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Meet Kirsten Mayes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kirsten Mayes.

Hi Kirsten, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Hi, my name is Kirsten Mayes owner of Cakin’ With K Custom & Dessert Style Cakes. Cakin’ With K was created on April 25, 2020, in the kitchen of my cousin’s house after jokingly pitching the idea of selling cupcakes. Little did I know this random thought would turn into a dessert business. On that day my cousin sat down and wrote me a to-do list ordering that all the tasks be completed within 24 hours to launch the business.

From there Cakin’ With K took off as I kind of just fell into it after sharing my new craft with family and friends. As an 18-year-old freshman in college, I had no idea what I wanted to do or what I had a passion for, but I knew that it was time to step outside of my comfort zone and get out of my way because I wanted more. I’ve always been that creative person ready to try new things however I would never stick with anything, and I found myself always in the search for more leaving me unfulfilled.

I would jump from task to task never finishing anything, so I struggled for many years to identify what my purpose was and what I had a passion for as I was talented in many areas. However, I did know that whatever I decided to do I wanted to do something that’ll allow my creative abilities to flow. I had grown sick of my lack of discipline to finish anything, and I began to ask God to reveal my purpose.

I asked how I can align myself in such a way that when I use my gifts and talents God’s grace automatically flows through me. And with that God allowed me to discover my love for cakes these small bundles of deliciousness saved my life. It’s my escape from the world as I can pour all of myself and my creativity into this small dessert along with making someone else’s day once they’ve received their goods.

The reward will forever be the excitement on the customers’ faces as they see their ideas brought to life along with the sounds of pleasure after taking the first bite of their sweets. One day a lady came to me and told me “your cakes are your ministry, you may not understand right now, but you will later.” Now today as stand I fully understand the statement as Cakin’ with K saved me from myself.

It taught me the importance of patience and discipline as everything develops momentum over time. I once begged God for peace, understanding, and the revealing of my purpose, so he took me through the process equipping me with the tools to navigate.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Cakin’ With K has been far from a smooth ride because what road is smooth? As a full-time college student, a rising entrepreneur, an employee, and transitioning teen to young adulthood there’s been many rough patches. I don’t believe anyone or anything can prepare you for the curve balls that life throws because when reality hits, it hits hard.

Therefore, I was in a place where I was in a mental battle with myself as I was trying to work for myself, finish school, work a full-time job, and enjoy life. All of which takes an insane amount of disciple, balance, work ethic, and sacrifice. I was stuck between wanting to live freely and do whatever like most people my age or remaining disciplined making the sacrifices now to begin building a life for myself that would lead me to the next level in life, so I can live free later on.

I began praying for God to renew the right spirit within me, slow me down, allow me to breathe again, and help me learn how to balance, but I wasn’t prepared for how he’d do it. On August 8, 2020, I was in an incident where 50% of the right side of my body was burned with hot grease leaving me with third-degree burns from my forehead down to my foot. At this point I could have given up however after being required to sit in the house for 4 months I was able to pause, isolate, evaluate, and plan.

During my time of stillness I stayed faithful I learned to turn to God in the midst of my doubt, frustration, and confusion, and through that seed that I sowed God increased my confidence within myself and it reflected through my work as I was able to identify and utilize my resources.

God revealed to me that I was bigger than the crowd I was trying to minimize myself and my abilities to fit into. From there I hit the ground running and never looked back as that fall allowed me to gain a strength that I didn’t even know I had within me.

Once I returned to the kitchen orders began to flow many of which allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and create things I had never done before. From there, I understood that I couldn’t grow where I was comfortable and that to do such I had to learn how to balance and remain disciplined perfecting my craft.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Cakin’ With K specializes in buttercream cakes & cupcakes focusing more on dessert-style cakes. I like to visualize Cakin’ with K as an experience because the desserts speak for themselves. Cakin’ With K desserts not only look good but also taste good.

I try to focus on the presentation and consistency of what I do, which I believe sets me apart from others. We eat with our eyes so the visual presentation of my work creates a desire and sets the atmosphere I would like to create for all customers and potential customers.

Once customers take that first bite their desires are fulfilled by the combination of flavors and time spent with love to create their orders. I love design and details, so I make sure to take the time to add those additional details that’ll add flair to each dessert.

Who else deserves credit in your story?
I’ve had many mentors and supporters along the way that poured into not only Cakin’ with K as a business but Kirsten Mayes as an individual as well. The main one was my cousin Crystal Yarbrough who helped me launch Cakin’ with K. She was the first person I went to with the idea and from there she set me up an initial game plan to execute the idea.

Before starting she always took the time to instill wisdom within me; whatever question, concern, or bizarre idea I had she was always there with an open door for authenticity and a space for me to be myself and speak my truth. Of course, I have to thank my closest friends and family who are always promoting Cakin’ With K speaking of it in rooms that I’ve never stepped foot into.

Along with mentors I’ve met along the way that taught me the importance of setting the standard, confidence and how far it’ll take you, self-awareness, accountability, leadership, and lastly teaching me that whatever I do not do perfectly does not take away from my gift.

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