Today we’d like to introduce you to Larissa Neto.
Larissa, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I suppose the most significant thing about me is that I was born and raised in Portugal. This makes who I am make a lot more sense. I am completely bilingual in Portuguese and English, which is the reason I say quirky (or oddly sophisticated) words at times. I came to the Unites States at age 19, to attend art school at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL. I’ve known my whole life that I wanted to be an artist and I spent time drawing constantly, but it took me a second to figure out what that meant exactly and to what capacity it could be turned into a career. It wasn’t as literal as I had originally thought. Between graduation and now, I married my college sweetheart, I have lived in 3 different cities (Santa Fe, New York City and Atlanta) and have worked in several creative industries from makeup artistry to graphic design, to painting, to baking, etc. Ultimately, baking and cake decorating was the one that stuck and that I look forward to doing every single day. It must be something to do with my Portuguese heritage, we are sugar and pastry obsessed!
Has it been a smooth road?
The main struggle I encountered was the weird guilt that I felt to not stay on the presupposed linear path that was set before me. Eventually, I realized there is no linear path for me and that life is a like a roundabout: the road you exit to could be any, but they are all connected. I wouldn’t be the skilled baker, designer and decorator I am without my art training. There was never some specific finish line, just the illusion of one when you are younger. We were taught in art school to pursue roughly 4 different career paths, but honestly, the most successful people I know are the ones who strayed and broke the mold. The art industry is not what it used to be, you have to create your own niche to stand out because there are very few magical 9 to 5 art jobs waiting for you at the end.
We’d love to hear more about Bakey Bakes.
Bakey Bakes was founded on my already fervent need to impress people through unique and tasty baked goods inspired by my many travels and background. I also strive to make the classics we all know and love in the most delicious way possible. I aim to never fall flat on the details that disappoint me in other bakeries. Nobody wants a dry cake or an overbaked cookie, this will never be the case with my work. I always want my food to have a creative and visual impact, which I thank my extensive art training for, but I also need it to always taste amazing. We currently only take private orders but we are about to start reaching larger audiences by having pop-ups around Atlanta so that more people can taste some of the more unique flavors and pretty, colorful baked goods that are not currently represented elsewhere in the city.
What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
As a woman, I think we have to work extra hard to achieve our goals, to be noticed or taken seriously. We need to look away from the men in our lives taking short strides and getting further and focus on making our long strides stand out. Be persistent and consistent, but most importantly, be confident in your abilities! I don’t like to give too much advice because I think we all have different goals in life but I think we all want to be successful. Success for me is freedom. If using my skills and passion can still provide me with the freedom to do the things I love, like traveling, then I have succeeded. This is why Bakey Bakes will not have a brick and mortar until it can stand on its own without me being the only one there. So for now, it is the rare unicorn you can indulge in wherever it might pop up or through private ordering. Follow us on Instagram for updates on our first pop-up at Coco + Mischa at Ponce City Market, May 12th at 11AM.
- Website: www.bakeybakes.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @bakey.bakes
- Facebook: facebook.com/bakeybakes