I began baking and decorating cakes a few years ago for my son's first birthday. At the time I was working at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) in Elizabeth City, NC, in the Summer School Department. Although, I enjoyed working at ECSU the 8 years I worked there, it wasn’t the job I dreamed of having when I graduated from there with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Banking and Finance. It was never a dream of mine to go into business making cakes. But it was a dream of mine to make my son's first birthday cake and to go into business for myself one day. January 2013 my son turned a year old. It was an Elmo cake that I made for his birthday. And 3 weeks later my niece had an Hello Kitty party for her first birthday and my sister asked that I make the cake. I agreed and she posted a picture of the cake on Facebook. To my surprise, the picture of the cake received great feedback! People began to ask how much I charge and I told them I don't charge anything because I don't make cakes lol. The more and more people asked, it made it hard to keep saying no. My then supervisor, Mr. Warren Poole said, “go for it.” He said, “if they want to pay you to make their cakes don’t turn that money down. You never know where this may go.” I stated, “but I already have a job and I don’t have time to be making cakes lol.” He then said, “Never put all of your eggs in one basket.” Meaning nothing is guaranteed so never just rely on one income if you can help it. I went home that evening thinking about what he said and decided to take my first order. I began to calculate how much it would cost to make a custom cake and did more research on what it took to run a cake business. The first thing I saw was determine a business name. I thought about it and thought about it. And I thought about me and my family’s names because I knew for sure I would have to have them help me with this business. T for my name Tyisha and my daughter Ty’annah, two Es for my husband Everett Sr. and my son Everett Jr., and M for my daughter Mi’Kaylla. If I take the first letter of each of our names it forms the one word T.E.E.M. T.E.E.M was so appropriate because not only do I work with my family, I worked with my customers to make memories as well. Textured comes from the fact that my cakes are not always the smooth buttercream cakes that you are used to seeing. That's how I came up with the name T.E.E.M Textured Cakes, LLC.
I ran the business and worked at ECSU for 1 year when I was laid off during the first big lay off at the University. What do you know Mr. Poole was right! Don't get me wrong, I was hurt because I couldn’t understand after 8 years why me. But after encouraging words from family and friends I realize why not me? It’s my time to follow my dream of running my business full time. It’s been seven years now since I was laid off and I now have become more and more successful at what I do and have fun while doing it. I no longer feel like I’m working. Now after over 3000 cakes and treats made, two employees, and 8 years later I'm in the kitchen Tuesday through Saturday ready to work and make memories! ~Tyisha Wiggins