by Tawny Aguayo, Student Contributor
The June Buchanan School is no stranger to students passing through its doors who exhibit above average intelligence, motivation, and creativity. Alumna Alex Narramore is no exception and has captured the entrepreneurial spirit JBS instills in its students through her business, The Mischief Maker. The Mischief Maker specializes in custom wedding cakes, specialty event cakes, and dessert tablescapes that are full of imagination and vision.
Narramore, of Whitesburg, Kentucky, is the daughter of David and Lisa Narramore, both of whom are well-known in their community for the numerous projects they have produced, including fundraisers, floats, and window displays. At a very young age, Narramore was involved in event planning through her parents’ work and was introduced to the spark to follow in their footsteps.
“Nothing compared to tirelessly planning out every detail, working so hard and walking into a breath-taking environment to see all the pieces of the puzzle come together,” says Narramore of her childhood experiences.
Narramore attended JBS grades 5-12 and graduated in 2008. She attended Alice Lloyd College for a year where she took Michael Ware’s art history class and knew that art was the direction she needed to pursue. “I had never considered it before,” she said, “but art fell hand in hand with what my parents had been producing all of those years.”
It was during this time that Narramore, who is self-taught, first began making cakes and realized that art would allow her the design experience she needed to supplement a career in designing them. She made the decision to transfer to Eastern Kentucky University, and then later, to Northern Kentucky University where she obtained her degree in studio arts with a minor in art history.
Throughout her college years, Narramore spent the majority of her time preparing her business despite the risks involved.
“I planned constantly for the business through creating mini-goals to achieve and researching what the next step was,” she said. “I am still doing that as the business is new. Overall, I feel that if there is not a similar product or service in your area and you feel that it has worth, the risk you assume in order to provide that product and service is justified. In my case, I didn’t feel that there was an equivalent product or service out there.”
After graduating college, she began perfecting her craft and joined forces with her mother to create the most notable and exclusive aspect of The Mischief Maker – sugar flowers. From delicately thin sugar petals and veining to custom color palettes and edible scents, no detail is left unturned. Her father also plays an important part of the business and creates beautiful tablescapes to compliment the desserts.
“We design and arrange all of the fresh flowers ourselves to amp up the illusion of the sugar flowers,” says Narramore. “Guests often won’t know which flowers are real and which flowers are sugar. The tablescapes provide a fun and interactive centerpiece for weddings and parties.”
Though The Mischief Maker has only been in operation for one year, it has proven to be a very successful business and a force to be reckoned with. Narramore recently participated in her first bridal show at the world-renowned Kentucky Horse Park, reaching out to brides and wedding planners all across Kentucky and surrounding areas. She has received recognition internationally for her designs as well as locally. She has also been published in several blogs, but those achievements are nothing compared to the compliments from fellow artists.
“I have received messages and emails from other cake artists in numerous countries who have told me that our sugar flowers inspire them to keep learning and experimenting,” she said. “That means more to me than any award.”
Narramore said that her education at JBS played a huge role in her success. “It prepared me for professionalism and how to present myself in business situations. Also, JBS gave me the belief that creating jobs one day was more important than just becoming a professional.” Several of her clients have been people whom she formed relationships with during her time at JBS, proving the importance of personal connections.
Her plans for the future are to continue learning, improving her craft, and continuing to progress with The Mischief Maker. She is currently renting a shared commercial space, but plans to rent her own workspace and expand. Narramore’s ability to think outside the box and use her creative genius makes us confident that the sky is the limit for this young lady.
For more information, check out The Mischief Maker’s Facebook page.
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