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Meet the Baking Whiz Behind the “Buttercream Bouquets” from Boston Baked Blossoms

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

Buttercream flowers fill the Instagram page of Boston small business owner Lisa Mackin. There are sunflowers, poppies, and more beautiful blooms all over. With an eye for art and design, Mackin started decorating cookies for friends and family at home during the pandemic. Now, she creates realistic bouquets of cupcake flowers topped with buttercream petals which she sells from her home under the name Boston Baked Blossoms.

Mackin’s entrance into the baking world started when she decorated sugar cookies with royal icing as gifts for her friends who got COVID last year, and she found herself getting stuck in the details of her designs.

“It’s more about an art project to me sometimes than something to eat,” Mackin said.

Then, she began to see other baked decorations on Instagram and started to try them out herself. Eventually, this brought her to the bouquets she sells today.

“It’s just basically like creating a sculpture or a painting by adding different colors and different forms and modeling,” she added. “It just appealed to me so much, and then add the business end of it, and I just thought it was great.”

Boston Baked Blossoms was the first food business to be given a residential kitchen license from the City of Boston, a new program implemented last spring. This program allows for food to be prepared in one’s house to be sold as long as it fits city guidelines, mainly regarding the products not being temperature sensitive.

Mackin applied for this license because it would cost much less to start from home rather than opening a storefront or renting space in a commercial kitchen, she said. Though there are pros and cons to each option, the residential kitchen allows her to see if the business will be sustainable in the long run.

Under this license, every product sold has to be preapproved by the City to fit their guidelines, so Mackin has yet to expand her products. Though Boston Baked Blossoms is only a few months old, she is hopeful about expanding her cupcake flavors and offering more baked goods that don’t necessarily have to be made day-of in the future.

Mackin sells bouquet variations of different flowers on top of vanilla or chocolate cupcakes from her website which was a familiar space for her to build her business. Before opening her business, Mackin did design work for e-commerce websites — such as Wayfair and Chewie — and then did freelance for other clients.

“This is just a world that I’m comfortable in,” she added.

After doing freelance work the last few years, the transition to owning her own business came easily for Mackin.

“I think I’ve just always had that more entrepreneurial spirit,” Mackin said. “Through the years I’ve gone from freelance to corporate back to freelance and opened up a gallery and then came back again, always doing something, so that appeals to me — working for myself.”

The process of running Boston Baked Blossoms has taken a lot of time and work because she’s in charge of everything the business does, Mackin said, but interacting with customers and making a product she’s passionate about makes the ordeal worth it. Mackin sees how people are appreciative of her designs and products, and she’s glad to fill the niche for buttercream flower bouquets.

“People are just really so happy and appreciative, and they just jump into the fun of you know, getting something designed for them,” she said. “Even though you’re still designing a product and you’re delivering it to someone, delivering to a customer versus to a business is nice.”

Mackin finds the most enjoyment in the details of her work. From the intricate stamens or shape of the petals, she takes her time recreating each part of the flowers in buttercream while doing research along the way to get it right.

“It’s the difference between making something look pretty good or something look spectacular,” Mackin said. “Sometimes when you learn a little bit more, just that one detail can push it into the next level. And that’s, I think, where I like to be with everything that I do.”

Having the stamina to run everything herself and altering her workflow to be the most efficient is the advice she can give to those looking to start their own business.

Mackin said being resilient, being organized, and recognizing that you won’t be able to please everyone is important to know for those looking to start their own business.

“You just have to have the stamina to do it,” she said. “It doesn’t come naturally. You have to constantly be your own cheerleader and be like, ‘Come on, there’s people, building buildings that are up in the wind and the rain for 12 hours. You’re doing fine.’”

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Madison is studying journalism and international relations at BU. She's from Washington state, loves drinking tea, and watching Marvel movies. Check out her portfolio and blog at https://dontmakelies.com