We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Whitt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
When my son was a toddler, we attended a friend’s birthday party, and I was impressed with how cute and delicious the birthday cake was. I contacted the baker for my son’s birthday, but she wasn’t available, so I decided that I could make my son’s cake. I found a cute idea in a magazine, but quickly discovered that it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be to make a candy train cake. I realized that I needed to practice…so I started offering to make the cake for all of our family celebrations. Through trial and error (AND reading as much information as I could about baking and decorating techniques and tips), I improved with each cake that I created. Soon, I had a couple of friends request that I make cakes for their children. My family and friends encouraged me to start my own business…it took me about a year to work up the courage to start selling my cakes to people beyond my circle of friends.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I received my undergraduate degree in Psychology and Elementary Education, and my masters degree in Reading Education. I worked as a classroom teacher for 9 years, and then I was a children’s librarian for 5 years. When my son was born, I wanted a change so that I could spend more time with him. Cake baking and decorating became something I wanted to learn more about after I made a candy train cake for my son’s second birthday. There are so many television series that highlight bakers (my favorite is “The Great British Bake Off“)—what an inspiration for a novice baker! I’ve learned that you have to make mistakes in order to improve. One of my first cakes for my family was an unstable disaster—the layers literally slid off because the buttercream was far too soft. I learned from that mistake. A big obstacle for me was confidence. Are my cakes good enough that people will want to buy them? Confidence comes from more practice. I find it gratifying that I can create a special cake for people without them having to spend a fortune.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We’d head to Avanti for a Drink and a meal. Although my favorite spot at Avanti is Quiero Arepas, it’s nice to have all the choices that thIs collective eatery offers. The Cherry Cricket would satisfy a craving for burgers, while True Food Kitchen would be good for a healthier meal. We’d have to check out the unique flavors of ice cream being scooped at Sweet Cow or Bonnie Brae Ice Cream. Before seeing a show at the Denver Performing Arts Center, we’d have to choose between an amazing beer selection at Euclid Hall or a more formal meal at Rioja. Outdoor activities would include a Colorado Rapids game (if they happen to be playing) and a stroll around the Denver Botanical Gardens. My son is involved in go-kart racing, so we’d have to spend a little time at Action Karting next to Bandimere Speedway.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I checked out A LOT of books on baking and cake decorating from the public library—what a great resource! (I worked as a children’s librarian, so I can’t say enough positive things about everything the public library has to offer!) Also, Stephanie G. and Sara C. believed my cakes were good enough to sell…they told me enough times until I finally started to believe them.