Συνέντευξη με την Sweet Sugar Belle

H Callye γνωστή ως Sweet Sugar Belle είναι αδιαμφισβήτητα η δημοφιλέστερη διακοσμήτρια μπισκότων παγκοσμίως κι όχι άδικα κατά την ταπεινή μου άποψη. Είναι μητέρα 3 παιδιών ενώ περιμένει το έκτο μέλος της οικογένειας της την άνοιξη και δηλώνει  επαγγελματίας blogger. Γενναιόδωρη και δοτική έχει χαρίσει απλόχερα τις γνώσεις που απέκτησε μέσω της εμπειρίας της στους αναγνώστες του blog της και μάλιστα  ΔΩΡΕΑΝ! Απλή, προσγειωμένη, ευαίσθητη και πρόθυμη να απαντήσει στις ερωτήσεις μου…ας μιλήσει λοιπόν καλύτερα η ίδια μέσα από τη συνέντευξη που ευγενικά μου παραχώρησε…

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Katia: Hi Callye!!! How are you today?

Callye: I am feeling pretty good today! How are you?

Katia:  I am happy today cause my son is recovering from a serious respiratory infection and I was realy worried about him…

Callye: Nothing is worse than when your children are sick…

Katia: Exactly!!! I thought many times that people with kids suffering from long lasting deseases are heroes…I cant bear it phsycologically…

Callye: I agree.

Katia: May I ask you where were you born and raised as a child?

Callye: I was both born and raised in a very tiny west Texas town named Crane. But I mostly lived in the country.

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Katia: Do you have baking memories from your childhood that you think that influenced what you became as an adult?

Callye: I was always very interested in cooking shows on tv, but my parents worked a lot. So I wasn’t able to experiment with cooking and baking until I was a teenager. And wasn’t able to experiment with cookies until I was married and had my own house. I saw an episode of Martha Stewart featuring decorated Christmas cookies, from then on I was hooked!

Katia: So, that is when you decorated your first cookies?

Callye: Yes, in about 2009.

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Katia: What would you say most motivates you to do what you do?

Callye: I’ve always been very creative so I need an outlet. Cookies are something that allows me to be creative while also producing a product that others can enjoy. When I first began blogging, it was on a whim, but over time, I have learned that I enjoy teaching as much or more as the creative process. I feel that I am giving back to others.

Katia: Well,I would ask you later but I feel like making this statement/question now… You are, and you know this, world’s Cookie Empiress , did you ever expect that when you started blogging?

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Callye: Oh goodness, NO! I still cannot believe that people actually want to read what I write about!

Katia: What do you think that is your secret of success?

Callye: I really think that my success come from sticking to what I am passionate about, putting my family first, and having a job that I really enjoy. Enthusiasm really is contagious.

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Katia: How you manage three kids, and a full time job like blogging and decorating?

Callye: First of all, I have a very good husband, he helps me with housework and our children, which allows me to do the things I am able to do. It also helps that all of my kids are now in school.  So I do my work while they are away, so I can spend the rest of my free time with them.

Katia: So, where do you get your cookie inspiration?

Callye: Everywhere, no matter what I’m doing, I’m always thinking about cookies!

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Katia: What do you think you are mostly: cookie blogger or decorator? What do you think that you could live without?

Callye: A cookie blogger by far, I do not have the talent to make some of the extravagant creations that other decorators make. I am better at coming up with simple, doable ideas that even beginners feel comfortable with trying. There are several things, my tips, my bottles and cookie cutters.

Katia: While talking with Liz Adams we concluded that you are the “Mother of Cookiers”…your blog is a gold mine for both begginers and proffesionals, how do you feel about that?

Callye: To hear this is BEYOND humbling. I have learned everything I know from others, and I am also inspired every single day by the work of others. LOL, I almost cannot even wrap my head around this enough to give tell you how I feel! To keep things short, I owe what I am to the people around me. Even now I am delighted and inspired and learn from the work of others who do what I do.

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Katia: This is the truth, everyone who deals with cookie decoration in this planet knows SugarBelle. Maybe no one else, but SugarBelle for sure!!! What is the most rewarding about cookie decoration for you Callye?

