Liz Shim is the owner and creator behind Eat Cake Be Merry, and she just moved to Katy in August, and Mamas, our community is lucky to have her! She is an incredibly talented baker and mama of two! Liz has been published in magazines, featured on TV, worked for well known cake designers in NYC and she is now here in Katy and excited to be a part of this community and create cakes for YOU! She offers custom cakes for all occasions such as birthdays, weddings, corporate events and more. And, she also teachers her talent through online classes as well as in-person, for private and group lessons. Liz can be hired for events to teach at a birthday party, bridal shower, girl scout event, etc. So, of course, we knew we had to have Liz be a part of our Moms Night Out event next week! She’s providing the cupcakes and we cannot wait to try them!
Check out Liz’s interview below where we chat with her about all things mom life, her career thus far, and all that she offers through her business, Eat Cake Be Merry!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the Katy area?
I have actually lived in a handful of places! I was born in Chicago and spent half my childhood there until I moved to Michigan during middle school. After graduating from the Univ. of Michigan, I headed out west to San Francisco to attend culinary school. Then I moved to New York City to work for a few famous cake designers. Once I got married, I moved to New Jersey and started a family. And just this August, I relocated to Katy, TX.
How many kiddos do you have and how old are they?
I have two kids. Aiden who is 3 and Alyssa who is 1.
What brought your family to Katy? What is your favorite part of Katy so far?
We moved to Texas for my husband’s job and ended up choosing to live in Katy because we heard so many good things about this town. That it’s very family friendly, quiet, clean and safe. To be honest though, there was one other thing! Before coming down for a house searching visit, I googled which suburb had the trifecta of my must-have stores: Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Target. Katy checked all the boxes!
I know this sounds ridiculous but my favorite part of Katy so far is all the grass and immaculate landscaping everywhere! I can’t get over it. We just moved from a concrete jungle where we literally had to get in the car and drive somewhere for my kids to be able to play on a patch of grass, so having it accessible along with playgrounds everywhere is amazing. Plus, Katy is so big and has literally everything you could possibly want or need so it’s a super convenient place to live.
Least favorite mom job? (i.e. packing lunches, dishes, bath time, etc.)
Washing the kid’s school water bottles tops it all. You know, those small thermos-like bottles with the flip-up tops that have a reusable silicon straw in it. There are so many pieces to deconstruct just to be able to wash it. In order to get into the nooks and crannies under the lid, clean the inside of the straw, reach into the bottom of the bottle and wipe the outside, I need like 4 different sponges and brush tools. Even thinking about it makes me exhausted.
Best mom hack that makes life easier?
It is so hot in Texas so we have been eating a lot of popsicles. Chasing two kids around the house with dripping popsicles and wiping the trail they leave behind on the floor is not fun though. So, the best hack ever is cutting a little slit in the bottom of a small paper dixie cup and inserting the popsicle stick through so that it creates a little drip catcher.
We’re big on self-care for moms, as hard as it is to find the time, what’s something you do just or yourself?
I bake. Anything besides cake though, because cakes = work. So, I will bake cookies, brownies, bread, pies, etc. The methodical process of measuring, mixing and baking brings me joy and then I get to indulge in the sweets afterward so it is a double act of self-care.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I’ve been to every state in America except Alaska. It’s on my bucket list thought!
Let’s talk about your business, Eat Cake Be Merry! When did you “open the doors”? And, what did your business look like when you began?
I started Eat Cake Be Merry in the fall of 2009. I spent the first few years doing a lot of editorial cakes for various magazines and photoshoots. Then as I established my name in the area, I started taking on a lot of orders, mainly for weddings. After having kids, I started transitioning more into teaching through online classes and various workshops here and abroad. Teaching cakes and making cakes are two things I am equally as passionate about.
What are the services that you offer now? (Custom cakes, Online classes, Tutorials, etc)
I offer custom cakes for all occasions such as birthdays, weddings, corporate events and more. But I also offer a lot of classes through various online channels as well as in-person, for private and group lessons. I can also be hired for events to teach at a birthday party, bridal shower, girl scout event etc.
What was the inspiration behind Eat Cake Be Merry? Have you always had a love for sweets?
Yes, I always had a sweet tooth! Whether it is candy, cupcakes or a sugary soda I always have to finish a meal with something sweet to feel satisfied. Although I never baked growing up, I did love arts and crafts. So, once I was introduced to baking later in life and realized I can combine my two interests to make edible art through cake decorating, I knew this was what I wanted to do.
You have an amazing following on social media, have been published in magazines, appeared on TV – What has been your most proud moment in business thus far?
I would say every moment on the journey is a proud moment. Having a business is like having another child because of all the energy, care, love and dedication that goes into growing it. So just as a mom is proud of their child when they accomplish great things, I feel like a business owner is proud when their business does great things too. And none of these moments can really be singled out because the growth is continuous. Like when your kid says their first word you are proud, but then they go on to sit up by themselves, walk by themselves, attend their first day of school and so on and each moment is equally as amazing. It’s a continuum of uniquely proud moments for a growing business in the same way, and ultimately growth in itself is what I am most proud of because it validates my hard work towards building something.
What is your cooking background and schooling?
I never really grew up baking as a child. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college that I had baked my first cake from scratch during a recreational class. But I immediately fell in love. I stuck around to finish up my degree and a few weeks after graduating college, I flew to San Francisco to attend culinary school. Then I interned and worked for a few well-known cake designers in NYC, which is where I really learned a lot about making cakes and running a business.
What did you do before opening Eat Cake Be Merry?
While running Eat Cake Be Merry for the past 10 years, I was also simultaneously working at an investment management firm in NYC the entire time. Those two worlds were so different from each other but I enjoyed both and it was nice to have a lot of coworkers to taste test all my desserts.
Do you experience the dreaded mom guilt? If so, how do you deal with it?
Of course! I have mom guilt about practically everything. I can’t say I have found a way to successfully deal with it yet, but talking to other moms, knowing that I’m not alone and that I don’t have to let that guilt control me helps a lot.
Who has most influenced you to be the mom you are today?
I would say other moms, including my own mom and my mom friends. I’m not naturally the super mom type so I’ve received a lot of help, support and guidance through them to adjust to this new role.
When parenting gets hard, what’s something you tell yourself that gets you through?
There are definitely tough days. Days where I feel like I’m failing as a mom, days that the guilt is overwhelming, days when no one wants to cooperate. But then I remember that people with older kids always say, the days are long but the years are short. So that reminds me that even though it’s tough right now and the struggle is so real, I should cherish it because someday when they grow up, I will long for these days again.
What are your future plans and goals for Eat Cake Be Merry?
I have a few projects I’m working on for the future and hopefully they will add to the variety of my offerings as a business but for now my immediate goals are to get more connected to this new community and provide fun, delicious and beautiful cakes to residents of Katy and its neighboring areas.