I started my business right at the end of the Sex and The City / Oprah-Magnolia Bakery Red Velvet Cupcake Craze. For me, it started as a challenge, I was not a baker by nature, quite the opposite, I truly hated it. I thought it was time consuming and very scientific.
My true love was cooking, I loved it from as far back as I could remember. My grandmother instilled that love in me. She was a Self-Taught, use-what-you- got- on- hand, kind of a cook and I loved that about her. We ate very well, that was always her priority, every meal consisted of mashed potatoes with green ognions mashed inside, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes and a heavy cream green leaf salad and the start, meat. Always a Roast of sorts. We are French Canadian, so lot’s of meat!
Desserts were never her cup of tea. She also did not have the patience or discipline to follow the recipes! She did make a mean fruit pudding though. All my desserts growing up were bought, so I grew up thinking it was the norm.
Fast forward to me being madly in love, 21 years old and pregnant, I know right, a real life Cinderella. We bought our first house, traded a sports car in for a mini van and the rest is history, not. At this point the nesting instinct combined with the pregnancy hormones turned me into a proper housewife. All I thought about was cooking and baking. What would Kevin eat before work, after work…he could not eat the same dessert after each meal. I lost my mind, and I found The Food Network (lethal combination).
I bought every baking mix I could get my hands on, looked up new and exciting ways to reinvent them. Made brownies, burnt brownies. Baked cake, burnt cake…. you get the idea. I could not for the life of me obey the instructions. It seemed so pointless to bake the cake at 350, when you could bake it at 500 and cut the baking time by 45 mins…WRONG! After months of suffering through countless burnt Box Cake Mixes, Kevin bestowed upon me the Holy Grail of Baking…. A KITCHENAID MIXER, aww. I can still remember that day as though it was yesterday. It was beautiful, sleek, white and best of all it came with a 500-page BAKING BIBLE!! Kevin would come to regretting the choice of buying me the cookbook soon enough.
That Christmas morning a new wave of inspiration hit me, I WAS GOING TO BE THE NEXT MARTHA STEWART, then she wound up in jail. I did not give up, every single day I walked to the store with my brand-new baby boy, bought the ingredients for the recipe of the day and went home to bake it, as per the instructions. To my surprise, if I tried really really hard, I could follow a recipe. I was shocked, Kevin was gaining weight by the minute and the neighbors begged for me to stop baking them loaves and muffins and cookies. But I could not. I was completely addicted. I was in love with baking.
After my second son, many gained pounds, Kevin suggested I think about starting a side baking business. I had worked so hard to create my own recipes, learn to decorate, I had so many tools and pans, I though why not!
Little did I know that the time it had took me to learn the trade and perfect it, so did every other housewife in my neighborhood and the world it seemed. Every post on Facebook was about a lady making beautiful cakes from home, it was discouraging and never ending. I laid awake many nights wondering, what make me so special? Why would my cakes sell? Should I get a normal job? I was torn, so I put my dreams to the back burner and opened a home daycare. For two years, I took cake of 8 kids from 6am to 6pm, 5 days a week. One day I woke up, all my furniture had been destroyed, my kids had no one on one time with me ever, we were always catching the latest bug on the market. I was so upset. I closed my daycare. The yearning to cook and bake never left, it was a little constant voice in my head saying “get to the kitchen and bake”. In 2011, I fell Ill, seriously Ill. My life was forever changed, my children’s lives and my husbands all in one year, our lives were flipped upside down. We had no more savings, we used it all getting through that one year. We needed a way for me to work and make a few extra dollars, but doing something that I loved and that I could work my own hours until I got better. We decided to actively pursue the art of cupcaking. Emmagination was born in 2011. After a year of building the business up, mostly cupcake decorating parties on week-ends, I had to go back to work full time. But I kept working on the business and kept the dream alive every single day. I started a Facebook page, while my kids were playing outside I was learning to Tweet and it led to Emmagination being Incorporated in 2014 and our first storefront opened in July 2014.
I still lay awake now, the questions are different but I now I can also see the answers. The answer is that in life there are doers and talkers. We talked and talked about it for a long time. But what sets us apart is that we did it. If you can dream it, you can do it, you just have to do it!
Mommy’s Little Helpers!