In celebration of Mother’s Day, we asked Wilton employees to share some special memories and stories. For many of us, our moms – or someone who is like a mom to us – piqued our interest in baking. Who did you learn from? What special memories do you have? Or, are you a mom who enjoys baking with her kids? In this series, we will feature a different story each day. We hope you enjoy reading the stories of those who chose to share their MOMent!
I didn’t learn how to decorate from my mother, but she was very supportive of me when I was first teaching myself to decorate. My favorite story is from about seven years ago. She was up visiting me for my 25th birthday (I lived in Nashville, and she in Florida). She bought my KitchenAid mixer, and took me out shopping to Michaels. I saw the gum paste flower set, as I had many times- and told her about how THAT was what I wanted to learn. I wanted to make realistic flowers like those. So, she bought me that kit.
Later on, she was supportive of my move to Chicago to attend The French Pastry School, even though it was farther away from her and she was sick with COPD. She always helped us out as much as she could. While I was attending school there in 2011, she was granted a “wish” through a program called Dream Foundation. She wanted to fly up north to get to see her family again, and she stayed at my uncle’s house in Indiana, and also went over to Detroit to visit some other sibling and nieces and nephews of hers. I spent a weekend in Indiana with her over at my uncle’s house. I gave her a gum paste rose that I made in school and brought one of the recipe cakes we made in class, and she just loved it.
A week later, after she was back at my uncle’s after visiting in Detroit and getting ready to fly back home, she got really sick and passed away. That was the last time I saw her.
I finished school, and a few months later, I started freelance decorating at Wilton and eventually became full time. Last year, we released a new gum paste flower set and I got to be a big part of that set. I helped develop the techniques for the new flowers, and I decorated the cake that’s on the cover of the box.
I’ve even got a Craftsy class featuring those techniques:
I wish she could be here to see how far I’ve come: from her buying me an early version of that kit, to me being the one doing the cake and flowers on the packaging that I always used to admire and even teaching those very techniques to students around the world.
And even still, there are projects that I get to work on that make me think of her (even more than I already do every day). Last year, we worked on projects for the 2016 Wilton Calendar. My mother’s favorite color was a turquoise-y blue, and she also really loved dreamcatchers (we have Cherokee in our blood). So, when I got to work on this cake it really was something special. It was even more special that it was going to be the cake for March, since her birthday and passing were both in March.
I know she’s still watching over me every single day, and I know she’s proud of me- I’m proud of me too, and I’m so grateful for all of the support and love she gave me every single day that she was on this earth!