maker: Jenny rae from lil rae cakes
Jenny Rae’s cake ball creations are like a wonderful combination of the perfect bite of cake, the cutely decorated cupcake and the properly presented truffle. Talk about a little bit of heaven! And the best part? She shows up in different themed outfits when she delivers the cake balls. I can imagine that her customers are thrilled with the product as well as the delivery! Meet Jenny and then go order some cake balls!
please introduce yourself.
My name is Jenny Rae and I grew up in gorgeous Southern California! I have been the owner of the cake ball business, Lil Rae Cakes, since April 2010. I also dabble in many other artistic outlets such as creating jewelry, photography, painting, designing, sewing, and i’m still getting into other hobbies. I can’t get enough!
what do you make or do?
Lil Rae Cakes is my main business. I make cake balls. People nowadays confuse them with cake pops but they aren’t on a stick. I’ve sold to some great locations in the LA area such as Magic Castle. I’ve been a part of several Disney premieres such as The Muppets, Frankenweenie, and Saving Mr. Banks. I also do any kind of event or delivery in the area so i’m always down for something! What sets me apart from other businesses is that I deliver in fun themed outfits and people are always excited to see what i’m going to look like when I show up at their home door or workplace.
On top of cake balls, I also started selling Disney inspired jewelry. One day, I thought about this great idea called “Insta Pop-Up Shop”. It’s a sale that takes place on my Instagram on certain Wednesdays at 10am PST and people have to claim what they’d like to purchase. It’s first come, first serve, and there’s always a limited quantity to start. After that step, there’s an order form on my website that they fill out and I send them a PayPal request. I started the pop-up shop over a month ago and it’s been a big hit so far! Once I gather more supplies, I put more necklaces at a later time on my Etsy shop.
I also sell other items such as art prints, photography of my cake balls, and other random things I come up with.
where can we find your creations?
For Lil Rae Cakes, go to www.jenny-rae.com to fill out an order form. I currently only deliver but will start shipping someday. Shipping chocolate that melts easily can be tricky. For jewelry, take part in my Insta Pop-Up Shop on my Instagram at www.instagram.com/lilraecakes or go to my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/lilraecakes for jewelry and other fun items.
is there an interesting story behind the name of your business?
All of my best ideas come to be very easily and out of nowhere. My middle name is “Rae” and I just thought Lil Rae Cakes fit because I make cake and they’re small. I didn’t want to create an entirely new business name for my other artistic outlets so I figured that Lil Rae Cakes is just branching out to other things and the name is more about me and my brand than cake balls.
how long have you been creating and is it your full-time job?
I was working at Radio Disney and in 2010 my hours weren’t that great. My friend, Emily, told me about cake balls and I decided to try them out. Pretty soon, friends, co-workers, and family members were telling me to start a business. I did one day and then a few short months after, I was able to leave my job at Radio Disney. Business has slowed down somewhat since cake balls are more known these days. When I started up, some people even thought I invented them because they’ve never seen them before. Whenever I have bills coming up, I always try to find other things to make in order to create more of an income for myself. Having your own business is very difficult with many ups and downs. If you believe in your product and yourself enough though, you can make things happen.
when you’re not making things, what do you do?
You’ll most likely find me at Disneyland or hanging out with my boyfriend, Steven. I say “or” because i’m still working on him to get an annual pass. Even if i’m out and not making things, my mind is still working through and brainstorming new ideas for future projects. I’ve created a character, Phyllis Herman, that i’ve been branding. She was pretty much born on Dapper Day at Disneyland in Spring 2013. There are a few future events she’ll be going to such as SDCC, Fall Dapper Day, and Comikaze.
is creativity a luxury or a necessity for you?
It’s DEFINITELY a necessity. Creativity is how I live my life.
did someone in your family, a friend or teacher introduce you to your creative side or have they helped you along the way?
My grandma is the creative one in the family. She taught me at a very young age how to paint and how to explore my other creative outlets. She helped me sew dresses for school dances as well. I also used to go with her to ceramics class during my summers off of school. My grandma and her sister get together every Monday to work on projects and I think it’s so adorable.
where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere. My family always makes comments about how they don’t know how I even think of certain ideas. I always just blame it on me being left-handed haha.
what’s on the horizon for you and what you do?
The sky is the limit! There’s so many things I still want to do. With some projects, it takes more money, so money is usually what stands in the way.
what would be your perfect day off?
A day off? What’s that?!
what inspiring advice would you give to other creatives be they established or just starting out?
Don’t be threatened by other businesses that do what you do. I don’t even look up the competition because I don’t want to subconsciously get other ideas for things. Everything I create is based on what i’ve come up with myself. Also, if you want to do something that other people are already doing, think of how to change it up and make it different and yours. Other people do cake balls but i’ve found ways to make my brand different and unique. I’ll leave you with a comment I came up with…”DREAM BIG! Little dreams are the ones you forget when you wake up.”