Amy Eagan and her partner, Tavares Evans, decorated a cake for Alicia Keys and Robin Thicke when they came to Baltimore for a show. I was amazed at their work! I hadn’t heard about Cakes2AT since that day and even then, I wasn’t completely sold; just really impressed.
It was the day Tavares and Amy walked in with a special cake for Kelson (The UrbanInformer) that I knew I had to have a Cakes2AT cake! And I did!
I absolutely LOVED my birthday cake! I mean, who wouldn’t?
Since then, I stayed connected with Amy and Tavares and developed a trusting and solid relationship.
Amy has always been so open to sharing her opinions when I needed them for show topics and for that I’m forever grateful.
I decided to highlight Amy’s career because when you think about the business she’s in, it’s rare a co-owner or designer is a woman. Tavares will tell you in a minute how he loves Amy and how she completes the unit they have together. She is the strong woman behind (or beside) the “every man” saying.
Amy Eagan is funny, intelligent, genuine, honest and a pretty cool chick! She’ll tell you she isn’t worthy of “too much” praise, but she will gladly accept a compliment, because knows in her heart, she does what she does because she loves how it feels in it.
Here is Amy’s story:
What is your occupation?
I am co-owner and cake artist at Cakes 2-A-T
How many careers/jobs have you had before you landed this one?
I currently still work managing the web site for the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. I have been at Hopkins my entire professional career.
Which one would you say you’re most proud of?
I am the most proud of the cake company because it is something T and I created together from a prayer and a dream.
How did you get started in your career?
Bear with me now, you’re asking something deeper. You’re asking about my love story!
Preface: Tavares and I grew up in the same hometown. Our parents ran the local gridiron club for football and cheerleading. So at the end of practice every day, we would run around the field, waiting on our parents, who were waiting on the other parents to pick up all the kids! One day, we kissed on the playground! We were each other’s first kiss. I never forgot that moment or him. He moved away in high school and I really hadn’t seen him but one time at the local rival’s high school basketball game where we saw each other across the room, smiled and he walked me to the car. I still had a heart for him, but we were to go 2 our separate ways. I’ve always loved the world of ART. I graduated high school in the ART Honors Society and in college, I dual-majored in Communications, as well as Art. Tavares went into the Air Force where he was stationed in Las Vegas, NV and lived when he found me on MYSPACE some 15 years later J We became the best of friends through emails and phone calls.
After a couple years, my long-lost love returned into my life in December of 2007 that also meant moving “home” to Baltimore and starting anew. There was a long period where he couldn’t find a job in the midst of the recession! He had a long career as a pastry chef in the US Air Force. I knew what he did in his career, but it wasn’t until I kept losing him in the stores and find him in the cake department in the grocery store or the decorating tools at craft shops. I started to see pretty quickly, this man had a real PASSION, and it was for cakes. Cakes always were something I thought would be “FUN” to do, but I had only decorated few for my son as a project, like most moms attempt and then decide it’s easier just to buy one! Ha.
So I kept telling T, “You know I think I would be really good at decorating cakes. I have my art background and you have the experience. We could start a cake company and sell to our friends! This would help us a little until you find something steady!” Time went on and our relationship started to be tested by the trials of being broke and lacking in faith. It wasn’t until his grandmother showed up on his brother’s doorstep, a place where he randomly landed to print directions one day to a job interview. His evangelical grandmother could see it in his eyes, he was broken. When she started to talk to him, long story short, she asked him, “Honey, you never asked me for anything. So tell me, what is it you want, a barbershop or a bakery?” he said, “I love to cut hair, but my passion is cakes! Amy and I have been talking about this and we really think we could do well if we started a cake company. We just didn’t have the means to even start.” She said, “Well ok, then both of you put together a business proposal for me and meet me two days from now, downtown in Baltimore.” When we met up, she barely paged through the proposal we spent hours creating. She just wanted to see we were serious! Then she looked at me and started questioning me, only like a Grandmother could. “Now Amy,” she said looking straight into my eyes, “why do you think you and T can start a company together? How do you know you will be together? Why do you love my grandson? How do you know he’s the one for you” with without hesitations, I answered honestly and easily. We had become the best of friends before we moved home and there was so much time to get to know each other. Once he came home there was something in my gut that told me, he’s the ONE. I just know it.” She wrote us a check right there, prayed over us and the company, she prayed God would provide and if we stay aligned with him, we will soar! She then told us, “This is not a loan, but you can just repay me by being successful.” We decided to re-dedicate our lives to the Lord and give it ALL to him.
