Sometimes Ashley Ozment has to make herself stop.
The owner and artist behind Ashley’s Artisan Cakes in Overland Park has turned cake decorating into an art form. She says she puts so much detail and thought into her creations for birthdays, weddings and other events that it’s sometimes hard to slow down and keep it simple.
Don’t worry about slicing into Ozment’s masterpieces, though. She says the best part of being a cake decorator is watching people enjoy — and yes, eat — her art.
Kansas City Spaces: How did you get started making cakes?
Ashley Ozment: When I got engaged, I wanted to make my own wedding cake to save money. Other people thought I couldn’t do it. So, they bought my cake for me, but I had already started practicing. About a year later, my husband gave me a cake class. I fell in love with the art of making cake because people can enjoy my art in a different way than most art can be enjoyed.
KCS: What was your background before making cakes?
AO: I have a degree in theater. I have always painted and made things — my specialty was props design. I have always liked to fabricate things that don’t exist.
KCS: What do you do differently with your cakes?
AO: I tell a story with each cake. I really like it when the cake is for someone I know really well, because then I like to plant something that only they know about and make it extra special for that person.
KCS: What is your process?
AO: Every cake is unique. I’ve grown since I started. I do not look at other people’s cakes for ideas. I research pictures from real life. If they tell me they want a forest, I will look at a picture of a forest. I recently did a cake for someone who loves Dungeons & Dragons and wanted a character from Pokémon. So, I tried to incorporate a forest background. The Pokémon character is sleeping in the forest.
KCS: What do you like about decorating cakes?
AO: The art brings joy not only to me, but to everyone who eats it. I love watching people’s faces when they get their cake and watching them savor the taste of it. It’s a fun way to share art for joyful occasions.
KCS: What is Artisan Birthdays about?
AO: I coordinate a program where people bake and deliver birthday cakes to kids in foster residential care. These kids are being treated for abuse, neglect, emotional and behavioral problems. I had signed up for a similar program that works with people in the homeless community. Our church works a lot with foster ministries, and I kept feeling a nudge. I think it is something God placed there. Everyone should have a birthday cake. We deliver them to the office, not directly to the kids. If people want to volunteer they can through my web site, ashleysartisancakes.com.