CakeSpy's Jessie Oleson wasn't always doing her dream job, but she certainly had a few interesting stops along the way.
She'd started her art career the 'regular way', with a degree in Illustration from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. And then things took an interesting twist. "Before starting my own company, I was the art director at a refrigerator magnet company. No, really."
Now Jessie runs what she calls a Dessert Detective Agency, "dedicated to seeking sweetness (literally) in everyday life." She writes about bakeries, runs baking experiments, and seeks out all kinds of new awesome desserts.
Recently the job expanded yet again, with Jessie venturing into the world of retail. The official CakeSpy Shop occupies a small gallery/studio space in Seattle's hipster neighborhood, Capitol Hill. There you can find your go-to source for the sweetest art and gifts around. In describing the change of pace, she says, "it is nice to have someplace to go in the morning, and to have people other than my two pugs and occasionally the UPS man to talk to during the day."
I love the title "Dessert Detective." What have been some of your favorite discoveries over the years?
Pretty much every day is an adventure as a professional dessert detective, and the journey is always delicious as I seek sweet things to write about, bake, and draw! I mean, it is my JOB. How cool is that? One favorite discovery recently was the "Pumpple", an amazing pound-and-a-half per slice monster of a baked good which has two whole pies baked within two cakes, all given a big bear hug with frosting.
What do you enjoy the most: illustrating, baking, writing, or eating?
If you were to make a "pie" chart of it, I'd be equally split in four parts. I started CakeSpy exactly because my four favorite things in the world are baking, illustrating, writing, and eating. I think some days one will edge ahead of the others, but it tends to balance out over time.
It sounds like there isn't much room for improvement, but is there anything else you still want to try?
I consider myself a lifetime adventurer, and there are so many things I would still love to do. I can't see myself in a non-artistic role, but I'd love to do more writing about history. I have an unhealthy obsession with backstories -- about everything, from cool buildings to food to historical figures to people I have just met. I have been told I am something of an interrogator.
Why does Squarespace work for you?
I have been using Squarespace for about 2 years now! I was so impressed by what I saw that I made the switch from Blogger. I adore it because it is user friendly, but very polished-looking. People frequently say "Who designed your site? I love it!"
What's next for you?
I have a book of my finest recipes and illustrations coming out in fall 2011 through Sasquatch Books! And, you know, in general, more baking, writing, illustrating, and eating!