Friday, April 20, 2012

Feature Friday, Featuring Austin Avenue Cakes

This Friday's feature is especially SWEET (yes I had to do it) for me because this lovely lady- Tiffany Austin, owner of Austin Avenue Cakes- is a beautiful client of mine! Austin Avenue Cakes is a fantastic home-based cake business (serving Pierce and surrounding counties) and this girl has some talent! I asked Tiffany a few questions about her business:

What is your favorite part of your business?

My favorite part of being a cake decorator is being a part of so many special days. I have been a part of weddings, birthdays, and baby showers. There is always so much love in the air when I deliver cakes. In a world where there is so much unhappiness it is so good to be surrounded by that feeling.

How did you get into it?

It started something to get my mind off of my husbands deployment. He went to Iraq in 2004 and I was so bored and lonely. I saw cake decorating classes at the local craft store by my job and reworked my schedule so every Tuesday night I could be there.  I absolutely loved it. It turned into a business a couple years later when I got asked to do a wedding cake, and has continued from there!
What do you specialize in?
I love doing a little bit of everything but I especially love doing wedding cakes. Since we have not opened a location yet it is hard to find brides that want to go with a home baker. When I do get the chance to do them I relish in the moment, knowing that on their special day I can provide such an integral part. Kids cakes have to be the most fun though. Seeing their faces when their cake arrives is priceless!

Any thing specific you'd like to share (I.e. specials, stories, facts, etc)?

I guess it would be that baking is an art form, No matter where you are getting a cake from that person is putting a little piece of themselves into your cake. I am happy when I see anyone smile. That is enough for me! As soon as the Army is done relocating us we plan to settle in TX and open a bakery and share our love of sweet with as many as we can.
Contact Austin Avenue Cakes!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cents & Compliments

I have had some major inspiration lately and as a photographer I feel RENEWED! It sounds silly and really quite cliche but once in awhile, you need to have one of those sessions that just kick butt. This past weekend, I had not one but two of these! Sometimes, it takes these sessions to remind a photographer (and small business owner in general) that you do not need to justify your work or pricing and you are worth every single cent and compliment. Even if family and friends see my profession as a "cute hobby" or a passing trend, every now and then a client reminds me that this is so much more.

Nine years ago, I was a high school senior dreaming of living on the West Coast ("check!" only I am a bit more north than I had imagined) and was planning on owning my own salon (ok, no "check!" there). I went to cosmetology school straight out of high school and was bound and determined to cut and color my way to riches. Well, obviously, that didn't quite work out as planned. Half way through, I realized that was NOT the industry for me...quite simply said, I did not enjoy being in a room with that many high maintenance ladies. I then decided since I adored my niece and nephews (and really all small kiddos) I was going to get my degree in Early Childhood Education...and I did follow that through. Shortly thereafter, I had my own babies and realized how ridiculously QUICKLY they grow and I wanted to capture every single cute facial expression, outfit, stage, and milestone. That created my love and passion for the art of photography. 

I seriously jumped into the business aspect and started working on my portfolio without knowing a single thing about business or even the specifics of my camera. I had some fantastic client's that encouraged my work and I felt the drive to keep on, and learn as I went. Two years later, I feel so blessed to have people still trusting me to take their photos and capture their memories. I can see the improvement in my business sense and in the technical aspects of my work...and I hope others can as well. For the first time since I started on this crazy journey, I am starting to feel like I am worth the cents and compliments! Thank you to all who have encouraged and appreciated what I do :)