Emma's (@sugarbitesbyemma) beautiful, magical cakes have mesmerized many, but little did we know her journey that started it all. The self-taught baker and cake decorator picked up recipes from Martha Stewart cookbook and the rest is history. Since building Sugar Bites in 2011, she has had her ups and downs, from finding passion in marrying art with cake, to redefining her role in the baking world.
Hi Emma! How did you start your foray into cakes & desserts?
I have always been into the creative sides of things, from designing clothes, making jewelries or putting crystals on my phone. However, I have never thought of doing creative things as a business, especially with my background in banking. I only started Sugar Bites after a series of projects and felt unhappy. Long story short, I picked up Martha Stewart cookbook and started doing desserts. On my grandma’s birthday party, I made banana cupcakes with chocolate frosting that garnered praises from my family. The business then grew from word of mouth.
How did you find your signature whimsical cake design?
I started focusing on the flavor first, without much decorative elements in my creation. I kept going and learnt the process, until I found out that I was able to combine my love of art and creative things in cake and buttercream. Part of my personalities have unicorns, mermaids, all those fun stuffs, and I am excited to combine them with my passion for desserts. I’d love it when I can make people fall in love with the fantasy, whimsy and magical things through Sugar Bites.
Nine years into the business, what keeps you motivated?
I have actually been through a phase where I’ve been doing this for so long and I am losing the motivation for it. I know a lot of people are going through it, too. That’s where you have to take a little distance or break from it so you are not constantly working just to work. Find inspirations anywhere you go. Go back to the things that make you you, because you are not only defined by your work. You can be inspired again and choose to be on that path – and more importantly – to evolve.
More than just making pretty cakes, I have been talking to the community and be inspired by my students. There are people from different backgrounds, with their own stories. I find that my passion is to spread the words and share my journey, because the beautiful things you see on social media have their own journeys, too. So when you feel low, don’t shy away from it. Just take a break and see how you can make things better to impact other people.
"Find inspirations anywhere you go. Go back to the things that make you you, because you are not only defined by your work."
How important are role models in your life?
Role models are people who have inspired me; they range from public figures like Martha Stewart and Nigella, to my mother, my husband and my best friends. They are so important to keep me grounded and help me go through the difficult stages in life.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to jump into a creative career?
Go for it! Don’t overthink the process. Even though there are so many creators and perhaps you are scared, believe that you have always had something different to offer. Go with what you are feeling at the moment. Happiness will flow from doing what you love.
Lastly, what is beauty for you, and how does your daily makeup look like?
I love makeup! It is a freedom of expression. On a daily basis, lashes and eyeliner are my go-to. But there are days when I simply want to do any crazy look because I have this whole stash of makeup at home. I feel empowered going through all the process of creating those looks! For me, beauty means freedom. You don’t have to be this or that. It isn’t one size fits all. Beauty has actually helped me express my creativity and get my passion for baking back!
Emma is wearing:
#InYourEyes Eyeshadow Pen Harvest Gold, Matte Liner Pitch Black, Brow Definer Dark Brown and Brow Powder
#FaceIt Face Powder Light Beige, Face Glow Dawn and Dusk
#OnTheLips Lip Bullet Pavlova