Wow!! What a whirlwind the past 36 hours have been! I was lucky enough to go to the, That Takes the Cake Show, in Round Rock, Texas. Let me tell you, I had the time of my life.
I wasn’t sure I was even going to be able to go. The last cake show looked so amazing, wonderful and fabulous, that I really wanted to experience that. My friends all seemed to really enjoy it and had encouraged me to go, so when I found out that this cake show was coming up, I hoped to attend.
Christmas came and my husband surprised me with a plane ticket to attend. I lost it. I was ACTUALLY GOING! I talked to one of my dearest friends, Ruth Rickey and she’d said if I worked her booth for her, I would have a free hotel to sleep in, and meals are provided!! GET OUT. DONE! WHERE DO I SIGN UP!!
Now don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a sure thing, I wasn’t sure how financially I could swing it. You worry about every little facet. Who’s going to watch the kids, how can I take work off, can I afford the trip in totality? So many things factored in. Another being, that I was worried about seeing industry icons that I’ve looked up to since they arrived on the scene. Would they talk to me? Would they notice me? Am I going to be swallowed up in the chaos and melt into the cracks?
No. The answer is no, I wouldn’t just disappear. I wouldn’t melt away from nerves. First thing I did when Candace Chand and I got off the plane, was meet our good friends Miguel Guerrero and Kathy Sowders, who kindly took us to where we needed to go.
I was graciously invited to a dinner by Rosie Mazumder the Editor of Cake Masters, to enjoy a lovely evening at Maggiano’s Restaurant. Miguel walked me into the restaurant and said, “You’re on your own!!”, skipped down the hall for a second, and I was escorted to the main dining area where all the guests were sitting.
Low and behold there sits, Rosie Mazumder, Erin Schwartz, Avalon Yarnes, Ruth Rickey, Susan Trianos, Liz Marek, Heather Sherman, Shelly Guevara, Sharon Spradley, Michelle Boyd, Sachiko Windbiel, Benny M. Rivera, Jean A. Rettmer Schapowal, Patty Stovall, Chris Allen, Shani Christenson, and Miguel Guerrero. Of course I am a nervous wreck, and start shaking, and crying, and hugging everyone.
For me, meeting people you look up to, and aspire to learn from, and pull energy from, is such an amazing experience. And there they sat. In the flesh. Real as the day is long.
Humbled. That’s all I can say I felt at that exact moment. Humbled.
Rosie was the most gracious person ever. She had a game where we had to introduce ourselves in a “Valley-Girl” accent. Benny’s was PRICELESS. We DIED laughing. We all started talking amongst ourselves and I listened intently while she talked about how Cake Masters was invented. She is so inspiring!
From there it was to Jack Allen’s a restaurant so I could pick up my bags and head to the hotel with Ruth. I ran into Melody Trap Pierce, Mimi Ospina, Ruth Rickey, Kathy Sowders, Miguel Guerrero, Jenna Crawford, Dawn Coffin-Parrott, and Cynthia Kia White. Then had to get back to the hotel quick, and we talked the night away and went to bed at 11:30. Then up bright and early the next day to finish setting up her booth and get squared away. Ruth was a judge at this show and it was neat to watch her do her thing! She was truly in her element.
Then my friends all started pouring in left and right.
This picture here is of Ruth Rickey, Cynthia Kia White and Mimi Ospina. We had a blast. It was so great to see them in person! The crazy thing about the photos being taken is you never know who had which camera, or where each photo ended up.
The exact moment I lost it was when Ruth pulled Marina Sousa and James Rosselle to the side and asked if she could get her photo taken with me. TEARS. I LOST IT. Let’s just talk for a minute about what a frazzled mess I was, okay? I had just run to the bathroom to change into a long sleeve pullover and inadvertently put my shirt on inside out. IN.SIDE.OUT.
Just let that sink in for two shakes. I’m seeing all these crazy cool cats, and taking photos left and right, and there she is. Plain as day, MARINA SOUSA AND JAMES ROSSELLE. No time to panic. No time to bail. Take the photo and realize after the fact that your shirt is on inside out. What a mess. Listen. This is me. This is who I am. I tend to be a big ball of nerves and smiles. It’s terrifying most days. HAHA!
With trembling hands and tears that won’t stop, I take the photo with them, thankfully Ruth was there to snap it. My thoughts at that moment, “they will never take a photo with me, they’re going to laugh at me, I can’t believe this is happening, you have time to change your mind”. They did. They not only took a photo, they both hugged me, and smiled at me, and shared stories with me. I have never felt so honored in my whole life. The most humble people I’ve ever met. Quiet greatness. No need to brag, no need to show off, no need to appear as tho they are anyone by who they are. Best. Day. Ever!
I could go on all day. I could tell you my whole account of the last 36 hours, but I will suffice to say, I was the happiest girl I’ve ever been and I HIGHLY encourage you to go! These people, all of them, from friends to industry leaders, editors, and vendors, the whole shebang were top notch. The shine will never rub off this penny. I’ll always have this to carry around in my back pocket. To look at and remember there are people like me, and a community that is strong. That is fierce, and that lifts each other up. It all starts from the inside out. Each one of us actively takes a stand to support each other. Whether you are new to cake, or 20 years in the business we are all looking to find our path and to create from our depths of our souls. Find out where your next show closest to you is, and go. I don’t care what you have to do to get there, just go. And take classes!! And enter a competition. Even if you don’t place, you entered. Even if you fail at the class, you did it. And that means you win.