I am the owner, baker, and designer at Amy’s Sweet Bake Shop. This summer will be 3 years since the start! My boyfriend is a traveling musician and keeps odd hours and I wanted to stay busy while he was working gigs, so I started to dabble in a few hobbies. After bringing my treats into work for my co-workers, a client asked me where I had purchased them. I hurried home and researched how to start a business that night and my business was born. I had cards made by the end of the week. Sometimes it just takes a little encouragement to validate your passion and set you in the right direction.
My favorite part of my job is when a client fully trusts me and my abilities to bring forth their vision. Nothing is better than hearing how my cake helped to make their special event more memorable. The main challenge of my job is time. I work a full-time job in addition to running my small business, so it’s a balancing act that I’m still perfecting. It has been physically and mentally exhausting at times but I don’t have any regrets.
My specialties are cakes and French macarons made with a touch of gold and sparkle, but my favorite treat I made was when BHLDN hired me to make mini Carmel drip cakes which I topped with figs and fresh flowers for a wedding shoot. They are still my favorite to this day! The time it takes to make these treats depend on the complexity of the design. Small cakes may only take an hour when a large wedding cake could take me up to 4 hours!
I didn’t always have this job in mind. I actually have a degree in Health and PE and I have been a hair stylist for the last 16 years. This was a dream I never even knew I had and it gives me so much joy. I have a degree in health and PE and I went to Cosmetology school. I have never taken a baking lesson in my life but I practice, read, and watching YouTube channels for help. It would be a dream to travel to Paris for a pastry course, but I believe you can be self-taught and really thrive if you have artistic creativity and drive.
Social media has affected my career tremendously! I solely use social to market my business which has been incredible. My sister runs all of social for QVC, so she has been a huge help. I would say 90% of all my clients are people that initially found me through social media and the remaining 10% are referrals. I use various social media sites to post images of my creations and it often serves as a way for potential clients to start conversations with me. These sites help everyone see my work and get to know me which makes our first interaction more comfortable. I attribute social media for the ability to network with huge companies, brands, and artists who otherwise would not have direct access to me and vice versa.
Social has given me opportunities I never dreamt of. Brands & businesses have contacted me because of my Instagram feed alone. I have connected and collaborated with Anthropologie, BHLDN, Philly Magazine, Philly Wedding Magazine, Dallas Shaw designs and more. It has been a dream to team up with such talented people!
My inspiration is my mother! Growing up she was always telling us kids, “I can make that” and then she would! She is amazing. Also, my friend Meg (@nutmeganshoneybee). We met through Instagram when I just started out and she has given me so much love & support.
My creative inspiration comes from art, architecture, bloggers, other bakers, and fashion. I’m also inspired by talented friends and family I am so lucky to have in my life. There is inspiration everywhere and I am realizing that I should always be observing and learning from what is around me. I try to partner with brands, companies, and photographers who share similar aesthetics and visions.
My pinch-me moment was when Philly magazine contacted me for the first time. I remember sitting at work, reading the email followed by screaming and jumping. I had to read it again to make sure it was a reality! I never imagined that baking would bring me so many amazing opportunities.
My advice for other women who are aspiring bakers is to network! Meet other bakers in your community and learn from them. Every baker brings something unique to the table and there is room for everyone. I’ve found this community to be incredibly welcoming and inspiring. Also, take some photography classes! An important lesson I’ve learned in my journey is to never assume you know what the clients want. Double check everything!
I believe in having a dream and then taking action to create it by working hard and not giving up. I’ve had to push through mistakes and tears but I regroup by taking a deep breath and moving on. It’s never easy to take chances and pursue your dreams, but it’s worth every ounce of effort!