There are two types of people in this world: those who like cake and those who do not like cake. If you are the latter then we are no longer friends and I cannot talk to you ever again. Just kidding! However, I for sure do not understand how that can be the case! Especially if you have ever tasted one of Alison Collins’ creations at one of our weddings!
Alison Collins, also affectionately known as Bake My Day, is one of our preferred vendors here at Eberley Brooks Events and also one of my favorite humans. As I tell many of my clients, she has a fabulous accent, pink-ish/purple-ish hair, drives a MINI, and bakes the most amazing cakes I have ever tasted. And I’m a cake person and I’m picky.
When I asked Alison to come to lunch with me so I could talk to her for our preferred vendor blog post featuring her, she said, “Ok, but I’m not very interesting.” If you have ever had the pleasure of having a conversation with her you would know this to be anything but true! Alison is one of the most interesting people I know, and I could sit and listen to her talk for hours!
Alison moved from England to Loveland, CO in 1992, then moved to Lubbock in 1998. When she lived in England and had small children, she took up baking with a friend who also had little ones. Her friend said she could bake, but could not decorate. Alison told her she could handle the decorating part and after baking a cake for a party, they were asked to make a cake for another event and then another.
Then when her son Austin was having a birthday, he told her he had to have a tank! Alison said she was not exactly sure how it was going to turn out, but she created this little tank cake and he LOVED it! Then when her daughter Stephanie had her birthday in June, she had to have a fancy cake too. She chose Winnie the Pooh. Alison really was not sure about this one either, but she made it and from then on out she began getting requests for friends birthdays and parties! The first wedding cake Alison baked was for a family friend here in Lubbock. The start to her becoming one of the most sought after local bakers!
When I asked Alison what inspired her, she said simply LIFE. She finds inspiration in the aesthetic beauty of the world around her: metal curtains in a cafe, a passerby’s colorful ensemble, a sunset – the world around her truly inspires her constantly. Creatively she is inspired by nature, professionally by those around her that are passionate about their craft, and personally she is inspired by her family. Alison’s fierce love for her family is refreshing and inspiring. She has a wonderful husband, six children, and eleven grandchildren. My favorite thing that Alison said when we were discussing this particular topic was, “If you open your eyes and look, everything should inspire you.” LOVE that. Alison also said she finds inspiration for design ideas on Pinterest. It can be a great resource when planning events.
When asked what was her favorite thing about her job and working with brides and clients, Alison said, “The People.” She loves meeting people and creating a bond with them – getting to know them and what they truly want for their event. She said having the ability to create what they see and dream of for their big day is her absolute favorite part. A particular moment or cake should we say, that meant a lot to her would be her creation of the Monet Cake (I affectionately named it this and Alison humored me.) EBE’s very own coordinator Hannah asked Alison to bake her wedding cake, and when they had their design meeting, Hannah came to her with a very specific concept that Alison had not yet tried. Alison said it challenged her the most out of any cake she had done up to that point, was something she had never tried before, never seen before, was not exactly sure how to create, and it meant a lot to her to get it perfect. When it was finished and delivered, not only did Hannah (and all of us) absolutely LOVE it, but Alison was incredibly pleased with the outcome!
Below are some other questions I asked Alison during our time together last week.
Katy: What sets you apart from others in your industry?
Alison: Flexibility. I am willing to try everything that they want as opposed to me offering them something more limited or a set menu of flavors. Also, I have more interaction with my brides and clients and build a relationship with them.
K: What would you say to someone trying to decide what type of wedding cake/dessert combo they want for their wedding?
A: I would ask them what do you want??? Stop telling me what other people think you should have, or what your best friend had at her wedding. Tell me what are your favorite things and what do YOU want?! What do you want to provide to those 200 +/- people who are coming to your wedding? What would make you happy? I feel like it should be about the couple and that people will eat whatever you give them. If you absolutely love it, let’s do it! There are no rules!
K: Are you limited to certain flavors or can you get creative and create personalized?
A: I will try anything and get creative! [I asked her about the strangest flavor she has created as of yet: Lavender.]
K: Is there any contribution or accomplishment that stands out the most to you?
A: No, because they are all just as important. None of my work should stand out more than the other because each one is as important as the next.
K: What is something interesting about yourself that most people do not know?
A: I gave someone a bloody nose at yoga. [This is a story you need to ask for from her mouth! It is told best from her!] When I die I want to be made into a firework and shot off the beach. One last Hurrah! We were watching fireworks on the 4th of July, and I’m like – I want to be that one! No that one!
K: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: Day to day – I love to read. If I am not reading, I have a book on audible while I am baking. I love to crochet, especially baby gifts. My traditional baby gift is a blanket, car seat blanket, and a little animal! I also love to travel when I can – I am a beach person and LOVE the water.
K: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? And specifically for you since you travel a lot, what is your most favorite place so far that you have traveled?
A: Antigua is my most favorite place we have traveled. It has beautiful beaches and water, lots of English history, and beautiful people.
I would most love to travel to the French Polynesian Islands – especially Bora Bora or Tahiti.
K: Favorite Drink?
A: Earl Grey tea and champagne.
K: Favorite Restaurant?
A: Ever in all the world: Est Est Est – which was in a town called Knutsford in England. They served phenomenal Italian food, had the old Italiano vibe, the waiters wore old fashioned suits – everything about it was incredible!
Locally: Las Brisas Steakhouse. The raspberry filet is my absolute favorite. You can find us many evenings on the patio listening to music and enjoying the evening.
K: Favorite Type of Music?
A: I Love all genres of music, classic rock especially! I also love listening to books when I am baking!
K: Favorite Holiday?
A: Whatever holiday all my children and grandchildren are in one place and we are together.
K: Anything else you would like Eberley Brooks blog readers to know about you? OR What is the one question we should have asked you but didn’t?
A: How much I love my family and my friends. I have a wonderful husband, six kids, eleven grandchildren – all of which I adore! Most of the time. The grands always – they are perfect, the children most of the time!
I will close with one of the most beautiful things Alison said to me during our conversations. She said, “You’re put on this earth to learn something. No one else has that same journey. Everyone else’s will be different so we cannot compare ours to theirs.” We were discussing social media and how it can be helpful in our industry, but it can also be a vehicle for comparison. I LOVE what she had to say about that and I am going to write it and put it up on my desk to remind myself every day.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about one of our special preferred vendors! Next time you see her around town or out at the venue be sure to tell her hello and ask her for a good story! She has HUNDREDS of them! Oh and cake. Do NOT forget to ask her for cake. All the cake.