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The cakes that Kim Giusa from Make it Memorable Cakes by Kim creates will blow your mind! Cakes that look like real-life objects with an incredible realism that most of the time people have no idea that they are actually cakes. Kim uses her amazing talent to put some happiness into the lives of children and their families staying at Ronald McDonald house by donating one of her amazing cakes to them every 3 months.
1. How did your sweets business or journey begin?
I always had an interest in “Novelty Cakes”. My SIL wanted to make and decorate her own wedding cake and invited me to attend a Community college workshop for 6 weeks to learn how to cover cakes with fondant…… the rest was history, the second I got the feel of that fondant, I knew I would be able to create great things with it and needless to say, I ended up making and decorating the wedding cake!
I started volunteering to make birthday cakes for friends and families, one of my first cakes was a car cake – nothing like throwing yourself in at the deep end – and from there word of mouth grew and I started my business.
2. What has starting your own business meant for you?
It has given me a great sense of achievement and the belief that customers value what I do. I called my business “Make it Memorable” for a reason – I want every one of my customers to remember their cakes for years to come so my motto is “we don’t just make the cakes great; we make them Memorable!”. I can still look back on cakes that I did 10 years ago and tell you who ordered them and what their back story was to the unique design because for most people if you are investing in one of these cakes, it’s normally for a pretty big celebration in your life.
3. What have been/are the biggest challenges you face(d) in regard to starting/building/maintaining your business?
Building the business was hard – I did not have all the social platforms that are available today where I could showcase my work, mine was word of mouth, showing photos and repeat customers but I have now been creating these cakes for 18 years. The biggest challenge with what I do is that 90% of the orders I get are custom made and designed and I don’t have the ability to show customers what their cake will potentially look like because generally, I have never made it before. Establishing trust with the customer and believing in yourself that you can meet their expectations is the key to delivering a quality cake – I have never had a disappointed customer to date….touch wood !
4. What do you feel are the benefits of using edible images?
When I started decorating, I used to hand paint all the logos/details to give the cakes another level of detail – when edible imaging was introduced, it changed the game. For me, I love detail so it was a no-brainer this would be my best asset. It saves me hours of hand painting when I can print an image and add it to a cake. Additionally, it absolutely is key in giving the illusion of whether the object is real or a cake! A great example of this is the Sound Board Cake, I used a soundboard image and embellished it with fondant dials etc!
5. What is your favourite type of treat/design to create?
My favourites are when customers ask for an object that you know you can make look like the real thing and people will be left scratching their heads. I guess for me, “food” cakes and everyday objects that you would never think could be turned into a cake are the most exciting.
6. What is the current trend you’re seeing in edible images?
What I see a lot of at the moment is edible images being used to wrap cylinder cakes with a design and embellishing that with decorations also a high level of decorators adding an image to the side of a cylinder cake, be it a head image, a body image etc and then embellishing it with 3D decorations like adding buttercream hair, or fondant clothing to make the image more 3D – they look great.
7. What is the funniest/most unusual sweet creation you’ve been asked to make?
I don’t have funny but most unusual was the “Italian Lemon” themed wedding – Bride’s request was a 2-tier wedding cake that did not look like a 2 tier wedding cake, she wanted a basket of Lemons and she did not want guests to know there was even a wedding cake at the venue until she cut it…… additionally, she requested two small birthday cake to give to 2 guests that were celebrating birthdays. We made them small pot plant cakes that everyone thought was part of the Italian Lemon themed decorations. She reported back that absolutely nobody discovered the cakes until they were cut. The tile board under the cakes was edible images of tiles printed and place onto a large board.
8. Do you have any tips you can share when either printing or applying edible images?
Make sure they complement your cake and fit it correctly in whatever capacity you are using them. There are endless ways to use images to take your cake to the next level – think outside the box, make sure you know exactly where they are going before you add them, once they are on, they are there to stay!
So many uses for the edible image here right down to the Thermometer screen
9. What is your “can’t live without” sweet making tool?
100% is my edible image printer – I only wish I have bought one years ago….. as mentioned, there are SO many things you can use these images for to help add illusions to a cake. The Nike TN Shoe cake below – I had a tonne of questions online with decorators asking how I made the “Bubble” in the shoes around the sole – I printed an edible image of the shoe and cut out just the bubble reflections and put them on this cake.
10. What do you do for yourself within your life and business to help avoid or alleviate burnout?
They say “creativity is chocolate for the brain” – doing anything creative helps me alleviate burnout.
11. What is your career highlight to date?
My highlight is definitely my Mimco Bag that broke the internet – it went viral – I had a tonne of people who would just not accept that it was a cake until I posted a cut picture of the cake!
This is also the perfect example of using edible images to make it next level. The tags and the logo on the bag were all images – again 100% edible.
On a side note, I saw this video circulating recently and the extinguisher cake made me laugh and is a good example of how it’s super easy to promote your business these days – this is marked as a realistic cake to cut – the extinguisher below I made 100% edible 11 years ago but there was not the social media platform to showcase it back then.