Less than a year ago, Katherine Halbeck was unaware of her artistic abilities. Now, she spends most nights in the kitchen of her Gallatin home creating life-like edible flowers with frosting for her increasing popular cupcake business.
In May, Halbeck was furloughed for 30 days from her job at an area law firm. It was during that time when she became so “mesmerized” with the art of cupcake decorating on social media that she decided to purchase her own set of Russian piping tips and give it a try.
“After a few weeks I really got a good hang of it and started giving (cupcakes) out to friends who encouraged me to go ahead and sell them,” said Halbeck, who admitted to never being known to be very artistic before. “So, I just started a little baking hobby on the side to subsidize my income while I was furloughed and then Blooming Kupcakes was born.”
Each day after work, Halbeck will spend anywhere up to eight hours decorating cupcakes depending on how many orders there are at the time. She can finish anywhere from 50 to 60 cupcakes on weeknights and around 125 per day on the weekends.
Her cupcakes have been popular for birthday parties, weddings, bridal and baby showers along with other special occasions. Orders have also gone to individuals who are battling an illness and those who have recently lost a loved one.
“I’ve had (customers) come to my house and share stories about how my cupcakes brought them joy,” Halbeck said about what helps motivate her to continue working long hours with the business. “To be able to bless others in this particular way, there aren’t words for me to be able to describe that.”
Decorations can include any of the nearly 30 different flower variations Halbeck is currently able to create. Customers can also suggest other flower designs, which she will attempt to make.
It can take anywhere from one minute up to 20 minutes to finish a cupcake depending on the complexity of the design. The number of flowers on each one can vary up to four.
Mike Schulte, a client who has also helped promote the business on social media, said he was immediately impressed with the cupcakes after getting his first taste last year.
“I grew up in a family of bakers and we owned eight bakeries… in Missouri started back in the Great Depression,” Schulte said. “I’ve never seen cupcakes as gorgeous and with such detail. Each one is a piece of art.”
Blooming Kupcakes also received a high-profile indorsement in December when actress Reese Witherspoon posted about the cupcakes on her personal Instagram account, which has 25 million followers. Witherspoon referred to the cupcakes as “beauties” that were also “delicious.”
“I was so excited I was jumping up and down,” Halbeck said with a laugh. “That was pretty cool.”
Following the post, Halbeck said she was “inundated” with messages from individuals across the county who wanted to place orders. However, Blooming Kupcakes orders are only available for in-person pick-up or local delivery for an additional cost. In addition to Sumner County, deliveries have been as far south as Brentwood so far.
Cupcake orders can be placed online through the Blooming Kupcakes’ Facebook and Instagram pages and should be made at least one week in advance. Payment is required in advance through Venmo.
Halbeck, who still works full-time at the law firm, said she hopes to eventually be able to devote all of her time and efforts towards her business.
“I feel very humble and blessed,” she said about how popular her cupcakes have become. “I would love to do this full-time. I think if I found the right space then we would do it. I don’t know how much longer my kitchen ovens are going to last.”