So that’s how our company was born. We went out, bought a few things and posted on facebook that we were doing cakes! And we took off! Within 4 months we were presenting Alicia Keys a cake, in conjuntion with our new friends at 92Q. Over the years we feel as if the RADIO ONE team is part of our Cakes 2-A-T family!
What other talents to you have that NO ONE knows about until now?
Well, most of my friends know I LOVE TO DANCE. But since I’ve been playing grown up, I rarely get to dance anymore. I danced from 3-17 in schools for dance and even competed a little in tap and jazz. I grew up just before hip hop became part of organized dancing. Sometimes I think if I grew up a little later, I would have been a choreographer. I also have a motorcycle license and love to ride bikes. One day, maybe I will buy another 🙂 I haven’t ridden in years.
What is the biggest or most important accomplishment you were given?
Well that’s easy. Being a young single mom, raising a son! No matter what “jobs” I’m ever given, my most important accomplishment will always be my son.
What’s the biggest misconception about what you do and how do you respond to it?
The biggest misconception is that what I do is that it’s “just cake.” I don’t paint on canvas, or sculpt statues or graphically design something that will be used in an ad. I do however do all of that work, for a temporary enjoyment in an edible medium. It’s still ART. It still takes time, skill and talent and our cakes are priced on those things (although they taste really good too! Hehe) Most people think T has taught me decorating or I have taken classes or watch online videos, but mostly everything I do is on the spot and self-taught, with minimal “molds” and templates.
Would you say that you understand the difference between gifts and talents? What are your gifts and talents?
Yes, that is something I have learned more recently in my walk with God. You can have many talents in life, but gifts are those special things that God has assigned to you to help accomplish your destiny, for HIM. Your talents are things you enjoy, and others enjoy when you do them. Gifts are WHO you are not WHAT you are. My talents are my creative side. I am a talented in my skills, artsy stuff like cake-making, dancing, I’m pretty good at some sports too J However, my gifts assigned by God are completely different. My two biggest GIFTS are wisdom and faith. With both of those comes my gift of encouragement or exhortation. I very much enjoy spending my time lifting up those around me and encouraging people to have faith. I want them know everything isn’t going to be fine, it’s going to be great! And I really believe those things. I am 100% believer in Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
If you really LOVE GOD, he will make it all work together, even the bad things, for HIS BENEFIT.
Have you ever made a cake and had to stand back and say DAMN!
Ha! Yes, actually the last cake we made. I had to make pizza from sugar. I spent days pondering, praying, researching and in the end, I stood back and said……… DAGGGGG, I did that? Haha
Were you ever on the receiving end of a customer or client’s reaction that surprised you so much it made you think about why you do what you do? Describe.
The first thing that comes to mind, is the cake we made for Snoop Dogg. Sometimes, when you make a cake for someone so famous and so rich, you think maybe they have seen something like our cakes before and it wont be a HUGE deal to them. Although, most celebs we’ve done cakes for are so gracious and thankful, overly complementing us. There was something about Snoop’s reaction that was a little different. From the second we walked in, he was “wooo-weeeeing” and “daaaaannnnngin” He sat with this cake and kept staring at it smiling. He kept talking about it and showing it off to everyone in the room. He took pictures with us and even free-styled a rap for us on video! We tried to leave several times, literally, but got called back because “Snoop wanted HIS CAKE PEOPLES!” haha. You know, I think its not the celebrity fascination but more, that someone at his status can still appreciate our work as something unique and worthy, and he chooses to let us know!
