Icing: How did you get started baking those GORGOEUS cakes?
Rosie: Well, I’ve always had a thing for all things cake. I’d go as far as to say I’ve been addicted to it since I can remember: baking and indulging on cakes, the word “cake,” cake-inspired art—anything! My first job was at a high-end German bakery in Kitchener-Waterloo when I was 16 years old, where I was immersed in a world of gorgeous baked goods; since that time, I’ve been fixated on baking. The moment I knew that I wanted to pursue cakes as a career, was the day I serendipitously came across The Confetti Cakes Cookbook, by famed New York City cake designer, Elisa Strauss. I brought the book home, read it from cover to cover (I actually started reading it at every red light on the drive home), and decided that it was my fate. I bought and read many more books and, immediately, signed up for cake design and baking courses at Bonnie Gordon Cake School in Toronto. After several years of Bonnie Gordon School courses and feverishly baking, designing, and decorating cakes, cupcakes, and cookies in my spare time, Sweetapolita—Fancy Cakes & Confections was born.
Icing: Who inspires you?
Rosie: I am truly inspired by so many. As a baking blogger and budding photographer, I am infinitely inspired by, and enamoured with, astoundingly creative women such as Aran from Cannelle et Vanille, Ree from The Pioneer Woman, and Helene from Tartlette, just to name a few. As a cake designer, I adore and admire the fabulous and unique work of many, including Lori Hutchinson (The Caketress) and Wendy Kromer, but I have to admit something--I find I am most inspired by artists in different fields and unexpected sources. Lori Hutchinson and Bonnie Gordon both gave me a bit of crucial advice, on separate occasions: they encouraged me to avoid looking at other designers’ cakes for inspiration, but to turn to other creative mediums for design concepts. For me personally, I can honestly say that the day I implemented this philosophy was the day I became a cake designer, not a cake decorator. I am particularly inspired by fashion colour-schemes, vintage loveliness, printed and painted art, interesting fashion accessories, and pretty much anything and everything from my favourite shop, Anthropologie. Come to think of it, without all of this inspiration, I’m pretty certain all of my cakes would be beige!
Icing: We LOVE the name Sweetapolita, how did you come up with it?
Rosie: Thank you so much! Oh my goodness, not to sound like a nutcake, but after weeks of feverish brainstorming (and if you know me, you know I ate, slept, and breathed this process!), it was almost as though my muse finally thought “enough already!” and just whispered “Sweetapolita” in my ear. It sounded absolutely perfect to me, and I loved everything about it, even though it means nothing in particular, and is actually a nonsense word. Icing: Can you tell us a little bit about your blog?
Rosie: I started the Sweetapolita blog this past September, as an outlet for me to share my enthusiasm for, and experiences with, baking and caking, as well as photography, confection decorating ideas, and other delights I stumble upon. I woke up one day with the feeling that I simply couldn’t go another day without starting a blog, and so I went for it—I’m quirky like that, I suppose. I was just bursting to share my love for all of these things. I also felt the need to incorporate and share photos and baking stories about my two little girls, Reese and Neve, with the world; they are my little baker’s helpers and are the icing to my cake. I have always loved writing, photography, baking, and the internet—starting a blog just made good sense. I suspected it would be a great experience, but truly, I had no idea how fulfilling and exciting it would be. I, quite honestly, don’t know how I survived all of these years without it. The day I realized that anything was possible as a result of the blog, was the day Sweetapolita was featured on a stylish website all the way in Kuwait, immediately followed by hundreds of website visits and enthusiasm from Kuwaiti residents. Baking really is a universal art, and I mean it when I say that my readers (and their comments) mean so much to me: who knew I wasn’t the only one with a serious passion for cakes!
How gorgeous is Rosie!?! And those sweet babies....oh my goodness ADORABLE! We couldn't resist sharing a picture of them!
Rosie, thank you so much for sharing your story with us today! We are so inspired by you and we can not wait to see what this upcoming year holds for you! We look forward to keeping in touch with you and following your beautiful blog and fabulous work!