REVA - OWNER, CREATOR
Hi! I'm Reva. The artist and creator behind, Blushed Bakes.
I started making cakes about 13 years ago. I was a single mom working full time. We lived in a tiny apartment with no furniture, and although I worked full time, my full-time job wasn’t enough to pay the bills and cover daycare. I didn’t have any family support or help.
While driving to work on an empty tank of gas one day, I didn’t know if I would make it. And I didn’t have any money to pay for gas for the rest of the week. So I just prayed I would make it to work that day. And what’s crazy is, as soon as I pulled into a parking spot at work, my car shut off. It had run out of gas.
I don’t remember being concerned about how I was going to get home at that moment. I just remembered laughing hysterically about the fact that I even made it there at all. We had a potluck that day. So I brought a cake. My very first one. Well, it was two cakes really. They were two little cakes shaped like flip flops I had learned from following a magazine tutorial I’d seen while sitting at the Human Resources department a few weeks before.
I had been denied assistance to help pay for daycare. Because $8/hour at my full-time job left us unqualified and “over the income limit.” Even though after paying all the bills and daycare, I didn’t have enough left to pay for much gas or car insurance, and I was sleeping on the floor of our apartment because I couldn’t afford a bed. I sat in the Human Resources office for a long time that day to get us on a waiting list for further assistance.
I remember asking permission to take the magazine home with me, to have the cake article at home to make for the upcoming work event.
So on the day, I ran out of gas, I walked into work with my flip flop cakes, no gas in my car, laughing like a crazy person because I was so excited to have made it with no gas, and no clue as to how I was going to get home. But everyone loved the cakes, and at the end of the day, one girl came up to me and asked how much I would charge for cakes like that.
A light bulb went off in my head.
She placed an order and paid me upfront. After work, I borrowed a gas can from one of the managers (I guess dudes carry gas cans in their vehicles), walked to a gas station, and put gas in the can so I could start my car. I drove home that day with plenty of gas for the week, a brand new way to make ends meet, and a pretty sweet new hobby!
I didn’t have extra cash to pay for any supplies to get started. But we did have food stamps. I figured out pretty quickly that you could buy anything food-related with food stamps (including fondant) so I used our remaining monthly food stamps to pay for ingredients to get started.
I had a tiny counter-space to work on, and though we didn’t have furniture, I did have some of those old wooden foldable TV stands that someone had donated to us. So I used them to stack my cakes. I used a large water bottle as a rolling pin, and baby bottles, straws, and other kitchen items to cut out circles, and shapes in my fondant and cookie dough.
For many years I worked full time during the day and then once my baby was asleep in the evening, I’d get to work on my cake orders. Often times I’d work well into three or four in the morning to get them finished, and then get up and do it all over again.
It’s funny because looking back it feels like I’d be miserable and exhausted doing all of that now. But all I remember back then is just feeling so blessed and grateful to have work, a home, and that people wanted to buy my baked goods!
After 11 years of baking part time, I finally took the plunge to go full time and launched Blushed Bakes in February, 2019 and haven't looked back!