Name: Shannon Bond
Location: Olathe, Kansas
Education/Training: Self Taught
Business name: Shannon Bond Cake Design
Cake philosophy: "Keep calm and fix it."
What is the history about your business and how you got to where you are today?
I started making cakes for my kids several years ago which led to the opening of my business in June of 2013. I fell in love with cake design, taking inspiration from fashion, art, nature, architecture - everything around me! From a young age, I’ve had a love of the arts and baking, cake has allowed me to combine those loves and grow it into my passion. Food can bring back such wonderful memories, it’s an honor to be included in someone’s special day or event - that is something I will never take lightly! I’ve been so honored for the recognition I’ve received, it is always so amazing to be acknowledged along with other wonderful artists that I so admire not only as designers but as fantastic all around people. I still have to pinch myself sometimes!
(Cake featured in American Cake Decorating)
(Shannon Bond in her element)
How were you first introduced to Satin Ice?
I was introduced to Satin Ice gum paste before trying fondant when I was first starting to make sugar flowers. I tried Satin Ice on the recommendation of another caker and fell in love with it! It is the only gum paste I use and the additions of the colored fondants and gum pastes have really been wonderful timesavers!
Is there one project that stands out as significant or that you are particularly proud of?
I have several that are close to my heart for different reasons. I love to be a part of wedding day celebrations, but collaborations with special causes are very near and dear to me. Eating Disorder Awareness is a special cause that personally affected my life for a number of years when I was younger. Every February during Eating Disorder Awareness month, I will post a special cake to help spread awareness. A few years ago, I asked a few very special cakers to be a part of my Sweet Periwinkle Collaboration, which was created to spread the hope of ED recovery. Those cakes and their amazing creators are still so special to me!
What is your signature style?
I love a variety of designs, but I would say clean lines with minimalistic design are probably what I lean towards when I’m designing a cake of any theme.
What is your favorite cake and why?
Anything with turquoise!!! If I get a free reign on colors with a design, I will usually try to sneak at least a little turquoise in somewhere!
Most challenging cake?
The Leg Lamp Cake - lol! I made this for my dad’s birthday, he LOVES the movie A Christmas Story. Years ago, much to my mom’s dismay, my sisters and I bought him an actual leg lamp that he proudly displays in the front window of their house during Christmas. My mom wanted me to make him a leg lamp in cake but I knew I wanted to make it totally 3D and it would be challenging, so I put it off for a few years before finally caving in and making it. It was a lot of work but totally worth my dad’s reaction! We got it on video and I still love watching his reaction when he walked in the room!
What tips of advice can you offer to Satin Ice newcomers?
Knead, it, knead it, knead it! I think a misconception I had when I would try store bought fondant is that I could knead it a few times and it would be ready to roll out. I learned that kneading it for at least 5 minutes really helps to prime the fondant and make rolling out and covering such a better experience. Also, use a mat to roll it out on without adding much (or any) cornstarch/powdered sugar to prevent it from drying out too quickly when covering the cake.
Describe your cake decorating style in just 3 words:
Clean. Elegant. Unique.
What is your creative process for making cakes?
I usually start a design with a rough sketch, Pinterest is awesome for inspiration. I follow several fashion designers, painters, sculptors, interior designers and I get inspired with a lot of what I see from those various boards as well as just general things in every day life. It could be the texture of a ceiling tile in a waiting room, or a pattern on a store display - inspiration is everywhere! I will usually start with one focal element and branch off into smaller details on the cake. I like the cake to have a “flow” to the design. Once I have a rough sketch, I work from there. I don't always create it exactly like the sketch, sometimes I see it come together and I feel like I need to change something up to make the design more complete.
If you weren't decorating cakes, what would you be doing?
I dabbled in making jewelry before finding cakes. I’m not sure that would be the only avenue I would explore but definitely something where I could create with my hands!
What is a 'regular' cake decorating day like for you?
Crazy - lol! We homeschool our kids until high school, we have 2 in high school now and 4 still at home that I teach. Depending on the size and design of the cake orders I have, I usually get up early and work on some things before my kids get up. Once they are up, we are completing lessons for school until early afternoon. After school, it’s time for cakes! It’s busy but I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to work from home and be involved with my family while also being able to have a home based business!
(Our favorite birthday cakes by Shannon for her family and beyond!)
What is your favorite part about designing cakes?
Both the design process and the details. I really love putting all the details onto the cake and watching it all come together!
Favorite cake flavor to make?
Right now...Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin! But it changes with my mood!
What is inspiring you this very moment?
Textures! I saw an art exhibit where the pieces were made with book pages. The combination of the printed words and the torn/woven paper was so amazing! I’m a big fan of combining textures, especially when they are things you wouldn’t think of putting together.
(check out the contrast of textures on these cakes!)
Who would you love to learn from in the industry?
Oh gosh, so many! I’ve been so blessed to have had the opportunity to meet some of my biggest cake inspirations! I would love to take a face sculpting class with Avalon Yarnes or a sugar flower class with Maggie Austin or a painting class with Callie Hopper. I’m an avid learner and hope I will always have that thirst to learn something new and try new techniques!
What are the big trends you are seeing right now in cakes?
Bold colors on wedding cakes - which is awesome! Don’t get me wrong, I adore monochromatic wedding cakes but I love that couples are not feeling pressured to only have white cakes at their wedding. The cake really is reflective of their love story and they want their cake to tell a chapter. My favorite combination is navy and copper - swoon worthy and some elegant!
What do you aspire to accomplish with each cake?
Cake is really a creative and cathartic outlet for me so a lot of what I create (especially with collaboration pieces) have a lot of emotion poured into them. I hope some of that emotion comes through with the design and in the details of my cakes.
If you could create a cake for anyone in history - who would it be and why?
Probably my Grandma Dot. She was such an amazing lady, so very artistic and talented along with being a wonderful mom and grandma. She passed away when I was still in high school, the older me would love to talk with her about so many things. I think she would really get a kick out of my cakes, especially the painted ones and I could get some painting tips from her!
What is the next "big thing" for you?
World domination - haha - just kidding! I’ve been so blessed with so many opportunities that have become possible because of cake. I’m just truly thankful for everything that has come my way, whether it’s a full calendar during wedding seasons with local clients, traveling to teach and meet the amazing people that make up the cake community or even filming more classes online - they are all so awesome and all possible because of the wonderful support from my family and the cake community. I hope to continue to travel to teach more classes and am really excited to see where this next year will lead!
(Shannon with her most recent class at Stacked in VA.)