About a week ago when our work life was particularly hectic, Rick reminded me that we were approaching our Five Year Anniversary for cakelava. Five Years. This is a big deal. Many businesses don't even make it to the five year mark, especially in this economy. This was a cause for celebration, we should be planning some awesome party to commemorate the success of the business, but the truth is, I almost forgot altogether that on this day, March 1st, in 2005, we took the bold step of starting cakelava. It's not that the date and what it represents is not terribly important to both of us, it was more the fact that we've been so preoccupied with the frenzy of the business -- making cakes, taking orders, radio, television and newspaper interviews, having just finished one Challenge, and having to turn another one down recently, and of course, the excitement of our April 4th airdate, which is about a month away. Earlier today Rick and I were on the phone with a newspaper journalist and I told her that our company had been in business for Five Years. Then I paused, realized how timely this statement was and said "Today." Five years TODAY and were it not for this prompt, I may have forgotten again. Terrible, I know! This was more about being preoccupied with looking forward than taking a moment to look back and reflect upon the years, which deserved the same attention. Rick reminded me how important it was to honor our efforts leading up to the present because we have accomplished so much in a short amount of time. We have quite frankly, worked our asses off, every day, with very few days off, taking "vacations" that usually last about 3 days and having little time for friends and family. We count our blessings every day for the support we've received from our family and friends, our clients and the media. It's made all the sacrifices worth it!
As we reflected on the accomplishments of the past five years, we were at a loss of where to begin. Honestly, just moving to Hawaii, one of the most expensive states in the nation, where the humidity levels can be truly brutal on cakes and cake resources few and far between that was quite an accomplishment. In these past five years Rick has been making the best cakes he has ever made. That is an accomplishment. The move into our retail space was a huge turning point for our business. There isn't a day that goes by that we don't feel tremendously lucky to have our studio and the support of our clients. With each passing year, the cake requests have been getting more interesting with wilder designs and an anything goes mentality that we never thought would be possible given that we're a very small company on a little rock in the middle of the pacific, approximately 2500 miles from the mainland. We feel particularly thankful for all the incredible people who we've met over the years. People who have believed in our work from the beginnng and who have ordered cakes, vendors who we have had the great fortune to work with, other cake artists, bakers, and bloggers who have reached out to us in their emails, on the phone and various social networks, and people in the media who have given us opportunities beyond our wildest dreams. Getting to meet the people we have over the years is something very precious to us and one of our biggest accomplishments!
Then there is the press, which we've been fortunate to have regularly, starting with MidWeek here in Hawaii, in an article called "Entrepreneurs" that came out within a couple months after opening our business. We remember the call from People Magazine, 3 years ago, when we were selected as having the best cake in Hawaii. The first call from the Food Network, for the "Extreme Cake" Challenge also that same year and a start of a long and rewarding relationship with them. The call from the Art Director at Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Magazine saying how much he liked our cakes and wanted to put us in the magazine. It was one of Rick's dreams to be in Wedding Style Magazine, and his cakes have appeared in 3 issues. Other big industry magazines followed, Bride & Bloom, Your Wedding Day (YWD), and Get Married. Having our cakes regularly featured on Brides.com and the relationships that blossomed as a result was a wonderful accomplishment. The day we received the invitation from Abby Larson to be a Little Black Book VIP vendor and Carrie Sellman of Half Baked Cake blog to be a Top Tier Vendor was also a great day! Another huge accomplishment that meant so much to us was having cakelava featured in American Cake Decorating Magazine. The feature was several pages and it was a huge honor to be in such a widespread and respected cake industry magazine. We can never forget being on the home page of both AOL and MSN. Once for the "Bizarre Birthday Cakes" feature and our "Cakes from the Pros" feature on Delish.com. We have also been extremely lucky with television opportunities. Aside from Food Network Challenge, Rick has also been recruited by TLC's "Ultimate Cake Off" which we had to turn down, and also asked to audition for WeTV's "Amazing Wedding Cakes". We cannot overlook the importance of the "Cakes for a Cure" fundraiser. We are very proud of the beautiful cake Rick designed for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life "Cakes for a Cure" fundraiser calendar, which will be released next month. Being able to share his art along with other known cake designers to help raise funds for cancer survivors is somethng to be very proud of! Thank you, Patti for the opportunity! We also cannot overlook the importance of our blog and how it is has enriched our lives, having all of you in our community. You've made our world smaller and inspired us with your enthusiasm for cakes! Now that we've had time to reflect and honor the memories of the past five years, we are excited to look towards the future. New opportunities are presenting themselves everyday and we can't wait to see what the next five years has in store for us!
Sasha & Rick