The Sweetest Thing
Des Bakes & Decorates owner, Desiree Preston has much to celebrate having recently taken out two categories in the inaugural Australian Party Stylist of the Year Awards. We caught up with Des to chat about her awards experience and what it has meant to her business to be considered the best of the best at a national level.
How did you feel when you heard your name announced as the winner of not one but 2 major national party industry awards?
“Well, I honestly didn’t think I would be named winner for Cake Decorator of the Year – especially since I was still so green and fresh in the industry. I knew the other nominees were amazing in their own right as well. It was very unexpected, although of course, I did hope to stand a chance.”
“I was in disbelief when I heard Des Bakes & Decorates that first time. I was ecstatic but in disbelief! But then I was in total shock the second time when I heard my name again for the Specialist Baker category – especially when there were even more nominees in that category who are just so talented! It was so humbling and it just felt so good to know that all the effort I put into honing my skills had paid off.”
But Des had some tough competition in the categories of 2021 Cake Decorator of the Year and 2021 Specialist Baker of the Year.
What did you think of the competition in your respective categories?
“I thought the nominees in both categories were amazing! I actually felt a little intimidated because some of them have had a lot more experience or had been doing what they do for a lot longer than I had. I actually didn’t think I stood much of a chance. In fact, it felt like a win already just to be a finalist standing alongside these talented and hard-working creatives. They’re all so good at what they do, and to take the chance and put themselves out there – I knew I was amongst a great group of like-minded individuals.”
Other businesses competing in the Cake Decorator Of The Year category included, Cakewalk Creations Perth, Lil Sprinkles Bakery, and Pipoah Cakes. Whilst the Specialist Baker Of The Year category included Baked by the Bay, Cookie Queen Kitch’n, Imperfectly Perfect Sugar Cookies, La-mazing Cookies, Sabilicious Cakes, Sienna’s Sweet Treats, and Sweetly Baked Perth.
Of her overall Awards experience Des said,
“It was a very interesting experience overall. I have never been a part of anything like this before so it was very interesting and eye-opening to see how much goes on behind the scenes and into something like this before finalists or even winners are announced. It was also quite refreshing to know that it wasn’t a competition based on popularity. It was also very customer-oriented, which I thought was great. How we handled our customer interactions, how we communicate with them, and how we provide them exceptional service.”
“So it wasn’t just about how good we are at what we do, it’s also how good we are with our client relationships. Because at the end of the day, we do what we do to provide our clients a seamless and good experience.”
COVID as we know has played havoc with businesses from almost every industry across Australia and the party and events sector is no exception. Delivering an awards ceremony therefore was always going to pose a challenge.
“The organisers were very on the ball and great at communicating from start to finish, and I thought the online awards ceremony was executed very well considering the circumstances.
“I’m definitely glad I put myself out there and got to connect with others in the industry, while managing to take out 2 awesome titles!”
Des continues to use her awards success to build and grow her business and you can follow Des’ amazing cake creations via her Instagram @desbakesndecorates.
Desiree Preston from Des Bakes & Decorates, winner of the inaugural 2021 Cake Decorator of the Year, and Specialist Baker of the Year Awards
The Party Stylist of the Year Awards
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