Wedding Vendor Behind The Scenes - Vanilla and Honey Bee (Wedding Cakes)

So I've started something new!!

Have you ever wondered who it is behind that beautiful wedding cake you had? Or who it was designing your dress or who it was who did your makeup? While you may have most likely had some interaction with your wedding vendors during your wedding day, most likely the day was a complete blur and you probably only met them briefly and didn’t get to know the person that well.

In this new series of photographs and brief interviews, I will taking you Behind The Scenes of what makes wedding vendors so passionate about what they do. Why do they do they do? Why do they love weddings? Behind each wedding cake, dress, decor setup, photograph or video is a human being with a passionate flame burning inside them that drives them to make, create and/or organize on your wedding day. #weddingdaybts

Today’s Wedding Vendor is:

Selina from Vanilla and Honey Bee

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What do you love to do when not working on weddings?
Essentially the cakes are what I love to do. When I am not doing cakes, I’m not doing what I love to do.

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What inspires you / What drives you?
Art has always inspired me; every type of art. I used to do finance (that’s where I started), then I got into ceramics, and then I started getting into digital art and then going to web development. I have always been into small business. I’ve always had my own businesses including clothing stores or café or whatever throughout my years.

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I’ve learned a lot and I feel that cakes lets me bring all the components of my art that I’ve been learning over the years together into one place. Cakes are really finicky because you can’t really make a mistake. You have to create all your components properly and then put them together like a puzzle at the end and there’s really no room for error so for me it’s kind of that higher form of art that I’m used to and it just kind of keep my brain active. What motivates me is how happy it makes people. I love helping people. It’s what I do in web development at work and in small businesses so just helping somebody or making them happy is really my motivation.

How did you start in baking?
When I was seven years old, I had a grandmother who lived in Alberta. She was First Nations. We used to go to the sweats a lot and so when I was seven and she said “You know, it’s time for you to make your own food for the sweats”. So the first thing I did for baking was rice crispy squares. It was the first thing I ever made for the sweats and then from there I learned how to bake and how to make bread and and then I just started in the cakes.

I used to be an analytical person and I used to work in fashion and retail outside of school for several years. I have always liked baking and cooking since I was that age. Now that I’m older I have a chance to start making cakes. I did it for friends and family at first and then they started asking me to do it more often, which through word-of-mouth led to friends of friends and that gave me good experience.

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Why do you love baking?
I love decoration and I love interior design. I love style, I love colour, I love puzzles. When I’m cooking, all of that just comes together. I can be artistic and creative. Every cake is different. I never know what it’s gonna look like when I start it so I just kind of go by feel. Yeah, so it’s like... it’s literally art.

What is it about weddings that excite you?
I love events, I love parties and I love refinement. Most weddings are pretty refined. I am not very traditional or “religious religious” but I do like the union of of two people officially especially now in the world. I think that my cakes are a lot like weddings because they’re whimsical and light and airy, and I feel like that’s what a wedding is: it’s whimsical. So I try to make my cakes have that same sort of feel.

Who is your ideal client?
My ideal client is someone that really cares about quality of the cakes. I am a small baker and I'm a craft maker so all of my cakes that I make use whole ingredients. A lot of competitors may use things like vegetable oils and shortenings for their cakes but I use milk and cream and butter for them because I think it makes a huge difference in the flavour. That is the number one thing that people say that they love about my cakes: The icing isn’t so sweet. I’ve received a lot of requests for smash cakes, which are all these toppings on it and it’s kind of like a crazy mix and match of a whole bunch of stuff just sitting on top the cake. So yeah, those are my ideal clients: people that really care about the details and the ingredients (such as the gold leaf that will be used on today’s cake) and that really want to wow somebody at a party.

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What should people look for in a baker?
Someone who aims to please the client first and foremost. Somebody that listens to the client and really has an idea on their mind of how they can deliver with a client in a way that is very nicely designed. If high-quality ingredients is really important for them, they should ask the baker if they are using whole ingredients. The worst thing is getting a cake when you really had this great idea in your mind and then you get the cake and you are underwhelmed. You ask for a cake that is burgundy but you get purple or if there’s something on top of the cake but it’s not what you asked for. Also, you want to make sure the baker is being competitive because cakes can get really expensive. I usually like to throw in add-ons that I usually don’t charge for.

What is your differentiator?
For me, it would be my past and my history with fine art and baking ever since I was young. I think also my clients see high-quality ingredients so I feel like those things set me apart. Also, I see myself as being like a craft bakery, which is more like an artist and not so much of pumping out like 50 cakes a day. I really do concentrate and try to put everything I can into the cakes that I make. They take around four to five hours to make! A baker would generally want to be making five or 10 cakes within that time but for me I like to spend time on just one project at a time.

You can reach Selina from Vanilla and Honey Bee here.

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