Get inspired by the face behind Sharon Wee Creations, a woman with a love of all things baking:
“I enjoy design and love anything that is colourful. Cake decorating is such a passion for me because I get to combine two of my favourite things - creating/designing as well as working with sweets. I consider each of my creations as works of art, and regardless of how big or small, they are all baked from scratch and I make sure I design something that is totally unique.
I am inspired by all things around me... sometimes it's a pattern that will spark an idea in my head, or it could be an outfit in a magazine or even something someone says in passing. I try to keep a notebook with me at all times so I can scribble everything down!
I discovered this love when I took a cake decorating course two years ago. It was so much fun that it just naturally turned into a business. I still continue to learn everyday from online websites and forums dedicated to cakes and cupcakes.
This year I also took a French patisserie course, which I enjoyed immensely. I love all things sweet, and when I have some spare time I enjoy trying out new recipes and looking at the beautiful pictures in dessert cookbooks.”
B&L: How did you get started in baking and decorating?
Sharon: I've always been an arty person, and I liked making things and loved desserts. So while I was at uni, every time one of my friends had a birthday I'd volunteer to make the cake and put my arty side and my love for anything sweet to good use.
People were always happy to get a home-made cake, which just motivated me to keep making them.
B&L: What is the most complicated design you have ever created?
Sharon: To date, it would have to be the whimsical / Mad Hatter cake I made for a little boy's first birthday. The cake had to be carved to shape, and because it tapers in at the bottom, covering it with icing was challenging. I also had to add in the support for the second tier, colour all the different icing colours and assemble it.
B&L: How long does it take you to make a typical Sharon Wee cake?
Sharon: It really depends on the design - a simpler design can take up to four hours, but a more complicated design can take eight hours or more. I recently did a boat cake for the Sydney Boat Show, which took more than 10 hours to carve, cover with icing and add detail.
B&L: Have you had many flops?
Sharon: In the beginning before I decided this was a business I wanted to pursue, I had lots of crazy ideas to make into cakes. They weren’t complete flops, but they did turn out wonky. Looking back, that was how I learned a lot of the techniques and skills I now use, and I'm still learning something new each time I complete a creation.
B&L: What do you love most about your work?
Sharon: I love being able to design something and make it come to 'life', and the best part would be getting to see the looks on people's faces when I deliver the cake I have created for them.
B&L: You must have a lot of patience, how do you remain calm when doing such delicate work?
Sharon: Although I sometimes get a little stressed, I find once I start decorating and putting my creations together, I feel like I am in my own world and it is so rewarding to see the finished product.
I do spend a lot of time working on details, because the details are what makes each creation really special, and because of that I have been told I am very patient!
B&L: Do you have a sweet tooth?
Sharon: Definitely! I don't think I will ever turn down dessert.
B&L: Any advice for those wanting to bake a delicious cake at home?
Sharon: Find a good vanilla and chocolate cake recipe that you can make in your sleep. Then experiment by adding different flavour combinations into the batter (like orange liquor into the chocolate cake to make Jaffa flavour) and you'll have a different type of cake for various occasions.
Don't be afraid to try new recipes or experiment a little! It's all about trial and error and learning from your mistakes.
B&L: What is your design process and how involved are your clients?
Sharon: Before I design anything, I try to find out more about the person receiving the creation, themes for the party and if there is a budget in mind. I design something that reflects the recipient or theme and that also matches the budget, and work with the client to make any changes.
It is totally up to my clients how involved they'd like to be - some like to be kept in the loop during the whole process with pictures or updates, while others just like to be surprised at the end of it!
B&L: What's your favourite flavour?
Sharon: Chocolate Mud - you can never go wrong with anything chocolate!
B&L: Where can we buy your designs?
Sharon: Each of my creations are custom designed and made to order. You can visit www.sharonwee.com.au to have a look at my past designs and place an order over the phone or via email.
B&L: What are you currently working on?
Sharon: I just finished off a Silver Bullet boat cake for Premier Marine to display at the Sydney Boat Show. Up next is 300 cupcakes for RSPCA cupcake day! To read more about the different creations I'm working on or what is going on behind the scenes, you can head to my blog: www.weelovebaking.com
B&L: What does being a woman mean to you?
Sharon: To me, being a woman means challenging the perceptions people may have on women in business, as well as being brave when it comes to making risky decisions.