5. Who has been your biggest supporter, cheerleader and overall biggest fan that helps encourage you to continue with your business?
Wow! I have a lot! My husband first and foremost! When he came home that day when Lilly was 8 weeks old, and I said, “I started a cake business today,” he was so cool about it! And he helps wherever he possibly can! My kids are also very proud of what I do, so they are little cheerleaders. My mom and dad are also hugely involved in my business. My dad helps me with all construction aspects of my crazy cakes, and he also helps with my bridal booths. My mom does it all. She will watch my kids, do my dishes, help me with cakes, listen to me cry and vent, etc. She is a saint. I also have amazing friends that offer to pitch in and help when I’m overwhelmed. I’ve also make cake friends that I lean on for everything. They know exactly what it’s like, and it’s so great to lean on them, ask questions, etc. Overall, I’m incredibly blessed!
6. If you could have an unlimited budget to one store, what would it be?
I don’t know! I never think about myself! The Disney Store for my girls! They would go buck wild!
7. What goals do you have for Got what it Cakes for the next few years?
I would tell them to set up a consultation, and to make sure that you’re looking through that caker’s portfolio, not a book of cakes that they like. There are a lot of bad cakers out there, all calling themselves “businesses.” It doesn’t mean that they’re legal! And most venues will not allow an unlicensed baker/caterer/etc. to bring a cake to the reception. So you need to ask to see that information! Also, make sure you taste their products. For me, cakes are only as good as they taste. There are lots of people making pretty cakes that taste awful, and there are lots of people making good tasting cakes, but they don’t look good. You have to have both! That’s where I come in! And finally, you need to like each other, so pick someone that you at least like, and get along with!
9. What is your favorite charity and why is it so special to you?
I have so many that I volunteer for! But Icing Smiles (details above) takes the cake ;) But I do work for Team in Training (LLS), Susan G Komen (breat cancer), Cottie and Cake, animal charities, and many more!
Make sure to check out all of Mandie’s amazing work!
You can also find her on these wonderful social networks:
Sunny Hutchinson is the owner and lead photographer of the Charlotte NC photography company, Themba Imagery. Themba Imagery offers numerous photography services in North Carolina such as fun and fresh wedding photography, portrait photojournalism, as well as international event & humanitarian photography. A portion of every service purchased from Themba Imagery is donated to each clients choice.