We had the good fortune of connecting with Magali Lee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Magali, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Before starting Lili’s I was completely content with my career and just enjoyed baking on the side. Eventually I realized that I needed an outlet from my career and what better than a creative outlet such as creating beautiful custom cakes. At first I thought there was no way I could juggle this and a demanding career in pharmacy and then I realized I would just have to make it work! I had baked so many cakes for friends in the past and they had all told me “Maggie you need to start a business! These cakes are delicious!” So I finally took their advice, I first started with a logo and name with the help of Bee’s Knees Custom Design and absolutely fell in love with the overall look and name. Then, I started small and just figured I would work on getting things to grow. Dont get me wrong I’m still pretty small but enjoying the journey so far! It is a lot of work but nothing makes me happier than bringing joy from my kitchen to my clients events!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
This is such an interesting story. I have always had a passion for cooking and baking, and as an adolescent always wanted to pursue an education in culinary arts. That unfortunately wasn’t in the playbook for me but I didn’t give up. I chose a career in pharmacy and would still make friends cakes for their birthdays while in school (believe me they weren’t as pretty as the ones I’m making today). Once I started really working in my field I realized that I needed an outlet form the everyday stresses that come from working in the public health field and found my way back to baking again. I decided I would keep practicing new techniques I saw and soon my technicians became my favorite taste testers. I also decided to take any class I could to continue to improve my decorating skills. My most exciting class involved a flight to Paris, France and 11 long hours of decorating with the amazing Tortik Annuchka (look them up you wont regret it!). I’m so proud of the certificate I earned during that class for those decorating techniques. I came back with a new desire to try different techniques and with all the motivation needed to move full steam ahead in my cake business. We moved away to Buffalo, NY for two years and I really only got to occasionally make cakes for family and friends. By the time I was ready to get in the swing of things again we moved back to Dallas in February! I decided that I would grow my clientele again from the ground up and keep things going despite the incoming fear of Covid-19 at the time. I thought it would be an extremely difficult thing to do and then I was approached by Brides of North Texas and decided to partner with them to grow my business. What an amazing experience that has been! I have been able to showcase my baked goods for my website, for styled shoots, and also participated in The Big Fake Wedding Dallas recently. It hasn’t been an easy journey by any means. Trying to balance everything has been the biggest challenge I’ve faced. From motherhood, to family time, to a very demanding pharmacy manager career, and baking is there even any time left to sleep?! Ive learned along the way that sometimes you cant do everything and you have to choose what is most important to you in that moment. Ive also learned to never give up. I remember making a rose gold naked drip cake for a client and almost gave up because I couldn’t get the drip right. I literally scraped drip off that cake, re-iced it, and started again over 5 times! I want my clients cakes to be exactly what they envisioned and if it isn’t right I cant give up! Ive got to keep going and eventually the cake turned out perfectly, she was so happy to see it. As far as my brand and story I want the world to know that anything is possible. When I tell people I’m a pharmacist they are always so surprised. But anything is possible! Even your friendly neighborhood pharmacist is capable of some pretty cool things. You can go from a demanding healthcare field to a demanding caking/wedding field you just have to put in the time and work. Dont let anything limit your imagination and just know that whatever you put your mind to you can do. Lili’s is all about bringing joy into your life, wether it be in the form of cake, macaron, cake pop, cupcakes, or whatever other baked good you can think of. I love to bring my clients vision to life for whatever their special occasion may be.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m still learning the Dallas area but I do have some favorites! We would definitely visit uptown Dallas with all the fun restaurants and bars. I love shopping so any trip to Dallas in incomplete without a couple hours spent at NorthPark. Honestly I would be exploring the area with my bff because I’m still so new! My favorite bar of all time here is Parliament so we would definitely be there a few nights out of the week. We would definitely take a trip up to Whiskey Cake and 60 vines because who doesnt want wine on tap?! If the weather is great and we want a fun atmosphere then Happiest Hour is definitely on the agenda. Saturday would be for the park, Klyde Warren Park. I love being there, enjoying the sights and people and of course all the yummy food trucks! Sundays are always for the Dallas Farmers Market! Fresh foods, delicious Thai food from Ka-Tip, and there’s usually always some live music. My son also LOVES going to run through the water there.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I wouldn’t have had my logo or brand without the help of my husband Jonathan. I was honestly terrified to start a business and had no idea what to do or how. He gifted me with a branding session for my birthday and that is how Lili’s came to fruition! Also Brittany at The Bees Knees Custom Design has been there the whole time to help me with logo, design, paper goods, flyers, and more. The look and feel of my company would not be the same without her. I have so many friends that have encouraged me to continue baking and supported me in my journey I am forever grateful for their support and encouragement throughout the years.
Instagram: @lilisbespokesweets @theforwardmom
Facebook: Lili’s Bespoke Sweets
The Big and Bright