Today we’d like to introduce you to Lori Grube.
Lori, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I’ve always loved making art of all kinds, and from a young age admired others who could make a living being creative. When I was 10 years old, I began learning how to decorate cakes in my 4-H club, and continued to practice my craft as I grew up. Once I earned a degree in business, I went to work full time at a large corporation, but continued to nurture my passion by working at a bakery on the weekends.
After years of practicing my art and dreaming about starting my own business, I decided to make it a reality in 2017. That was when I moved to the Twin Cities and started Sweet LuLu’s, a custom cake and party planning business. Launching my business has been a fun adventure and I’ve learned so much!
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
One certainty of starting a business is that you have to be creative and flexible to tackle the obstacles that come along. I have definitely grown in these areas by dealing with several challenges.
My biggest obstacle at the beginning was that I didn’t know anyone in Minnesota. I moved here from central Illinois because I thought I would have a better chance at success in a larger city. However, it did take some time to meet customers. As a cottage food producer, I am faced with the challenge of being restricted with what foods I can make, so I’ve had to research and be creative about the different flavors, fillings and icings I can offer. Another obstacle has been the fear of not being taken seriously as an artist. But each small step I take helps me to see that there is a place for my work in the market.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I own Sweet LuLu’s, a custom cake and party business. My cakes, cookies and other desserts have helped my customers celebrate special occasions such as weddings, engagements, birthdays, showers and graduations. I also offer party boxes that come with the essential supplies for a party: tableware, decorations and favors that match the cake. Being an artist comes naturally to me, and I love to take simple ingredients and use them to create an edible piece of art. The most special aspect of small business and handmade goods in general is that each piece is unique and can be tailored to the recipient’s taste.
I love to overlap my hobbies and apply techniques from crafting to cake decorating. Stamping, stenciling, and painting are just a few examples. Taking the latest decorating trends and putting my own twist on them is also part of my artistic style. The design that gets the most comments and sets me apart from others are my realistic buttercream flowers.
I am most proud that I handle all aspects of the business including marketing, photography, and creating/maintaining the website. Seeing a product through from conception to delivery is very gratifying, especially when I see my customers’ reactions to their completed orders.
Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
My parents nurtured my interest in art, creativity, and cake decorating when I was young, and have continued to be very supportive in my journey. My brother and sister-in-law played a big part in launching my business in MN. They encouraged me to move here, introduced me to people, mentored me and helped with various events. I also have to thank Janet’s Cakes & Catering in Bloomington, IL, where I worked part time for almost a decade. It was there that I got hands on experience in a small business, and worked with other artists to hone my skills – all while having a lot of fun! Moving to Minnesota has been a very positive experience, and the people I’ve met have been so welcoming and friendly. There are many friends, customers and strangers here who have encouraged and promoted me.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: sweetlulus.net
- Instagram: sweetlulusbylori
- Facebook: sweetlulusbylori
Lindsey White Photography
Hannah Ampe Photography
Anna Ko Photography