A 13-Year-Old Georgian Starts an Instagram Bakery Business

When Lily Kate Buscema was a baby, her older sister Ella thought her name was “Little Cakes.”

Ella didn’t know yet how much Lily Kate would eventually love baking cakes as she got older.

Lily Kate started baking on her own at 9 years old. When she turned 13, she started an Instagram, @lklittlecakes, where she sells her baked goods. She started this Instagram in December, and she’s already had two clients in addition to lots of cookie and cake gift-giving.

“I wasn’t allowed to have social media, but my parents said, ‘You can have an Instagram for your food,’” Lily Kate said.

Lily Kate’s parents are proud of her baked goods and for her following her passions. “I just think that [Instagram] was a great platform for showing off how beautiful her stuff is,” her mom Meg said. “We thought that Instagram with a purpose would only encourage her to bake new things and try out new skills.”

Screenshot taken from Instagram

Lily Kate’s parents are proud of her baked goods and for her following her passions. “I just think that [Instagram] was a great platform for showing off how beautiful her stuff is,” her mom Meg said. “We thought that Instagram with a purpose would only encourage her to bake new things and try out new skills.”

While hobbies are fun, they can benefit children in a variety of ways. They can improve children’s academic skills, educate them about finances and work ethics, and boost their confidence and self-esteem after successful hard work.

Parents can support their children’s hobbies through encouraging their interests, carving out time to help, remaining patient and serving as their cheerleader.

Meg loves how Lily Kate is expanding upon her hobby and helping others in the process. “We always encourage our kids to expand their hobbies in a special way. As much as we like to eat her baked goods, it’s such a great way to give to so many people.”

Photo courtesy of Meg Laskey Buscema

And that’s what makes Lily Kate happiest when she bakes: The way her baked goods make others feel. 

“I like to see people’s faces when they get the food and try it,” she said. “I know I can make people happy when it comes to making cakes and cupcakes, and Instagram is a great platform to use for selling it. [Customers] will send me pictures of food and I can post it and show other people how it makes other people happy.”

Her business isn’t about the money — it’s about doing something she loves that takes her stress away, while helping others in the process.

For example, when a neighbor got into a bike accident, Lily Kate baked some chocolate chip cookies to cheer him up.

According to a registered dietician, desserts can make us feel better because they elicit positive memories.

Lily Kate usually bakes cupcakes, cakes and other sweets around twice a week. Her favorite thing to bake is a Swiss roll, which has a coffee filling. For her first client, she made cupcakes with buttercream snakes for an 8-year-old’s reptile party.

While Lily Kate’s dad taught her how to cook around age 9, once she could get on a stool, her grandma played the biggest role in teaching her how to bake.

“My nonna really helped me learn how to measure stuff out from an early age. I’ve been baking with her for a long time,” Lily Kate said.

And she doesn’t intend to stop baking anytime soon. In fact, her dream is to own a bakery. 

“I want to own a bakery, and then my sister wants to be a therapist, so the idea was it’s one of those buildings with an apartment on top. The first floor is the bakery, and the second is a therapist’s office, and the third is a yoga studio, because I love yoga,” she said.

Another great thing about Lily Kate’s love for baking is it helps bring her family together. Not only have they watched every single episode of “The Great British Baking Show” together, but they support Lily Kate in her bakery business.

Photo courtesy of Meg Laskey Buscema

“It’s been really fun for her to bake it, and for us to work on food photography,” Meg said. “I’m a professional photographer at Georgia State University, so it’s been really fun and brought us together in a great way.”

In addition to photography, Meg advises Lily Kate on client relations. “So that first client she had, she hired Lily Kate to do cupcakes, but I happened to see the woman had a birthday a few days before her son, so we popped over with some cookies,” Meg said.

Ultimately, Meg wants Lily Kate to do whatever makes her happy. She doesn’t want Lily Kate to feel any pressure.

“It’s really got to be your kid’s idea, in a way. Our other daughter doesn’t want to be in the kitchen at all… Also understanding what your limits are. You can’t take every job because you have other priorities like school, or family events or Scouts of America,” Meg said.

As much as Lily Kate loves to bake, she doesn’t mind taking a break from it too. For her birthday this past May, all she wanted was Dunkin’ Donuts.

“She was so used to making foods by herself; every now and then a doughnut from Dunkin’ Donuts can be so satisfying,” Meg said. “Me and her older sister drove to five different Dunkin’ Donuts and made this whole Dunkin’ Donuts day for her… Sometimes it’s nice to not make your own treats for your own birthday.”

Photo courtesy of Meg Laskey Buscema

Meg wants Lily Kate to continue following her passions, and she knows that Lily Kate’s interests may change.

“I don’t have any long-term hopes, other than she [bakes] until she’s ready to move on to something else,” Meg said. 

If you’d like to support Lily Kate and her baking endeavors, you can follow her on Instagram at @lklittlecakes and encourage your friends to do the same.

To other young people who have similar dreams, Lily Kate wants to say this: “Practice makes for perfection, because if you just practice over and over, you’ll get it really good.”

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