We are so lucky to be surrounded and advocated by some amazing, gifted suppliers, and we are super thrilled to be able to utilise our platform to showcase their talents, their backstories and their genuine passion for what they do.
As part of our WiTW Hearts feature, we are talking to some of our absolute favourite vendors from across the world; turning the spotlight on them…the ones who go above and beyond to make your day happen in the way you want it to. The people without which this industry would not be at all possible.
Today, we are chatting to the mistress of cakes and all round amazing boss lady, Amber Markland of Sift & Gather. Her story is beautiful and passionate, and I hope you enjoy reading it…
So tell us Amber, how did you come to be doing what you do?
I didn’t know I loved cake, I was just looking for something I could do with my family to give back to others less fortunate. It changed my life forever. 6 years ago, I became the chapter organizer for a non-profit called “Birthday Cakes 4 Free” in the town of Milton, Massachusetts. I started baking cakes, and my entire family would deliver them with me to children, and seniors that could not afford a cake on their birthday.
I had know idea how much a cake could impact someone’s life. My children got to experience all the things a parent preaches about, being kind, genuine, respectful, giving, loving, and man did if feel good. From the very first cake that we delivered to a single mom, with 6 kids, on the verge of being homeless… I knew I was doing what I was meant to do. Since then, I have been perfecting my craft and finding a place in the industry that allows me to be uniquely me!
What aspects of weddings do you love the most?
This is easy, I love the LOVE aspect of a wedding the most! Here’s why… 14 years ago, I got married to the love of my life. Sounds amazing right? Well it was not what you see on Wed in the Wild, let me just tell you that. We were stationed at Mountain Home Air Force Base in potato country Idaho, in the United States Air Force. I had a 1 year old on my hip, standing in front of a judge at the local courthouse. No family or friends to witness the once in a lifetime moment, no special vows written from the heart to read to each other, and no wedding rings.
Now that I have witnessed and participated in real life weddings and elopements, I can see how special every aspect is to a couple and their loved ones. But the love that radiates between two people is so fulfilling to the soul. Don’t get me wrong, I also love the design, florals, signage, cake, and all the details that pull it together. But I love the LOVE part of a wedding the most!
What is your USP? How do you set yourself apart in the market?
It’s ME. I see how people can get caught up in doing what everyone else doing. I try and do the opposite of that! I do what I want… I look at my business as a reflection of my individuality, it’s authentic to who I am as a human. My brand is my aura, a beacon of light around me that puts off good vibes only and attracts people that want and need me. I sprinkle that shit in everything I make, along with a whole lot of my heart and soul. That’s what I want people to respond to first, ME, and then scream over how dope their cake looks and tastes!
We really couldn’t agree more…you are your biggest asset!
Are you keen to or have plans to launch any other products or services?
Not at this very moment… Right now, I am 100% focused on getting the brick & mortar, Sift & Gather cake studio up and running! Once that happens, you can bet your sweet ass we’re going to turn it up a notch! And don’t be shy about reaching out to me with questions, new ideas, or collaborations.
What do you love most about the wedding industry?
Besides the couples, it’s hands down all the other vendors doin’ the damn thing. I can say, without a doubt I have made friends for life with several of the vendors I’ve worked with over the last year. These people that are pouring their blood, sweat, and tears into the products/services they are creating and providing for the couples we’re all so fortunate to meet is INSANE. I am humbled and honored daily by how lucky I am to be working in an industry that is so inspiring and supportive.
Hail. Amazing, supportive suppliers can make all the difference when you are a solo business owner.
Describe your ideal wedding?
My ideal wedding would be a small intimate ceremony, somewhere outside. Warm weather, no shoes, and a wedding dress that hangs off my shoulders and moves with the breeze in the air. I’d walk down the isle with my 3 children by my side, to music that speaks to the soul. The seasons most beautiful flowers, and a custom backdrop you’ve never seen before. Vows. Dinner around a gorgeous table setting, food, drinks, and a whole lot of dancing! Ohhh… and a beautiful cake!
Which celebrity wedding style do you love?
I fell in love the very moment I saw the three individual cakes at the Royal wedding this last year. It was so outside the box from what the past royal wedding cakes have ever been, and man did they make a statement. Simple, sophisticated, elegant, each one unique but still complimenting the others, and completely edible!
We agree…Meghan & Harry struck so many perfect chords!
What do you think is the biggest issue in the wedding industry?
Not giving credit, when credit is due. Sometimes the importance of a vendor’s role, gets minimized next to all the other important parts of a wedding. In my eyes, there is not one aspect of a wedding provided by a vendor that is not just as important as the next. The wedding comes together via a collective of talented, hardworking, worthy humans. There is no i in TEAM, you know what I’m sayin!
We really do. Crediting is vastly important!
And finally, lovely lady, what does love mean to you…
Love to me is nourishment to the mind, body, and soul. It’s a feeling that feels so good, it almost hurts. Love is compassion and compromise. Love to me means, you can put your heart in someone else’s hands and know that they will hold it gently and protect it. To me, love is something you give and receive. An explosion inside your chest when you look into the eyes of your children. An ache when you’ve become disconnected and distant from love you once had. Love to me means being gentle and kind. Love is loving yourself and all that you have to offer the world.
Love is CAKE!