Thursday, August 28, 2008
cakelava Interviews: Jen from Cake Wrecks, Pt. 2
All images courtesy of Cake Wrecks
Jen waxes wreck-tastically. Part 2 of our interview.
Sasha Reichart: Often, what can turn a perfectly good cake into a catastrophe is the writing, whether it is misspellings, grammatical errors, or poor penmanship. In our opinion, the writing on a cake is one of the most difficult things to master. After seeing so many writing-related mistakes, do you feel more sympathy for these decorators?
Jen: Hmm. You know, since most writing errors tend to come from grocery store bakeries, I guess I do feel more sympathy for those decorators. I’ve heard about the high demands and lack of training those jobs often entail, which makes the errors more understandable. Still funny, mind you, but more understandable.
Sasha Reichart: Let’s talk about the “Creepy Cakes” category. People are impressed by realistic cakes but at some point they can become too realistic and turn creepy. What is the creepiest cake you have seen and why do you think so?
Jen: At this point I think the creepy baby cake still gets the prize. It’s the half-open eye; that still gives me the shivers.
SR: One of your photo submission requirements is that the cake wreck must come from a professional bakery, grocery store, etc., to have been paid for with money. How do you verify a submission?
JEN: Most submitters send me the link where they found the cake or tell me where they purchased it, which helps. If it’s just a photo sent in, though, sometimes I’ll e-mail and request more info. There’s still no guarantee that a non-pro cake will never make it on the site, but I do try to err on the side of caution these days.
SR: What do you do when you aren’t writing about wrecks?
JEN; Lately I’ve been trying to keep up with the flood of e-mails! That, and taking a crash course in blog management – I’m learning a lot more about CSS and Google Analytics then I ever thought possible.
SR: Are the submissions primarily coming from the designers themselves or people who find them online and send them in?
JEN: Mostly people are sending in their own photos of cakes they’ve ordered in the past. I also get a lot that people have just found online, and a few bakers have even sent me a link to their site and told me to have at it - the brave, brave souls.
SR: Why do you think the Cake Wrecks site resonates with so many people?
JEN: Because laughter transcends our differences, and everyone needs to laugh more. I think Wrecks also reminds us that we all mess up sometimes, but that’s ok; it’s only when we stop laughing at our mistakes and start taking ourselves too seriously that we need to worry.
SR: Based on the submissions you receive, have you noticed any geographical trends? Are there cities or towns with more violations than others?
JEN: Hah – good question! I’m afraid I don’t keep track of where all the e-mails are coming from, though, so I couldn’t say. It has been interesting to see all the different styles of cakes from around the world, though.
SR: If you happen to know your readership, are they mostly cake designers or outside the profession?
JEN: Certainly the baking community was among the first to embrace Wrecks, but now the appeal seems to be almost universal. I get e-mails from corporate cubicle-dwellers, stay-at-home moms, students, doctors, and folks from every walk of life in-between.
SR: Your blog is a favorite of many people, including us. What are some of your favorite blogs?
JEN: Cute Overload is my go-to place when I need to smile and/or get a refresher course in baby-talk for my “kittehs”. I also recently discovered ThreadBared - which unfortunately is no longer updated - and my inner geek enjoys the Great White Snark.
(SR: we're in touch with our inner geek as well and are big fans of the Great White Snark!)
SR: Do you like to eat cake and what is your favorite flavor?
JEN: I don’t like cake; I ADORE cake. My personal drug of choice is a cupcake still warm from the oven, with gooey icing melting down the sides. Just thinking about it can make me go into a sugar-deprived stupor…
SR: Do you purchase your cakes from grocery stores or from cake companies, and when was the last time you ordered a cake?
JEN: I’ve always preferred making my own cakes and cookies, although I’m too lazy to bake from scratch. So, I use box mixes. I honestly can’t remember the last time I ordered a cake from anywhere: if it’s for a friend, I usually bake and decorate it myself.
SR: What are the future plans for Cake Wrecks?
JEN: I’ve been contacted about doing a Cake Wrecks book, although that’s still in the very early planning stages, and I’d love to get some t-shirts or aprons designed for the site. I’m also gradually tweaking the site design, adding features, and I’m working on setting up a better e-mail system for submissions. Mostly, though, I’m just trying to take everything one day at a time – and, of course, to keep the cakey wreckitude coming!
Once again, thanks to Jen for allowing me to pick her brain. We can't wait to see what Cake Wrecks does next! Thank you to everyone who commented on yesterday's interview. Jen was fun to interview and we're glad y'all, or is it ya'll ;-) enjoyed reading it.
**Next week Wednesday we have a FABULOUS interview lined up with Beryl Ann Byrd of Just Fabulous Pastries, which we are very excited about! Beryl, a highly respected cake designer opened Just Fabulous Pastries in 1987 and is based in San Diego, CA. Check out the Just Fabulous website and blog and prepare to be amazed!**
Labels: Cake Wrecks, cakelava Interviews, cakelava Interviews Jen from Cake Wrecks, pt 2