We had the good fortune of connecting with Anna Partlow and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Anna, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I grew up in a household where expressing myself was an important part of my upbringing. I spent most of my childhood on Lake Champlain painting, drawing, and baking with my grandmother. Even though I inevitably moved states away from her, that fire she sparked in me never dwindled. I spent my high school years painting and drawing, then graduated and pursued graphic design in college and worked in a bakery to pay the bills. I have been working in a bakery setting for 6 years now, and unexpectedly fell in love with the craft. It became an internal battle of what I thought was having to choose one path or another to go down in my career, however I am lucky to have been able to bring my artistic knowledge to the world of baking and cake decorating. About two years ago I started selling cakes independently to make extra money, and it flourished into an unexpected opportunity. I have had the incredible chance to work with people and bring their visions to life, making their celebrations special and memorable. My heart lies in creativity and I know that I will always be in a creative field in one way or another. I am happy to be able to say this is the path I am on right now.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
It has been a long and continuous journey to get to the place I am in right now. It was originally just my day job, learning the ins and outs of bakery production. I didn’t think too much about it because my path at the time seemed very clear. Over the past 6 years, however, I have developed a strong love for creating beautiful desserts for an array of different events. The path I was once on that was so clear and set in stone has changed and evolved into something I couldn’t have predicted. This career opportunity has taught me a lot about letting things fall into place the way they need to and not trying to hold too much control. It has also made me very comfortable with the idea of ephemeral art, which, for me, goes hand in hand with letting go of control. I have had to accept that the things I make and put love into will ultimately be consumed, never to be seen again. I am thankful to be able to bring that knowledge and acceptance into not only my career, but my art practice and my day to day life as well. I feel an overwhelming sense of fulfillment when I am pursuing any creative outlet, but this avenue will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
It’s always a good time starting the day with brunch, and Kenny’s is my go to place. It’s a beautiful restaurant with huge windows, so inevitably a lot of natural light, and great food! I love a lot of what Chattanooga has to offer, especially the variety of scenic views. A few of my favorite places to go to with my friends are Coolidge Park, Sunset Rock, and Raccoon Mountain. If a friend from out of town was visiting, those places would give them true insight on how beautiful the city is. A few of my favorite bars include Barley, Matilda Midnight, and Whiskey Thief. It wouldn’t be a completed Chattanooga trip without visiting those staples! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would not be here, exploring creative avenues, without the unconditional support and love from my friends and family. I have been encouraged from a young age to create and that only grows stronger as the years go by. My friends specifically have been there for me through every moment of my journey and have supported all of the decisions I’ve made to flourish artistically. Through them, I have found inspiration in times when I couldn’t muster it up on my own. I am infinitely grateful for the support I’m consistently surrounded by.

Website: purplevelvetcakes.com

Instagram: purplevelvetcakes

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