We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Rapalo and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ashley, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I had just become a mother. I remember one day coming home from work and my son had just taken his first steps, and I was at work. I missed that milestone, granted it was on video, it wasn’t the same as being there in person. It dawned on me that this wouldn’t be the only thing I miss. I’m very involved with teaching my children, it didn’t sit well with me that others would be shaping there thoughts and morals. However like many other families in this world, I couldn’t afford to not work. I was presented with an opportunity to be an apprentice to an amazing cake decorator. She taught me the ins and outs of cake decorating, not to mention the business part of it as well. So after much prayer, I decided to quit my job and start being a full time cake decorator/baker.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I love to create life-like 3D cakes. That above all is my most favorite thing to do. When a customer gives me their vision and trusts me with the rest, that is the highest compliment I can get. I am very excited for a new promotion I am doing for weddings. Since the pandemic, many brides are not able to have large weddings. So many brides have to settle for a small cake, when they dreamed of this 5 tier dreamy wedding cake. This new promotion allows brides to have there cake and eat it too. They can still have that 5 tier dreamy cake, without all of the extra servings and without breaking the bank. Its really a win-win. I am where I am today by persistence. I stayed true to myself and my morals. I’m a huge believer in you “reap what you sow”.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would first take her to Tout Suite to get some espresso and French Macarons. Probably go shopping in the galleria then eat at the Grand Lux Café, they have the BEST beignets. Maybe go to the Japanese garden to take some cute selfies. The art museum is a must, there is so many interesting pieces.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My mother Tina Belden, deserves a huge amount of credit for my success. Not only did she mentor me, teach me, correct me, she allowed me the opportunity to be home with my kids. I am forever grateful for that. She didn’t just teach me how to decorate cakes, she gave me so many years of experience and wisdom. That has been a HUGE step in my career. My husband also deserves recognition, he works very hard to allow me to stay home and pursue my baking career. He helps me with so much when I’m just exhausted from a days work. Also my many friends who continually support me, whether is be through sharing a post on social media, word of mouth, or buying a dessert. They show so much support and love. Above all, I wouldn’t have anything, if it wasn’t for Jehovah. He deserves all of the praise and glory.

Website: www.sugarartistashley.com
Instagram: Sugarartist_ashley
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sugarartistashley

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