Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New York Profile: Sarah Magid

Once a shoe and jewelry designer, Sarah Magid now runs a made-to-order organic cake business out of her Brooklyn home. But her love of fashion still lives on and fuels new ideas for decorating. Sarah's free and natural approach to her now-edible designs is unpretentious, accessible and down right beautiful. But then again, anyone who believes a cupcake a day is a must has their heart in the right place for such a sweet job.

When did you start Cakes by Sarah Magid and what led to your baking business?
I officially started my business in 2005, but had been baking for years. It evolved naturally as an idea to a reality.

What is a typical day?
In the summers it is full-on wedding season, so I start on Wednesday or Thursday hand sculpting the decorations since they need a few days to dry. I try to bake and frost the cakes as close as possible to the event, so usually I am up most of the night before baking and mixing and swearing that I should work at a bank.

What's your design ritual?
It's always something that catches my eye, that makes something click in my heart and mind. Sort of an intuitive feeling about something I see that can be translated into a cake.

Main source of inspiration?
My kids, sunshine, wild gardens, summer, the beach and antique shops.

Favorite kitchen tool?
My red Kitchen-Aid mixer!

What has been your favorite client experience?
Working for friends who get married because they tell me to create whatever I want! That's when I start to use ideas that I have been storing for a while. For example, my friend Alicia got married and I had always wanted to experiment with these lace silicone molds. She loves vintage clothing and lace, so not only did it fit perfectly with her wedding, but allowed me to try something new.

What are you currently working on for future projects?
My book came out in June. I worked so hard on it and am so excited for it to be shared among other bakers and cake lovers!

Have you attended culinary school or did you learn on your own?
Mostly on my own although I took some cake decorating courses at ICE [Institute for Culinary Education] in Manhattan with a master cake decorator.

Other interests?
I freelance design jewelry for large fashion companies and department stores. I also make my own jewelry that in some ways looks like my cake decorations!

How would you describe your personal style?
I love color, bright prints, big jewelry. Sort of that Jewish grandma look of the 70's but seen through a more sophisticated lens [aka no polyester]. I used to be a shoe designer so I have some pretty fierce heels!

What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
I can play the cello.

Who is your favorite chef?
Caroline Fidanza of Diner [Brooklyn] and Suzane Goin of Lucques [Los Angeles].

Always in your handbag...
Hot pink YSL lipstick [see above Jewish Grandma look], my blackberry, keys, mini pink moleskin notebook for ideas, lipstick red Comme des Garcons wallet.

What's playing on your iPod?
Bob Dylan, old school hip hop, Ben Withers, and Star Wars music my son managed to put on.

Favorites websites?
Tastespotting for food ideas, Sugarcraft for cake ideas, Refinery29 for fashion, and The Huffington Post for the latest news and gossip!

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
I eat a sweet every day. Sometimes that is more than once.

Favorite aspect of living in New York?
I love the excitement, the energy, the beautiful people and their interesting outfits, the ease of subways and taxis and the glory of the skyline at night.

Favorite places in New York to shop, eat, etc?
My favorite restaurants are in Williamsburg, among them—Egg, Diner, Marlow & Sons, I also love Le Pain Quotidien for their amazing organic fare. Some of my favorite stores are Bird, ABC Carpet and Home, Mood Fabrics, M+J Trim, John Derian, Broadway Panhandler, Moon River Chattel, and Abitare.


Stephanie said...

I read this, and kept thinking each treat looked better than the last when I beheld ...


Holy wow. I think I need one!

Jane Flanagan said...

I bought this book and absolutely adore it! It's a visual feast and the recipes are delicious.

Dolce said...

This just made me so hungry. You have NO idea!

tiffany said...

Wow, what a great story! I can't wait to check out the book. It looks fantastic!

Oh, and PS. I ADORE the shirt she's wearing in that photo. Too super cute!

Meg said...

Courtney, this is such a great profile on Sarah! I just wrote about her yesterday too, and for your Chicago readers, she will be at Anthropologie on Saturday for an exclusive book signing!!

TheBeautyFile said...

What a wonderful interview. I love her whole style & these cakes/cupcakes are BEAUTIFUL. I am checking out her website now & am so excited to explore her fave links. Also love her inspirations...

Devon said...

Fabulous. This woman is living my dream. How unbelievably fun!!

Lara Bobo said...

i loved all the images in this post! lovely!!! i think it is so cool/interesting that a jewelry/shoe designer became a cake decorator. :D

Ivy Lane said...

wow! beautiful creations..someone better "book" her on "Martha"!!!

arollerskatingjam said...

Wow, gilded cakes! They look stunning!

I love your new header, it's just perfect!

K @ Blog Goggles said...

What a dream career... such a talented lady!

Sarah's Fab Day said...

I think it was last week when I saw her work for the first time. So magical and her metallic treats...swoon.

I'm loving your new header it looks fab!

J said...

I'll take one of each!!

sashyjane said...

haha i love her personal style description. and that cake plate with the chocolate cupcakes on top is to die for!

Courtney said...

Everything looks insanely pretty and yummy, and the interview was a great read!

Kara said...

Court, you are just straight up cool.
Where do you find these peeps? I love your little profiles.

DescribeHappy said...

I'm really enjoying your blog! The images you share take me away with whatever story or profile you are doing. I find myself actually feeling like I was there! Especially for this one. Those cakes and cupcakes are amazing! Thanks for bringing some amazing into my day!

me melodia said...

gotta love that gold icing

Fifi Flowers said...

Oooooh those are all amazing... I would LOVE to sample each one!
Hope all is well with you in your new part of the world... looks like you are having FUN... I pop in from time to time and see what adventure you are up to... ENJOY!

The Lil Bee said...

My gosh, her work is stunning. I love seeing how a creative person can translate their skills from one craft to another. She does this seamlessly. I'm literally in awe of those gilded cupcakes and the gorgeous seafoam green cake up!!