Angie Dudley of Bakerella
Since blogging a photo of her inventive and adorable cupcake pops in 2008, Angie Dudley (more popularly known as Bakerella) has jetted around the country promoting her New York Times best-selling book, teamed up with international corporations like Target and Disney, taught Martha Stewart something new in the kitchen, and most recently decorated cake pops at the home of Blake Lively after receiving an invitation from the celebrity herself. Pretty impressive for a southern everygirl who one day decided to take a baking class and document her creations on a blog. Naturally, like many of you, we found ourselves asking: how did she get there? How does anyone accomplish such things from writing a blog?
After e-mailing with Angie who is as sweet as her confections, we discovered that the short answer is: she had a really great idea. We should have known. Great ideas frequently come when you are doing something you love, something you are passionate about. (Which is why we encourage everygirls to pick up new hobbies; learn the thing you always wish you knew how to do; start writing more, or singing more, or running more. Alas, we digress...)
What we didn't realize is that for the past four years Angie has continued to work full-time as a graphic designer while simultaneously maintaining her site Bakerella.com and traveling for her book and PR appearances. The hard-working Georgia native regularly gives up weekends to bake, photograph, and write blog posts for the upcoming week. And in addition to the glamorous book deal, TV appearances, and products, Angie's seemingly sprinkle-covered life has its own share of hardships. In 2011, she underwent her second kidney transplant with her mother as the donor. The first time she had surgery was when she was in college at the age of 20 and was initially diagnosed with Focal Sclerosing Glomerulonephritis (FSGS). So whether you're new to blogging or have been doing it for a while and wondering how these big name bloggers got to where they are, there is no secret. Everyone will tell you: hard work, creativity, and passion show through in the product. Produce a good product, and people respond. Angie of Bakerella epitomizes what an everygirl can become with a single great idea, a willingness to put herself out there, and a bowl full of pink frosting.
Full Name: Angie Dudley
Year you started Bakerella.com: 2007
Educational background: Bachelor of Arts from Georgia State
What was your first job out of college and how long did you hold that position?
Graphic Designer, and I'm still there.
How did you get into blogging? Did you have a passion for writing or any background in photography or computer graphics, or was it simply a love for baking that motivated you?
I really wasn't interested in blogging. I only started a blog to keep track of things I wanted to bake. I never expected it to grow to what it is today. Just take a look at some of my earlier posts and you can see what I mean.
What inspired the creation of cake pops?
I had been making cake balls for a few years. (They've been around for a while.) But I wanted to turn them into something much cuter so I started with a cake pop that looked like a lollipop and decided that wasn't cute enough. So I figured out a way to make them look like little cupcakes using a small cookie cutter. What did that first batch look like? The photo on my site and book is actually the very first ones I made. I couldn't believe how great my idea came out on the very first try.
What skills would you say you’ve learned or have improved on since starting Bakerella.com?
Photography, baking, writing, stepping out of my comfort zone… all the time.
How does the content of one of your blog posts today differ from your posts when you first began?
In the beginning I basically put a photo on the blog and said, “Hey look at this, hope you like it.” And now I post many more pictures and instructions on baking and decorating. Sometimes too many. But I want to make sure readers of the site feel like they can do it too.
You're book Cake Pops has been printed in four languages and been on The New York Times Best Sellers list. Tell us a bit about the process of having a book published.
In 2009, almost two years after starting my blog, I was approached by a publisher Chronicle Books. I initially thought I would just put it together myself because I had most of the designs done, but I knew I would never give myself a firm deadline. And I really wanted to have it available in a bookstore instead of shipped from my garage.
However, even though I had all the designs done, the book process still took over a year. After all, I still had to write the book, go through the editing process, the layout and design approvals, and have it printed in plenty of time for the holidays. It came out at the end of 2010.
At what point did you feel successful as a blogger?
Probably when I was invited to be on the Martha Stewart Show.
And as an entrepreneur?
When I saw my book on the shelf in the bookstore for the first time. Wow!
What one piece of advice would you offer new bloggers?
Be nice. Comment on others blogs. I've met a lot of great people just through commenting. Post regularly. It doesn't have to be everyday, but enough so people know you will be back. Try to take great pictures.
What cake pop design are you most proud of?
The cupcake pop because it really started the whole craze. And as far as characters go, the Mr. Potato Head I made still amazes me.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Being on The New York Times Best Sellers List. Especially since prior to creating cake pops, I never even thought twice about writing a book. So surreal.