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“Say it with a cake. Every cake tells a story.”
Since childhood, Iriene Wangsawidjaja has held a deep interest in various craft projects, including sewing, cooking, and baking. She started out sewing doll clothes and tote bags, gaining her inspiration from magazines. Iriene had decided to become a physician, but her parents had other plans for her—accounting. She received her degree in accounting, but as an art lover, was left uninspired. After college, she briefly studied fashion design at Esmod Asia, and won two awards: Best Wedding Dress and The People’s Choice Award.
Iriene began to work in the fashion industry, and after two years married the love of her life and moved from Asia to the United States. During her first year in the country she was lonely, and continued to sew until she became pregnant with her son. One night while watching television, she noticed two shows: “Cake Boss” and “Ace of Cakes.” Intrigued, Iriene watched them both and instantly became hooked. Finally, this was the artistic challenge Iriene had been waiting for and was ready to take.
By September 2010, after many trials and tribulations, Iriene had created her first cake for a friend. Not long after that, she took part in a church cake competition and won first place. Iriene felt that this was her calling, and a cake artist was born. She applied to become a licensed kitchen and created Ai Cakes. After meeting with a bakery consultant, The Cake Critic, Iriene changed the name of her company to “Artylicious Cakes,” cleverly combining the words “art” and “delicious.”
With her new company, Iriene decided to enter the 2011 Azalea Festival cake competition, driving 3 hours to Wilmington, NC, while carefully holding a cake in the back seat of her car. She won two blue ribbons and one plate for the cake ( 1st Place & People Choice Award in advance category), “Azalea Dreamland.”
In May 2012, Cake Central Magazine contacted her to see if they could feature her cakes in a future issue. Honored by the request, Iriene set out to have professional photos by Kristi Kruse Photography taken of her cakes, and made it into the June 2012 issue of Cake Central Magazine.
Iriene entered several cakes in the 2012 NC State Fair cake competition in Raleigh, NC and won two awards: a blue ribbon for her cake, “Lorax,” as well as a light green ribbon for her cake, “Butterfly Fantasy.”
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