Where are you from?
I’m from Palm Coast, Florida. It’s a small town in between Daytona Beach and St.Augustine.
What is your major?
I am an event management major.
What is it exactly that you do?
On the weekends I sell funnel cakes and cotton candy at various festivals and craft fairs.
How many festivals have you done?
Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you...50, maybe more. I’ve been to some many different places. Most of them are festivals I return to if they are successful.
What has been your favorite festival?
My favorite festival is a tie between Christmas on Walnut Street in Green Cove Springs and The Suwannee River Music Festival. Christmas on Walnut Street has a path of over 100 christmas trees that are decorated every year by different organizations in the community. The atmosphere is always fun and festive and they do such a great job at putting it together. The Suwannee River Music Festival I usually consider a vacation instead of work. They have various stages scattered around a park and musicians playing all day. My tent is usually somewhere in the middle, so I’m able to watch. The park is beautiful and they have such a great assortment of craft vendors there too that I can’t help but to come home with new trinkets I buy form them.
When did you get started?
My grandfather retired from pharmaceutical sales and always wanted to be a chef, so he decided to buy a food trailer. He began concocting his own creations such as homemade italian ice and chocolate covered key lime pie, fried oreos and twinkies, sundaes, milkshakes, and the list goes on and on. I would always go with him and help as a kid. He started when I was about 8 and I’ve just continued to go with him and help since then. It wasn’t until about last year my dad welded me a fryer and we came up with the idea of doing funnel cakes because the product was cheap to buy and wouldn’t put a huge dent in my pocket. I got my own supplies and my grandpa helps me book events with his connections. It’s a serious amount of hard work, but the money is so good; you wouldn’t believe the line people will wait in for a funnel cake.
Is there one memory that you love?
I’ll never forget when we first started, all I had was a spoon and a bucket to stir the batter. It took so long to get it made. My customers who were waiting in line would help me stir. Since then, I have a power drill with a mixer and I can get batter made within a couple of minutes. But thinking back on it now, it’s so funny that they would pass the bucket down the line.
What is your favorite food to create?
My favorite thing that we’ve tried out is fried bananas. They are sliced bananas in homemade batter with butterscotch and cinnamon sugar. I know they sound so unhealthy, but they are seriously so good.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I hope to one day work for more of a corporate company in event planning. My dream would be to work at festivals like Coachella or Bonnaroo. So in my spare time I love going to concerts. I’ve recently started doing graphic design projects. I’ve taken various different art classes but I think graphic design will give me a leg up in the event field, so I’m always watching tutorials, making logos, and coming up with ads and flyers.
What are you planning to do next?
Because I live at an apartment complex, I have to store all my funnel cake stuff back at home and it’s been hard driving back and forth to pick it up. I just applied for different farmers markets around the area that I’m hoping to get into. I pulled out my old sewing machine and found a tutorial for making these really cool recyclable farmers market bags. I figure the clean up and storage for them would be a lot easier, so I’m crossing my fingers that I got in somewhere and I can start selling them soon. Also, I started selling birthday invitations, christmas, and thank-you cards on Etsy. Moms love them and they take no time to make, so whenever I have free time I design them and put them up for sale.
What do you plan on doing after college?
After college I hope to move out of Orlando to a bigger city and start working with a company for event planning. My big dream would be music festivals, but I love weddings, fundraisers, and basically anything that has to do with events. Then maybe after getting experience and working with a company I could open my own event planning business.