Callye: I have always had a hard time harnessing the things that go through my mind. I am always thinking ahead. The good thing about cookies is that I am learning to start a project and work on it to completion rather than jumping from one thing to another all the time. It’s not always easy for me, but it is helping me be more disciplined.
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Katia: What would you like to say if someone asked you which skills are needed in order to start cookie decorating?
Callye: I think that the first, most essential trait is that you’re willing to try things. Most people don’t make perfect cookies the very first time they decorate.
Katia: And what would you advice someone who would like to start cookie blogging?
Callye: I think that the best advice for someone who is starting a cookie blog is three things:
1. Find your niche
2. Be passionate about what you do
3. Stick with it
Okay…maybe four
Katia: ..that is?
Callye: 4. Share freely and give credit where credit is due.
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Katia: Do you have something in mind? Lets be straight, have you experienced peoples rudeness by not crediting you when needed?
Callye: Of course…but I try not to spend my time focusing on the negative. I prefer to lead by example. I try to build our community and feelings of goodwill by encouraging others and bringing attention to those who make amazing things!
Katia: That is a healthy and nice way of thinking. Thought I have noticed that although there are a lot of talented cookie people out there not all of them are being “helped” by the big names…especially here in Europe there are cookie artists that make cookies out of this world and not many people know them nor they belong to cookie groups…what do you think about that?like Evelin Decora, Aniko Vergane Orban, Judit of Mezesmanna
Callye: It’s probably a little naive, but {this is a little Star Wars wisdom for you} I think the biggest problem in the universe is that no one helps each other. I agree with this statement, so that’s what I always try to do. Help others. I totally understand people that prefer to keep low profiles, and that’s okay too. I guess what I am trying to say is that sometimes I assume it is personal preference?
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Katia: Which is your favorite decorating techinque?
Callye: That is a hard question! I like simple piping and flooding, LOL. I am also fond of adding texture with specialized decorating tips.
Katia: Hmmm that is intersting!I bought 20 new last week…paid double price with shipping costs from US…lol
Callye: I wish you all had a good resource there. I hate that it’s so expensive!
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Katia: Would you like to share any decorating tips with your Greek friends?
Callye: I am a very big believer in being practical. I don’t really have any secrets {they are all written on my blog, LOL} BUT, in the end, cookies are meant to be eaten. You can make them beautiful but still not spend a lot of time.
Katia: Great tip!!! How did you first get involved in selling your cookies?
Callye: I began selling my cookies after I made them as Christmas gifts one year. People enjoyed them so much, the requests for custom orders began pouring in.
Katia: How long have you been selling your cookies?
Callye: I’ve been selling cookies since about 2009. I stopped about two years ago, so I could focus exclusively on my blog, but I still like to surprise people with cookies when I can.
Katia: Who is your typical customer or website visitor?
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Callye: I no longer have customers, since I don’t take orders, but my typical website visitor (in my opinion) are beginners that want to learn to make simple, but effective cookie designs.
Katia: What are some of your greatest challenges in cookie decorating and blogging for you?
Callye: My greatest challenge in decorating and blogging is balancing my perfectionist nature (I’m my own worst critic) and managing my time. With three, almost four children, I get sidetracked a LOT, lol!
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Katia: What’s next for you in your work? What are you looking forward to?
Callye: I don’t actually have any big future plans when it comes to my work. I’ve reached the point that I am very content with how things are. My biggest hope is that I continue to be able to make the pretty things in my head and share them with people who enjoy them.
Katia: Do you expect any changes to your job after the birth of your new baby?How do you think that you will combine all these together?
Callye: I’m positive my life will change when my baby is here. Hopefully she will force me to relax a little! Simple cookies are often the most beautiful, and I frequently need to be reminded of that. With a baby around, I will have to make this my focus. Hungry babies wait for NO ONE!
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Katia: When your new baby is expected to be born? and of course do you have in mind the cookie designs for your baby?
Callye: My newest addition is due to arrive the first week in April, but I have a feeling she’ll take her sweet time like my other little ones, lol! I think it’s all the cookies I eat 😉
Katia: Callye thank you very much for you time!!! I know that you are super-occupied plus a pregnant woman and I really appreciate that you spend your time answering my questions! I feel honoured!!! I hope that some day we could do it in person!!! xo
Callye: One day we will meet!
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{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Michelle @ MakeMeCake.Me January 27, 2014, 11:54 pm

    What a lovely interview! Great question Katerina and Callye, what wonderful insights! Your note on genuinely helping others and moving beyond the negativity is so well said. I undoubtedly made crediting mistakes when I started and generally goofed up all over the place, but the cookie folks who were patient and supportive have taught me so much and I hope to offer the same patience and generosity of spirit that I have received. Thanks so much for doing a fantastic job of leading by example! :)

    Reply
  • Cindy Best January 28, 2014, 12:50 am

    Such a fun and laid back interview, Katia!!! Thanks for sharing it with all of us! I always learn more about the cookie artists I love, like Callye, when we get a little peek behind the scenes. :)

    Reply
  • Tina Deluca Tsourtsoulas January 29, 2014, 4:03 pm

    What a good interview. I really liked many of the things that Callye said especially that in the end a cookie is meant to be eaten. Her secret is getting THOSE cookies wowed; and she does every time.
    There are many great cookie decorators in Europe and worldwide that have not yet been “discovered” and much of that, I believe is by personal choice.
    Can’t wait to see what else you have in store for us , Katia.

    Reply
  • Katia January 29, 2014, 7:30 pm

    Thank you Michelle, Cindy and Tina for your kind words!!! <3

    Reply

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