Photo Gallery | PHOTOS: "The Sweet Life" of a Local Wedding Cake Artist
From America’s premier Ballet Company to wedding cake artist extraordinaire, Maggie Austin, has always dedicated her life to perfection.
As a detail oriented dancer in the Joffrey Ballet, Labaugh strived to create something beautiful in every performance. After a sudden and heart-breaking foot injury, which ended her ballerina career, Austin had no idea she was about to embark on a very “sweet” journey. This journey would lead to countless mentions in bridal magazines, and a Good Morning America Television appearance.
"The transition from ballet to cake design was a natural one in many ways.I've always been interested in clean, graceful lines. There's a movement in my designs; a kind of dynamic energy,” Maggie Austin.
After graduating from a French Pastry School in Chicago and interning with Chicago Restaurant, Charlie Trotter’s, who some refer to as one of the finest restaurants in the world, Austin moved to D.C. to live with her sister, Jessica who lives in Takoma Park, Md.
Soon after her relocation, Austin and her sister started their own cake business aptly named, Maggie Austin Cake, with a website that featured a few of her cake photos in 2010. A wedding planning firm located in Old Town, Alexandria noticed the images and featured Austin’s cakes on their blog. Soon after this, her site soon reached 2,000 or more hits a day.
Maggie Austin’s inspiration for her custom-made cakes range from high-fashion dresses by Alexander McQueen and Carolina Herrera to Tiffany stained glass. She has made a name for herself by the feminine frills, or ruffles and ornate flowers that are neatly adorned on her unique masterpieces of art. She individually applies this technique with paper-thin layers of sugar paste. This process is delicate and beautiful, but grueling.
“I suppose that I'm not afraid of projects that take a lot of time because part of a dancer's training is endless repetition in order to attain complete perfection,” said Austin.
Unlike area bakery’s, Maggie Austin only accepts a few orders a week as it takes her at least three days to create a single cake. These exquisite cakes sell at an average cost of $2,000 to $3,000 with a minimum $800 order.
Last year, Maggie Austin became the resident wedding cake maker for the Mandarin Oriental in D.C., and soon after, moved into her Old Town studio in September 2011, where she offers instructional workshops on the art of cake making.
The studio is located at 420 S. Washington St. in Old Town Alexandria, and she is by appointment only.
If you are interested in a wedding cake tasting or a class, email Maggie Austin at firstname.lastname@example.org.