We had the good fortune of connecting with Taylor Turner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Taylor, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I stumbled upon my artistic career by accident. I graduated college in 2015 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. Shortly after graduation, I became a cake artist. Baking and designing cakes was never a goal of mine but quickly became therapeutic for me. My creative career as a cake artist started from burnout. I was burnt out from working 2-3 jobs at a time to make ends meet. I kept trying to find something that I was passionate about but that would also generate income. Over the next couple years, I started (and didn’t finish) multiple businesses. One day I had a cleaning business and the next day I was a certified credit repair consultant. I was all over the place and was STILL working 2-3 jobs because nothing was sticking. I randomly found a cupcake recipe on Pinterest and decided to bake some Strawberry Shortcake cupcakes. I took them to work the next day and BOOM, they were a hit. Everyone at my job loved them and started placing multiple orders. My business took off from there and then people started asking me to make cakes. I was very hesitant about making custom cakes because they just looked way to difficult to execute. I finally made my first custom cake and I LOVED it! Something about the decorating process was so therapeutic and gave me so much peace. It was like a temporary escape from my overwhelmingly busy life (plus I was making some extra money). It has almost been 6 years since I started baking and I am so grateful for my journey and where I am now. When I am designing cakes, I feel free. It’s like I am flowing in my element. I am so much more than a baker, I am a cake artist. Most people see a cake but I see a blank canvas. I am grateful that my artistic career allows me to create edible works of art.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am most proud of my journey! I got to where I am today because I’ve made a lot of mistakes. The artist and business owner that I am today was made from a lot of nasty cakes, ugly cakes and failed deliveries. It definitely was not easy. There were many times when I wanted to quit. I used to call my mom every week and say “I don’t think I want to bake anymore”.
I have failed so many times but I learned that failures are only practice shots and eventually I will get it right. I overcame a lot of challenges by understanding that without failure or obstacles I would never learn. I looked at every challenge as a learning experience. Every challenge was another page in my story.
One of the lessons that I learned along the way was that lazy work is double work. If I don’t give something my all initially, then I am creating more work for myself on the back end and your client is not paying you to cut corners and be lazy.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would definitely pull up to my favorite BBQ spot near the Long Beach pier called “Louisiana Charlie’s”. We would dine on their outdoor patio with a drink and a catch a vibe. I would also take her roller skating on the beach at the Venice Beach Boardwalk. I don’t really go to clubs, so we would have to go to a local bar for music and drinks (I like Sharkeez in Huntington Beach or Downtown Fullerton). I also like to do different things, so we may go horseback riding in Hollywood, canoeing in Newport Beach or hydro biking in Long Beach.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Wow, this is a tough one. There are so many books, podcasts, mentors, family, friends and even strangers that deserve a lot of credit and recognition. I read a lot of self development books because I am always looking for ways to grow spiritually and mentally. One of my favorite books is called “Don’t Dumb Down Your Greatness” by Anthony Frasier. I read this book early on in my baking career and it really helped to prepare me mentally for the hardships that you will experience as an entrepreneur.
I also follow a lot of influential and inspirational people on Instagram. They inspire me everyday that success can happen for ME. My mentor, Ronne Brown has also helped me to get out of my own way. She has a no BS approach to everything and it is exactly what I needed to take my business to the next level.
I have to give a lot of credit to my family and friends who are ALWAYS there for me. I have two best friends who know almost everything about my business. They have been by my side throughout some of the most difficult times in my business but have also been by my side to share my wins. And of course, I can’t forget my mom! She gives me the real, genuine constructive criticism that I need to hear sometimes.