With the end of the semester nearing, University students are always looking for new ways to relax during the finals crunch. Spanish junior Elise Abshire has managed to take her stress reliever — baking — and turn it into a full-fledged business.
“People may go run or relax outside, but for me I love to bake,” Abshire said. “It’s my way of clearing my head and relieving stress.”
Abshire created her own baking company, Fleur d’Elise Sweets, about one month ago, an idea she’s always had in the back of her mind, she said. After requests to bake for bigger events became more frequent, she realized there was a potential to turn her hobby into a profit.
With no professional training, Abshire said she began experimenting with baking tools she found in her pantry about five years ago. What started out as elaborate, personalized birthday gifts for her high school friends has turned into something she could have never imagined, she said.
“I was bad at buying gifts, so I’d try to make sweets that represented my friends’ personalities,” Abshire said. “It’s been really cool to see it kind of come from just bringing cakes to friends at school to people really supporting me and baking for big events.”
The support from her family and friends has truly helped Abshire get to where she is today, she said. Abshire also credits her strong faith for helping her to achieve so much in such a short amount of time.
“I guess God has given me these talents that I’ve just been trying to use to make other people’s events better,” Abshire said.
Fleur d’Elise Sweets has received a strong response so far with nearly 600 likes on its Facebook page. Abshire said she’s currently busier than ever, working to expand her business by donating cake certificates to the Pro Vita March for Life Benefit Dinner Thursday and working on a LivingSocial deal for the Christmas break.
Abshire works hard to make her sweets taste as good as they look, something she’s proud of. She credits her success to the fact that she avoids using fondant, a sugary, edible substance that’s easier to work with but doesn’t taste nearly as good as real icing, she said.
“I like my cakes to taste good and look good and make people happy,” she said.
From helping her friends with their senior projects to baking a birthday cake for a friend’s dad, Abshire said her connections in Baton Rouge and at Christ the King Roman Catholic Church have helped her company to grow in a short amount of time.
Her apartment’s landlord even knows about Abshire’s passion for baking, offering to replace her old oven for a better one.
“My place has a little window in the kitchen,” Abshire said, “so the landlord keeps joking, saying that she’s going to sit and watch me bake and wait by the window for things to be ready.”
Abshire is currently working on getting a tax ID and ultimately hopes to open a bakery in Baton Rouge.
“I’m really thankful for my faith and for baking and for the opportunity for education,” Abshire said. “All those three together would be me in a little nutshell.”
For more information, check out Fleur d’Elise Sweets on Facebook.