- I’ve Officially Started Working as a Cake Decorator！
I haven’t written much about work in my articles but as I have come to America, I have been experiencing various aspects of life here. I started selling made-to-order cakes soon after moving to the US and have created cakes for special occasions for a lot of people.
Come to think of it, more than 10 years have passed since I first got involved with “confectionery,” but my passion hasn’t changed over that time and it’s something I still love.
Those many years of pouring my passion into confectionery have now officially translated into a sizeable job, and I’m incredibly happy and joyful about that.
There are probably very few professional “cake decorators” in Japan, and at American cake shops, the jobs are mostly divided between the “bakers,” who bake the cakes, and the “cake decorators,” who decorate the cakes. Since I started in this job, I haven’t been baking the cakes themselves, I’ve been in charge of “decoration,” devoting myself to decorating cakes every day.
The decoration materials and methods are completely different from so-called “Japanese cakes,” which is what I was taught to make, so I was really lost at first. Things didn’t go well, so much so I started wondering what I had been doing up till that point, and for the first time I lost my confidence in making confectionery. It was so bad that in the first week I would get home and quietly cry tears of frustration (LOL).
Now, a little over 3 months have passed, and I am amazingly, incredibly happy every day. I have also gradually come to understand what’s required in terms of design and preferences. Plus, I have come to the realization that while I really do like confectionery, I also like the process of figuring out “how to successfully put what I am thinking in my head into actual forms.” Sometimes it’s hard using my own sensibilities to create the cake that the person wants, what they are imagining in their head, but the joyful thrills I get when I succeed live on forever. I find great happiness in being able to form connections with people through confectionery.
It was amazing that the training I got when I started in this job covered “diversity” in depth. Some of the words that made an impression on me are “Respect people’s culture. Don’t judge a book by its cover.” I remember being completely amazed when I found out at the Smithsonian Museum a while ago that “humans are 99.9% identical in their genes, and the differences are in the remaining 0.1%.”
We should respect people’s ethnicity, age, the country they’re from, religion, sexual orientations, language, and background, all of it. Working in a diverse environment is a valuable experience that brings many lessons. Every day I am reminded that I have long wanted to have an open-minded approach to people from diverse backgrounds.
As you might expect, the materials and methods for making cakes in Japan are completely different in America, which makes it fun, and I hope that I can gradually write more articles about this.
I will keep on trying to give customers cakes that exceed their expectations, treasuring the ties that form through doing something I love.
Last, I’d like to end with something someone said to me when I showed them this article. They are the words of Miwako Nakamura, who I met at the Knowledge Salon,
“Something you love to do will lead you and pave the way to where you wish to go in life!”