Kathy Krupa, a Wilton Decorator and Food Stylist Assistant, knew she wanted to work at Wilton since she was 18 years old. That’s when she first came across a Wilton Yearbook at her local Michael’s store.
“I saw the yearbook, bought one and taught myself how to decorate,” Krupa said. “I enjoyed it a lot and went to culinary school for my degree in baking and pastry and I always knew I wanted to work here.”
When Krupa came across an open position for the Wilton Decorating Room, she jumped on the opportunity. Krupa has now worked in the Decorating Room for seven years. She’s worked on hundreds of projects over the years, but her recent work on Wilton’s gingerbread house kits stands out as one of her favorite projects.
“Last year I got to design the gingerbread houses for all of the packaging and photography,” Krupa said. “They’ll be in stores this year and I can’t wait to see the finished product.” Packaging for the gingerbread kits is redone every year, and the kits at different retailers each require different photography.
Krupa is already working on gingerbread projects for next year. Since the designs are limited to the amount of candy and icing decorations included with each kit, it can be challenging to come up with new designs and patterns.
“Looking ahead it’s hard to come up with new ideas, but a lot of things start coming to you once you begin working on it,” she said.
Beyond cake decorating, Krupa keeps her creativity going with other crafting projects like knitting and crocheting. She also gets her children involved with creative projects, including baking.
“I make sure my kids have artistic stuff to do, such as painting bird houses and things like that,” she said. “They like helping me with baking. I tried teaching my [9-year-old] son some decorating techniques, but he mostly just likes to add sprinkles.”
At Wilton, Krupa has been getting more involved with food styling for photography. Food styling is the art of arranging food so that it looks as tasty and fresh as possible. She browses Pinterest often for photography inspiration and to also keep an eye on the latest trends to use for decorating.
“There’s a lot of icons right now, like pineapples, bicycles and hedgehogs. There always seems to be a trending animal,” she said. “There’s also a lot of retro popping up – colors in the peach and teal shades like you saw in the in 1950’s.”
Decorating cakes and sweet treats certainly takes a lot of practice, but Krupa advises aspiring decorators to just have fun with decorating and keep trying.
“Even if your first attempt doesn’t look that nice, most people are going to be blown away by it,” she said. “You are your own worst critic.”
All of the incredible cakes and sweet treats you see from Wilton come from our amazing decorating team! The Wilton Decorating Room creates about 2,600 decorating projects each year. These projects are used for photography for packaging, Wilton publications, Wilton.com, social media, in-store signage, Wilton course photography and more. Starting August 4, check back each Tuesday to learn more about one of Wilton’s decorators and what it’s like to create and decorate cakes and sweet treats every day. This is post 1 of 7.