We had the good fortune of connecting with Renee Privett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Renee, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
Some people may not be aware that there is an incredible amount of time, thought and organization that goes into creating custom cakes. Cake bakers spend HOURS and multiple DAYS creating the perfect cake for that special occasion. Every design has heart and soul poured into it. A single cake can take anywhere from 8-15 hours from start to finish… then you have dishes to do!! (worst part about baking). When a customer inquires about pricing, there are many factors that go into the cake quote. The price you pay for your custom cakes is a reflection of the size, materials needed, complexity and the time they think it will take to create it. Another thing many may be unaware of, is order timing. Asking for a custom cake the same week of your event may be unrealistic for many bakers. Typically they are already booked. I recommend clients to place orders at least 3-6 weeks ahead of time to secure their date.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Well, if you ask my husband, he would tell you I stay busy all the time because I do not know how to relax. Which is true, because I am ALWAYS doing something! I somehow manage to balance two careers on the daily. Baking is a passion of mine and what I like to call my “hobby career.” Professionally, I am a Board Certified Physician Assistant that specializes in Orthopedics/Sports Medicine in the East Valley.
Trying to balance two careers in medicine and cake decorating, as well as be a wife and mother, definitely has its challenges. Some weeks are smooth as buttercream… and some are stressful with complicated cake designs and late nights of “why oh why did I agree to take on this order” In the beginning, I took every order that came my way. Now, I try hard stay focused on my priorities in life… God, Family, Career. I’m still learning the art of saying “no” especially if it’s a really fun cake design and I want the challenge of doing it, but my family will always come first, in either of my careers. If adding another order will take up too much allocated family time, it’s not happening.
Owning a small business home bakery has been very rewarding overall. I’ve learned a lot of lessons along my baking journey, what works and what doesn’t. I’ve learned to appreciate my time is valuable. I’ve created new recipes in my kitchen that have been keepers, and some that went straight to the trash! Cake decorating has not only allowed me to express myself creatively over the years, but most importantly, it allows me to bring a little joy, and happiness to others. I have the privilege of putting smiles on people’s faces when they see their cakes. It makes my heart happy to be a part of that joy!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Love downtown Gilbert! So much charm, friendly people and delicious places to eat and grab a drink. Every place is great! I enjoy OHSO’s for their dog friendly patio. Culinary Dropout has an amazing pretzel & cheese appetizer. Postinos is another venue I frequent often to enjoy a nice Cabernet and bruschetta board. Nico’s Heirloom scratch kitchen has incredible eats and how cool is it that Gilbert has a speak easy! The White Rabbit vibe is so swanky! Whiskey Row is a fun place to listen to live music. I especially like to go there when Josh Roy Band is playing. If you haven’t heard of him, he has a killer voice and they are an amazing local country band. I also enjoy the great outdoors. Paddleboarding the Salt River is my happy place! Well, paddleboarding ANY body of water in AZ is my happy place. But there’s just something about the peace and tranquility the river brings me, and seeing all the beautiful wild horses. Hiking is another outdoor adventure I recommend. So many gorgeous hikes and trails in Arizona. The views hiking the Superstition Mountains are incredible! When I head out of town, you’ll find me in the Pinetop/ShowLow area. Cooler temps, tons of scenic hiking trails, and of course Paddleboarding at Fools Hollow Lake or Rainbow Lake. I dream of owning a lake house up there one day.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The Art of Cake Az success would NOT be possible without the the love and support of my husband, children, friends and family. They relentlessly promote me on social media, tell their co-workers, family members and friends. They have been a huge influence on my success! I would also like to thank Tess Rafols with Channel 3 news for featuring me and my spin on the TP COVID birthday cakes. I had a huge jump in clientele after that segment was aired in April 2020.