By Jessica Walsh:
Hi Smarty friends! I’d like you to meet one of my super-cool, fun, inspiring, energized, creative friend Kelly Pierson! I love her energy, her style, her laugh…she just lights up a room! She is very “Julia Roberts”!!! Kelly is a mother of 3 and has a non-stop life with a husband that travels quite a bit! She also has her own baking business…and is very well known in our are for her “Itty Bittys” (cake balls covered in chocolate). She is moving her business from local to nation-wide and is now shipping her delicacies as well as working on a website.
Kelly Pierson’s Smarty Mom Quick Facts:
Mom of: Anders (9), Merrick (7), and Graham (4)
Married to: Tad for 15 years
Years in Charlotte: 14
Tell us about your bakery business and how did you get started?
Whole Lotta Sugar, www.wholelottasugar.com, is home to the Itty Bitty. Itty Bittys are made from scratch cake mixed with fresh buttercream frosting that is rolled into bite sized balls. I then hand dip them in either a chocolate or white chocolate candy coating. They can be decorated for every occasion and holiday and they are the perfect just right bite of sweet!
I started baking cakes about 6 1/2 years ago out of necessity. I could not find a bakery near me that made the type of cake that I like so I figured with 2 small children (at that time) I had a lot of celebration cakes in my future. My background is in creative advertising so I thought if I could get a few good recipes down and take some classes then I my creativity would take me the rest of the way. And it did after much trial and error! Soon friends starting asking me to make their cakes and then their friends followed suit. From there the Itty Bittys were born. I was making a lot of cakes and throwing away a lot of cake scraps. I didn’t think it would be responsible of me as a parent to create sugar addicts of my children so I wanted to come up with a way to use those scraps and leftover frosting. I came across a recipe for cake balls online and the rest is history. I call my version of cake balls Itty Bittys because to me they are itty-bitty bites of cake and honestly it SOUNDS more appealing than cake balls as well, don’t ya think? My friends and clients LOVED them and at that point I realized I was onto something. I have now moved away from special occasion cakes so I can devote my energy full time to Itty Bittys. I currently have 16 different flavors and am coming up with new flavor combinations all the time. In fact, recently, I tried a new flavor, Key Lime Crazy. I also make whoopie pies and custom cupcakes. Pretty much I love baking cake you can eat with one hand:)
Where can we find your delectable treats?
My website at www.wholelottasugar.com will tell you how you can order your Itty Bittys!
Rumor has it you are taking your baking business from local to national. What Smarty tips can you offer to other Smarty Mompreneurs looking to turn their hobby into a business?
My biggest tip would be to follow your instinct. Share with friends or family who will be honest with you, your ideas and get their feedback. Use that constructive criticism to make your idea better or more efficient. Anytime you step out of your comfort zone it is scary. But don’t be afraid. If you believe in your idea, then work hard and give it a shot. The last thing I want is to look back in 10 years and have regrets of not following my instinct. You have to dedicate a lot of time to starting a new business, and it can be hard to find a balance between your family and getting your business off the ground, but nothing is built in a day. Be patient and do what you can when you can. Everyone has to start somewhere. I like to think of Paula Deen and Martha Stewart. They both started in their kitchen too. So who knows where my kitchen will lead me? Are you willing to let be led by your idea to that next step? Go for it, we are not guaranteed tomorrow.
Moving on to your favorite family stuff, tell us what your favorite family activity is?
With our 3 kids at such different ages, it can be hard to find something we all have fun doing together. But the 2 best are 1) watching a movie and 2) playing Wii games together (we are so good at Rock Band we might try looking for gigs..just kidding!)
What is your favorite “me” activity?
Reading a really good book
Favorite lunch spot sans kids?
Any place I can go to lunch without kids is my favorite… haha…but if I have to pick one it would be Boneheads in Stonecrest.
Favorite place to bring the whole fam to dinner?
I am originally from the Mrytle Beach area so I do get cravings for really good fried seafood. Lucky for me my family loves it too. Who can turn down warm, right out of the oven hushpuppies with honey butter slapped all over them! So our favorite spot would have to be Captain Steve’s in Fort Mill. It is THE BEST fish camp between here and Mrytle.
Favorite date-night spot?
Tad & I don’t have one favorite spot. Anytime we can find time to go on a date, we like to check out what is going on around town and see if there is something we haven’t had the opportunity to experience yet. We have been together over 20 years so we got to keep it fresh!
Favorite holiday tradition?
I like to keep Christmas as commercial free as possible and it seems to get harder and harder every year. So to help keep my children ever present of the meaning of Christmas, we bake a birthday cake for Jesus. We take time to discuss the designs and flavors we want to use through the season to try and make it about him as much as possible. Then on Christmas morning, before we do anything else, we light the candle and sing Happy Birthday to him.
Favorite place to buy kids clothes & shoes?
I discovered Crazy 8 online a couple of years ago. And now that they have a store in Charlotte I am over the moon. I love their clothes! As far as shoes go, wherever I can find shoes in their size AND we can agree on – is my favorite place for the moment.
Best book you’ve read lately?
That is a toughy. I would have to say the Stieg Larsson trilogy was amazing. It is hard to get into the first book but if you can get past the first 2 chapters, you are sucked in!
Best birthday party you’ve attended/hosted?
My oldest child’s birthday is in January and I find it VERY hard to find ideas of stuff to do for boys in the dead of winter. But last year we did an indoor campout sleepover that was pretty cool. We took the furniture out of the living room and put up two tents. We have a firepit in the backyard, so they cooked their own hot dogs and roasted marshmallows on the fire, then came in had some birthday cake, played some Wii, then curled up by the fireplace to watch a Harry Potter movie. After that it was off to the sleeping bags in the tents.
Minivan or SUV?
Minivan. I can’t drive an SUV. I had an Expedition for a while in 2001 and I hated to park the thing. I always felt I was going to hit the car next to me, plus it ate gas like it was at an all-you-can-eat petroleuem buffet.
Favorite Smarty phone app?
I hate to say it but I am probably the last person on earth not to own any type of Smart Phone. So I know what an app is but I don’t know any of any apps. Sad I know. But I spend all my time baking anyway:)
Favorite thing about raising a family in Charlotte?
Charlotte has the best of everything. Culture, sports events, great food, beautiful weather, friendly people and it is the perfect distance from both the beaches and the mountains.
Best kept secret in Charlotte?
My best kept secret would be Cast Iron Waffles. Located at the SW corner of Marvin and Ardery Kell Roads in South Charlotte in the Cedar Walk Development. Amazing waffle treats!
I could not live without my…
KitchenAid Mixer. It is a workhorse!
Thanks, Kelly & Jessica for sharing your Saturday with us! Do you have a Smarty Mom/Dad/Daughter/Son that you’d like to nominate, please email us. We’d love to hear from you!
Smarties, don’t forget to register for our Smarty Days of Christmas Giveaway. We kicked it off yesterday, so starting Monday, you’ll need to log on daily and register for the Giveaway of the Day:
On the first day of Christmas, my Smarty friends gave to me…a $100 Gift Certificate to kixx shoes, click here to register for day 1!