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Meet Tammy Varela of Artistic Cake Designs

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tammy Varela.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Growing up I was always drawn to all types of Art, but it was not until I attended Georgia College & State University majoring in drawing and painting that I realized my true passion for creating all forms of Art.

After earning my BA in Art, I spent several years working in a management role for a Fortune 500 major retailer doing visual merchandising in the Atlanta area all the while fine-tuning my craft for art.

I have been fortunate to have several of my oil paintings on exhibit for sale in Helen, GA. In 2014, I was fortunate to step away from the crazy lifestyle that comes with big-box retail and takes a full-time role in visual merchandising for a local nursery. This has allowed me to have more freedom and time to really explore my creative side by turning art into edible treats.

It never became more apparent the opportunities for edible art pieces until I started visiting bakeries for my wedding cake. Already having mastered the basic baking fundamentals that I learned from my grandmother and mother, I began taking local classes and utilizing social media outlets to learn more about all the techniques around decorating fundamentals.

The last four yrs of training and research allows me to create some one of a kind items and the “Wow Factor” everyone is looking for on that special occasion. I am also very proud that in the short time I have been in business to have won awards at the Georgia State Fair in 2016 and competed in some national cake design competitions.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Great question! I would love to be able to say that it’s been a “piece of cake” but while there have been some really great high points they did not come without some sacrifice. Let me first say that I would not be where I am today if it was not for the support of my amazing husband, parents, co-workers, and friends.

They have truly been my biggest cheerleaders, and I’ll forever be grateful. As you can probably imagine that holding down a full-time job and trying to build a successful business can be stressful at times and that’s where their unwavering support has been a Godsend!

In the beginning, I could have never imagined how much of my personal time would be sacrificed, the family vacations, dinners and weekends all to meet the customer’s needs. Also getting my name out there was a bit of a learning curve as well. I really had to use what little free time that I had to figure out social media avenues such as Facebook, Instagram, etc.

Plus where to spend the money set aside for advertising that would give me the biggest return only to find the most effective advertising is from referrals of previous customers and bakers. Those are the ultimate compliments!!!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Artistic Cake Designs – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
My company creates quality custom designed cakes and cupcakes for any occasion. If you’re looking for the “wow factor”, then I am the company you want to come too. We create everything from tier cakes to sculpted cakes to special effects cakes with moving parts. Not only do I strive to have my cake detail visually accurate; I make sure my flavors leave you wanting more.

Our most unique cake to date is a moving and smoking Godzilla grooms wedding cake. It was a hand sculpted bust of Godzilla out of cake, rice crispy cereal treats, modeling chocolate, fondant, and edible paint. Godzilla rose up from the middle of the cake that was sculpted to look like a neighborhood of buildings with smoke billowing out of his mouth. All this with the Godzilla sound effects in the background. Everyone at the reception went crazy over it.

My Arts degree has made me best known for being able to take a customers vision, create it on paper and transform it on to the cake. Creating that one of a kind cake topper, logo or 3d design without having to use many molds. Sculpting those types of personal designs can take hours on end to produce. Getting that one of a kind detail that the customer is looking for is what sets me apart from other companies.

Also having a supportive husband that is very skilled in carpentry, electrical, and in general construction does not hurt either. If you want a cake that lights up, rotates, levitates, moving parts, smokes, etc……. we can do it!

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I’ve been so fortunate to have such an amazing support system that finally allowed me to pursue my passion in life. While I may be starting a little late in life; I always believe God has a set plan for everyone and it’s now my time to shine. I have absolutely no regrets about any of my earlier career paths. It’s allowed me to meet my husband and without his constant support, I would not be where I am today.

The leadership roles have taught me how to be a strong businesswoman and an influential leader with an entrepreneurial spirit while my art degree has furthered my advantage to offer a product in high demand that others can not. I’m going to continue growing my business as well as myself to see how far I can go. I truly look forward to what the future holds!!

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Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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