From Dog Groomer to Cake Decorator

Julie from The Queen's Cups

Since I was a child, I’ve always loved animals and knew they would somehow be a part of my life, however, I didn’t always love baking. The transition from dog groomer to cake decorator has been a strange road but I couldn’t be happier that I took this leap of faith.

My journey started as a teen, working for my friend’s mother at her newly opened pet grooming salon in Worcester. It was there over the next 12 years that I met many people and pets that would shape me as a person and teach me responsibility, patience and compassion. I loved coming into work and seeing those tiny paws and wet noses. A bad day would instantly be turned around by a lick to the cheek, or a dancing pup waiting to be picked up and coddled. I was convinced there was nothing else for me out there. Of course there were days when the barking ceased to end, I had to clean up many accidents and deal with grumpy pets that wanted to bite my hand off, but for the most part, the work was fun and I loved my job.

Somewhere in between the scissors and soap suds, I developed a passion for cake decorating. I’m not really sure how the two are remotely related, but then again I’ve always been one to march to the beat of my own drum. I started making simple cakes for family birthdays and cookouts, and one day decided that I enjoyed it enough to research more on the topic. I began following cake makers on Instagram and watching tutorials on decorating. My boss was throwing a baby shower for her daughter and saw how my interest in cake decorating had grown. She asked me to make the cake for her daughter, and from there I had people inquire about birthday cakes. I had no idea what to tell them, after all I was only doing it for fun at that point. But I reluctantly took their orders, and from there I had people begin to ask me if I had social media pages. I wasn’t really sure where this hobby was leading to, but I decided to let go and see where the wind would take me.

What started as a hobby for family and close friends became a full-on side job. I still loved pet grooming and was convinced it was the career for me, but my life was slowly being taken over by cakes- and I loved it! By day I was wielding clippers, by night a spatula. It was stressful but I took every opportunity to learn from my decorating mistakes so I could improve my final product. I wanted to be one of those incredible decorators, but I also was trying to balance my passion for animals and grooming. As my cake business grew and I started to book orders months in advance, I faced a difficult decision- which path would I continue on: grooming or decorating? Though I loved both I knew eventually I would only have time for one in my life. Just as everything was coming to a boiling point, the grooming salon had to close down abruptly for various reasons. It seemed like everything was pointing to cake decorating as my path. However, inside I was devasted that I was no longer grooming. Something that had been apart of me for so long was ending. I felt like I was saying goodbye to a dear friend that I would never see again. How could I say goodbye to those little faces that grew old with me over the past decade. It was very hard, especially in the beginning. But everything was moving so fast and I had no choice but to dive into the cakes.

I began working on cakes full time out of my house, and it seemed like the orders never ended. Sometimes I missed the simplicity of grooming and wished I could go back. But there is something so magical about stepping back and seeing what you’ve created, and seeing the smiles and laughter it brings to an excited customer. As time went on I began wanting to experience baking/decorating in a professional bakery atmosphere. When I found out that The Queen’s Cup’s had moved to Worcester and was hiring, I knew this was once again life pointing me down my path. I told myself that even if I didnt get hired, at least I could say that tried my hardest! I was so ecstatic when I was hired, I couldn’t believe that I was actually working in a bakery! And one so popular¬†and loved as The Queen’s Cup’s! I love my job and wouldn’t trade it for anything! My co-workers are friendly and supportive, and there’s really nothing better than waking up and looking forward to work! So as you can see, my transition has been a bit unconventional, but I’m fortunate that I was able to move from one passion to the other!

 

-Julie

A cake decorated by Julie

 

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