Saturday, February 12, 2011

Queen Of Tarts Cakes: Meet Angela {Exclusive Interview}

Angela of Queen of Tarts Cakes designs and decorates beautiful cakes and cookies. While she is based in Southern California, she ships her cookies nationwide, and her edible wafers worldwide!

I had the pleasure of getting to know Angela through Kim of The TomKat Studio during our collaboration on the Wizard of Oz Party--Angela created those darling Dorothy silhouette and gingham cookies!

{design by The TomKat Studio; Silhouette by Pen N' Paper Flowers}

Later I worked with Angela on the cookies for The Nutcracker Suite Ballet {Signature Party} dessert table, and she knocked my socks off--just gorgeous!!! I gave her a daunting task of creating a "bundt cake" cookie based on detailed descriptions, as well as a cupcake cookie based on a photograph of a real cupcake--she took these ideas and custom created something far more lovely than I ever could have imagined--her work shows off her incredible attention to detail. These cookies are just stunning and I adore the perfect colors she used--LOVE!

Today I have the pleasure of featuring a wonderful interview I recently conducted with Angela. I hope you enjoy learning about this artist and entrepreneur.

{Question} Please tell us about Queen Of Tarts Cakes, from conception of the idea to where you are today!

I have always loved beautiful desserts and frequently poured over Martha Stewart Living for the lovely DIY images on cakes and cookies. Everything looked so put together and perfect. I have been a fashion designer my entire life from college in design school in New York, up to the moment I started my Queen of Tarts Cakes business. I had just left BCBG where I was Head Designer for 3 years, where I designed their dresses and sportswear and was I home watching my son. At the same time, he needed a birthday cake for his upcoming 1st birthday and I could not find an alligator cake for his zoo themed party that cost less than $500 from any of the local bakeries, so I made it myself. After that, I was hooked.

I signed up for Wilton decorating classes and then attended Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Pasadena for a few more cake classes. Since then, I have also studied sugar flowers with Jacqueline Butler of Petalsweet Cakes in San Diego, and have an upcoming sugar flower class with Ron Ben-Israel at Minette Rushing’s Savannah Custom Cakes bakery in GA in March. I’m not able to attend school fulltime since since it conflicts with my schedule as a mom, so I take classes that last a few days and choose amazing instructors such as Ron and Jacqueline.

{Question} We would love to learn more about you! Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I always make my son my first priority. He knows his mom bakes a lot, but it never affects my time with him since he’s in school during the day when I am working. I found a local commercial kitchen that I rent from part time for baking. I do the edible image graphics late at night from my home computer after he goes to sleep. Usually I have about 10-15 orders going at once since I ship edible images worldwide, and the cookies are a nationwide business.

 I enjoy doing cakes and cupcakes although I reach an extremely small audience since those are for local delivery in Los Angeles, only. There is no store front. I get all of my business through social media sites such as Facebook or my blog, and 95% of my customers are outside of the Los Angeles area.

{Question} What are your goals for Queen of Tarts Cakes in 2011, and what steps do you plan to take to achieve them?

My edible image collections are going to expand and I plan on introducing new selling channels to reach a broader international audience. I will be selling on soon, and my website will hopefully be up in the next two months. I will always be baking and shipping, however. It’s so much fun!

{Question} What are your favorites sources of inspiration for your work?

Fashion, vintage fabrics and prints and vintage ephemera. I love whimsical nostalgic images that remind me of childhood, such as the Baby Rummy and Old Maid card edible images in my Etsy shop. Cookies need to look so pretty that you remember them long after they are gone. They help build cherished childhood memories.

{Question} Can you give us any hints or previews of new designs or products to come from you in the coming months? We would love to hear about them!

I am working further at really addressing the DIY home baking industry with my products, whether they are sugar flower cake toppers for DIY wedding cakes, or edible images people can use at home on their cookies and cupcakes. Brides give my edible images to their caterers to use when baking wedding favor cookies if they don’t buy the cookies from me. Martha Stewart built her empire on the DIY crowd and home baking is part of that. It’s fun being an artist but I do also watch the bottom line and sales are a huge part of that.

Many thanks to Angela for sharing with us such insight, and lovely images of your edible art!

You can find Angela in her shop here, her blog here, or on facebook here.

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