Donna Lawson is reinventing herself; Stuffed Cakes shop will close
Donna Lawson, who founded popular custom cake shop Stuffed Cakes on 35th SW in 2011 is about to reinvent herself.
It's not the first time. She worked for 18 years as a graphic designer. Then she took her passion for art, design, and decorating and combined them with a love of baking and quickly developed a loyal following for her custom cakes and cupcakes. Multiple awards followed and her business grew. She achieved national fame on the show Cake Wars three years ago.
But like many founders, it meant 12 and 14 hour days sometimes working into the early hours of the morning six days a week. All that took time away from her family, gave her no time to recharge, no time to take care of her health.
Last February she finally took some time. She went on a trip to Paris. The effect was transformative.
She spent six straight hours in the Musée d'Orsay and in the same day another six hours in the Louvre. Those with her could barely keep up. That tipped it. She decided while on the trip it was time to change her life again and take her skills and knowledge to a wider audience.
Hence she is choosing to close Stuffed Cakes on July 28 and in the next few months transform it into StuffedStudio.com (still in development). Stuffed Studio will be a blend of things including a YouTube Channel, an Etsy store, an event planning and instructional service in cooperation with other companies, for private events and more. Lawson has plans to write a book too. But mostly this change will give her time to be with her 12 year old daughter, to actually live her life, and take care of herself, after years of literally baking love into every day.
She's also looking into "patron accounts" meaning a small fee subscription service in which she provides baking and decorating lessons. But Stuffed Studio is first on the agenda.
"It will have artsy stuff, tasty stuff, home stuff and party stuff," said Lawson. "I'm not trying to narrow it right now but I miss my fine arts."
The highpoint of her time there? "Creating a shop that was exactly what I wanted it to be. This is my community. I live two blocks from my shop. I've been in West Seattle since 1997 and I can't imagine living anywhere else. I wanted to create that neighborhood shop that everyone could come to with their family and friends, walk by and say hello to your neighbor!"
"I've had people come in at the saddest and worst time of their life on their way to a funeral and I've had people come in on their way to a wedding. Either way I bring them joy. To me that's the the real high point."
"I'm going to deeply miss it. I truly am sad about closing my shop but for myself I need to step back a little but also add things that I've been putting on pause. It's the next phase." The next occupant of the shop is something she's working on with the landlord. She knows who it is but can't announce it yet. She assured us that they will be a company committed to giving back to the community in much the same way Lawson has.
With her departure she knows people will still need great custom cakes and cupcakes. She recommends Baked in the Admiral Junction, The Sweet Side whose owner is from West Seattle but the shop is in Wallingford and finally Yellow Leaf in downtown Seattle for cupcakes.
The final day for Stuffed Cakes is July 28 in a send off closing party from 10am to 3pm. There will be face painting, refreshments and yes cupcakes and mini-cupcakes until they are gone. The address is 9003 35th SW.
You can follow her new business on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/StuffedCakes/
On Instagram @stuffed_cakes and keep apprised of her newest updates by signing up for StuffedMail.