First Blog Post - WELCOME!
Hello and welcome to my blog! My name is Kayla and I am the Owner & Head Baker of Seatown Sweets.
My story of baking starts with me at a very young age baking with my grandma at Christmas. (Fun fact, her maiden name was Baker. It's just in my blood) We would make buttercream sugar cookies that we would cut out and frost together. She is an amazing artist and I loved going to her house where we would bake, paint, do puzzles, it was such a creative environment that I absolutely loved.
As I grew up, I would find any excuse to bake. There was not a box cake mix in the house that would sit on the shelf for too long before I got my hands on it.
My favorite thing to bake was cookies. Chocolate chip cookies and double chocolate butterscotch cookies are my absolute favorite. When I was 15, my parents said to me "time to get a job!" Back in the early 2000's, you had to actually go and physically apply for jobs, on paper. But when Cold Stone Creamery announced a new location opening up in Kirkland Park Place, I just had to have that job. And the interview process was more of an audition than an interview. There were so many people there I remember and I desperately wanted the job. So I put my brave hat on and tried to stand out as much as possible. Well, it worked and I got the job!
While working at Cold Stone, I watched one of the manager's make an ice cream cake. I was enthralled and I asked if I could try. So not knowing a single thing about cake decorating, I picked up an offset spatula and got to work. And while they are not perfect like my skills today, they weren't half bad. And mind you, this is WAY before internet tutorials existed. I loved it so much, I made my own birthday cake for my Sweet 16 (see below). It was a Mardi Gras themed party because back then we were all little hoes.
I graduated from Washington State University in 2010 and received a BA in Communications with a focus in Advertising. I loved the creative aspect of advertising and I loved to write so I felt like it was the perfect fit for me. After graduating, I had a hard time finding a job due to the fall out of the 2008 economic recession. I worked for Starbucks in my home town until I finally got a job in Digital Marketing Sales. I absolutely HATED that job. Cold calling made me absolutely sick to my stomach. I was only there for 8 months before I took a new job in Seattle, also in digital marketing managing Google Adwords campaigns for auto dealers around the country. I loved that job and my team. This was in 2011, and during this time Pinterest was gaining traction. This website opened my eyes to a whole new world of exploration in my baking life. I saw recipes that I *had* to try, Maple Bacon Cupcakes anyone? I would make these delicious treats, taste them and say," Awesome I just made 50 mini cupcakes which I don't want to go to waste but I also don't want to eat." So I would take them to my office (my team had 50+ people) and they would slam these desserts.
A New Chapter
After rediscovering my love for baking, I started taking baking classes locally. I learned how to pipe buttercream cookies in the Wilton Baking School classes hosted at Michael's Craft Store. And in 2018 I went to Chicago to visit the school and took a class there on cake baking! I also took classes to make French macarons from Sur La Table, Bread Making at PCC Market, and a whole slew of classes from Dawn's Candy & Cake in Lynnwood.
Where My Business Began
To share my confections, I would blog about them. And here is where my story comes full circle. During this time, the Seattle Seahawk's went to the Super Bowl 2 years in a row. Word spread from family and friends to others that I could make really cool cookies and treats that were perfect for themed parties. The word kept spreading and I soon discovered that there might be a business opportunity here.
Do you know what my home baker blog was called?
Originally my blog was called Baked Me Happy - cute right? Hey it was the 2010's and that type of kitschy stuff was popular. I even had a dorky avatar character as my logo. But I wanted to look more professional. So, I went on 99 Designs and had graphic designers submit ideas for my logo. During this time I was also in the process of licensing and registering my business name only to discover *gasp* that blog name was a registered Trademarked name for another business on the East Coast. I was crushed and panicked because now I had to think of a new name.
The Birth of Seatown Sweets
Scrambling to think of a new name, I made a list of all the works I could think of associated with baking. Example: Kirkland Kookies, Kayla's Kookies, Kookies by Kayla etc etc. But the first name that came to mind that I kept going back to...yup you guessed it Seatown Sweets. I liked the name and how it had a play on Seattle and it was not tied to my name personally. So in the 11th hour, Seatown Sweets was born in 2017!
Practice Makes Perfect - Early Memories
The first cake I baked for my now husband. It just goes to show that you can do anything with a little practice and patience. The ice cream cake I made for myself for my 16th birthday...man I would love to be that skinny again.