To Top

Check Out Caroline Zilli’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Caroline Zilli.

Hi Caroline, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I’ve been baking cake since I was two, it runs in my family. Even my grandmother catered weddings and was known as “the pound cake lady.” My mom and I always loved to make food special and started hosting elaborate themed tea parties every spring when I was in college. It was a chance for the women in our lives to feel special and fancy, but for my mom and I it was the special prep time in the kitchen we most looked forward to. A few years ago, I decided to learn how to decorate a cake in the most simple way possible. It was much more work than I thought, but I was hooked. Every Christmas and birthday, I would ask for new decorating tools so that I could improve my craft. As my hobby improved, I started getting requests from family and friends for cakes. Enough people started inquiring that I decided to start an account on Instagram and Facebook for people to follow along with my journey. I spent countless hours reading blogs, watching tutorials, trying out new recipes, and practicing every chance I got. In 2020, I decided to do a fundraiser bake sale for a friend who had given birth to a beautiful baby girl with a heart defect. Her hospital bills were astronomical and I thought maybe I could combine my skills with a small amount of seed money to raise enough money to really help out. The treat boxes were a hit and I could feel God nudging me to pursue it. After a lot of prayers and research, my husband helped me take the plunge and I opened for business on March 1st of this year. It’s been a whirlwind and there have been a lot of ups and downs, but it’s been a fun journey so far!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I prayed heavily about starting this business and relied on God to give me guidance. So when things weren’t going smoothly in the beginning, I really questioned if I had heard him right, and I found myself crying in frustration more than once. When I first took the plunge, I visited several local businesses to discuss the possibility of partnership. Some led me on or ignored me completely, one was even rude, which hurt because I’m a pretty sensitive person. In the very beginning, I tried to do a special to drum up business, but I only got one order (from a dear friend of mine) and my confidence was completely shattered. I’ve had a number of letdowns occur, but every time I remind myself that the path isn’t straight or easy, and if I trust the Lord I’ll get to where I’m supposed to go. Even now, I can see that some of the doors that closed early on were for the best because it helped push me in a different direction and allowed me to grow.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I’m a baker, but that encompasses a lot of different aspects of what I do. I bake custom cakes and treats and I work with local businesses to offer my treats in storefronts. The thing I’m really excited about that has taken off is teaching cake decorating workshops. Now that people are getting out more and socializing again cake workshops have been such a great way to reconnect and learn something new. Cake is my creative outlet and teaching workshops allow me to share that with others. I began making cake decorating videos on my social media and so many people enjoyed them that I decided to find a way to allow others to experience it first hand.

If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
I was a bookworm with a big imagination and a passion for crafting as a kid. I loved to stay busy with my hands and my mind, so you could always find me reading or working on some project. I have three brothers and thoroughly enjoyed all the trouble we got ourselves into. My oldest brother usually started all the games and introduced us to whatever was cool, my middle brother would play barbies and listen to jazz music with me, and my youngest brother would put on talent shows with me for our parents. We all took turns riding a mattress down the staircase and giving my parents gray hairs.

Contact Info:

Suggest a Story: VoyageRaleigh is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Uncategorized