This just makes me sit and smile and think about how no matter how old, what color, man or female, tough or soft, our cakes get the SAME REACTION. They can turn the hardest man into a sweet child! It’s the most amazing feeling to be able to give people a few moments to be a care-free child in spirit!! Even the MAN, Snoop Dogg himself!! It’s just THEE BEST feeling.
Where do you see your business going in the next few years?
Cakes 2-A-T isn’t just a cake company, it’s a movement. Both T and I feel like this company is a platform from which GOD will launch us into his plan for our lives, to motivate, empower, and assist the people in Baltimore, from under-privileged high-risk kids to the needy and homeless. We’re not sure exactly how or when, but we know it’s going to happen. We are building a very large network of people who love to help and also people who have the skills that we will need to expand in this type of way. We’re hoping the world can see CAKES 2-A-T on the screen one day soon as well! Plans are in motion. Pray for us!! 🙂
Do you EVER HATE CAKE? (lol)
A lot of people in the industry may think I’m lying but I am so serious when I answer, “No. Never.” I never hate them as a job decorating and I never hate the taste! Ha (sometimes I wish I did)
If you were awarded an OSCAR, who would be the FIRST THREE people you would thank and how would your speech go?
My parents (they are one) for teaching me kindness, compassion, forgiveness and to love the person I am, no matter who tells me any different. They taught me I can be and do anything I want. Next would be Tavares, for taking the person I was and helping me to become a greater me by our long talks about God and the direction of our lives and future. I am secure in knowing he loves me as I am now and has pledged he will love me as I grow. It’s exciting to share not only LIFE with someone you love, but your dreams too! Lastly, but NOT least (but you only gave me 3! Lol), my spiritual best friend, Kim Morris for being the person I go to for spiritual guidance and sometimes to just be a “girl” raw, honest, heart-broken, searching and needing prayer… but also who celebrates my victories as if they were her own. She is a great source of my strength through her sisterhood and constant prayer over my life.
I never thought a cake decorator would have a bad story (sarcasm) but do you have one you’d be happy to share?
I had to think hard about this one because my, are we blessed with the best customers! There was this one time. ONE TIME we let someone come and pick up their 3-tier custom carved Dr. Suess cake. We offer free delivery and we assured them, we could bring it. But, they insisted they would do it. So we let her. We gave her all the directions, “drive like you have your infant child in your car not in a car seat!” lol. Within 20 mins we got the call and a picture, that the cake “spontanueously combusted,” you know, it just exploded on it’s own. LONG STORY short, we offered a refund even though we KNEW that happened because of a quick turn on the road… and….. we never did that again! We’d rather offer free delivery and have all our hours of hard work make it to the location safe, than chance it!
If there was something you’ve never done before but you were given the opportunity to do it today, what would it be?
Be a radio host! haha… no seriously, I’ve always dreamed of being on radio and I’ve been told I have a radio voice, sultry and raspy kinda like KiKi Brown’s!! haha…. I think that can still be a reality down the road later in life.
What is your favorite quote and why?
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
This was the first scripture I memorized. It was told to me soon after I was saved, from a coworker who became one of my best friends. She told me here, memorize this, and it will be the one scripture you lean on in every circumstance.
And man, she was right! If I just trust in the LORD and in ALL my way acknowledge him. Sometimes we know we’re not giving him something, but when we finally acknowledge, “HE is GOD!!!!!” and we give it to HIM, everything seems to fall in place. This helps me every time I get overwhelmed by life. This is the basics of LIFE, the simple meaning of “God’s GOT YOU!”
How can people reach out to you?
Facebook: personal: /Amy Eagan and company: /cakes2at.fans
FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER/IG @JustKiKiBrown
FAN ME ON FACEBOOK @MsKiKiBrown
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