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Interviews with Shey: Nayda Hernandez

Shealynn Benner

I have followed Nayda for quite some time. She is not only an absolutely amazing cookie decorator, but she is also an awesome person. Just genuinely kind. 

Seeing her cookie masterpieces just makes me gasp every single time. You can see the care and careful attention she puts into each and every tiny detail of her cookies. Nayda is a huge inspiration to not just me, but to the entire cookie community. If you don't follow her already, please do, you won't regret it. Instagram: @wesugarart 
Tell me a bit about yourself. (Married, kids, hobbies, etc.)

Hi, I’m Nayda of W.E. Sugar Art. I am married and mother of two...William & Esme. When I’m not doing cake/cookie projects, I enjoy reading, painting or taking online classes related to cake/cookie/sculpting.

What are you most passionate about?
I’m passionate about learning new things and skills to improve on what I know so I can continue to grow. If I can learn one thing from anyone or class, I’m happy.

What sparked your interest in making cookies?
There are so many cookie artists who’s work I admire now that I have spent more time decorating cookies but the one that sparked my interest is Sandy from You Can Call Me Sweetie. I took my first cookie class with her where I learned to work with RI and fondant embellishments and lets not leave out painting. She taught me so many techniques that I still use but once I knew I could paint on the cookies, I wanted to do more because painting is something I enjoy.

As a cookie business owner, what are you most proud of?
I would say I’m most proud of being able to share my passion with my family and friends, the look on their faces when they see what I create is so rewarding.

And what has been your biggest challenge?
What has been most challenging for me is learning to be more flexible when working on a set. Sometimes it doesn’t always turn out as I had envisioned and I have to learn to just go with the flow.

Do you have a logo? If yes, what is the significance of it?
When coming up with a logo, I knew I wanted to incorporate my kids names or something pertaining to them because they’re the reason I even ventured into my sugar adventures. William is the “W” & Esme is the “E” in W.E. Sugar Art! and a friend of mine created it for me.

How long have you been decorating cookies?
I have been doing cookies for a little over three years. I don’t do as many as I’d like but that’s because I do other sugar work as well.

Do you decorate and sell cookies full time? If not, what do you do when you’re not baking?
I do not decorate and sell cookies full time but I’m always thinking of my next set or just one cookie I’d like to create. When I’m not working on cookies you will find me creating custom cake toppers/figures for clients. When I started my sugar adventures, I wanted to do fancy cakes for my kids birthdays and then I figured out early on that creating figures is what I wanted to focus on.

  

What is your favorite and least favorite part of the cookie decorating process?
My favorite part of the cookie decorating process is watching it all come together, especially when I’m doing a cookie that has more details and that I’ve painted. And the least favorite part of decorating would be those darned icing bubbles or mixing several icing colors, if I can avoid that I’m much happier.

 

Who is the biggest supporter(s) of you and your cookie business?
My biggest supporters are my family, my husband is a huge supporter in anything I do and is always there for me.

Is there someone that has inspired you in the Cookie Industry? Why?
Oh that’s a tough one because I look up to so many cookie artists. Each has their own unique style but a couple that have inspired me are: Liz from Inspired to Taste, her portrait cookies are like no other and her clothes cookies are exquisite. Angela from The Painted Box, I love her unique watercolor painting that she’s made all her own.

How do you balance everything?(Kids, husband, activities, working out, cookies etc)
I am fortunate to be able to work from home so most of the orders, projects, and ME time are done while my kids are in school and my husband is at work. By the time they get home I’m able to focus on them and spend time with them.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things (not people) would you bring with you?
Oh boy, what 3 things (not people) would I bring with me...lol, if WiFi is available definitely my iPad because I can read, watch tutorials, draw and just stay on top of what’s going on in the world, my modeling tools and some fondant so I can create.

What is your best advice to someone wanting to start making cookies for profit?
The best advice I can give to someone wanting to start making cookies for profit is to practice, find a style that resonates with you and build on it.

Thank you for taking the time out to answer my questions, Nayda! Loved learning more about you!



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