Meet Julie McAllister, owner of For Heaven Bakes and cake creator extraordinaire.
Over the last two years, Julie has made a name for herself in the Charleston wedding scene thanks to her detailed and inventive baked creations.
These aren’t your parents’ three tiered cakes with dainty white decorations. Each of Julie’s designs are completely custom and are made with the input of the couple who will share the cake with their family and friends.
While her most eye-catching cakes are edible 3-D masterpieces, she also manages to make a standard 10” round cake into something worthy of a centerpiece. For Heaven Bakes can do cupcakes and cookies in all sorts of inventive designs as well.
Basically, if you can imagine something made from sugar and frosting, Julie can create it!
She shares her journey into the Charleston wedding industry with us today, as well as what makes the Lowcountry such an amazing place to be a vendor.
Tell us a little bit about your path to success. What led you to this profession? Did you always want to be in the wedding industry?
I have been a hobby baker for as long as I can remember. Through the years that translated into catering jobs and a bakery job, and then ultimately starting my own specialty cake business when I moved to Charleston a few years ago.
This area is unique in that it has such a massive wedding industry, which definitely opened the door for specialty cake opportunities for me.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the SC wedding industry?
Relationships are worth their weight in gold! Even though Charleston's wedding business is booming, all the vendors I have met still hold the boutique business mentality and are very relationship-based.
So, to someone just starting out, I would say just try to meet as many people locally in the industry as you can—I think in the South, more so than other places, people are so kind and always willing to talk to you or meet up for a cup of coffee.
What's one thing you wish all of your clients knew before booking you?
That I almost exclusively offer specialty sculpted cakes and don't make traditional wedding cakes—I think wedding cakes should be a unique representation of the bride and groom!
What's one thing most people don't know about you?
It's not surprising to me (and probably not to anyone who has ever planned a wedding), but for some reason at my own wedding people were so shocked that I didn't make my own wedding cake. I can't imagine any bride having the time to do that!
What is the best part about working/living in South Carolina? Are you a native? If so, what's made you stay? If you're a transplant, what attracted you to this state?
It's hard to beat the weather here. Even though I'm originally from the South, I picked up and moved here after one especially brutal winter in DC. I'll take really hot summers over snow any day!
What has been your best moment working in the SC wedding industry so far?
This is a really tough one to choose! Cakes are almost always delivered before an event actually starts, so I LOVE whenever clients send me photos after the event of guests enjoying the cake.
A few times a month, Palmetto State Weddings introduces our readers to one of the talented vendors from around our beautiful state through the Spotlight On series. If you're interested in being featured, please contact us.