From baking to designing custom dessert tables and co-founding the DIY site Confetti Pop, Shauna Younge really does it all. She runs a fabulous design dessert firm, has been featured in magazines and television spots, and, on top of that, has fabulous interior taste! In our exclusive interview, photographed by Melissa Oholendt, learn about Shauna’s most unusual styling request, her dream styling job, and where her love of crafts and baking came from. Here at BFFF we’re totally crushing on her, and we think you should be too!
Obviously you’re a fantastic baker and decorator, but what are some hobbies you enjoy that might surprise people?
I really love reading. I usually have two or three books going at a time, and I’ll read a little from each throughout the week. A light, fun book, a serious, through-provoking one, and a thriller/mystery make a good combo.
Your office is absolutely gorgeous. Where did you gather inspiration for decorating your office from?
The office serves as a space for me to meet dessert table clients and for Maddy, my Confetti Pop partner, and I to craft. We needed a space that had some visual interest, but wasn’t too busy or distracting. I think we accomplished that with the tone-on-tone triangle accent wall, mostly white furniture, and gold accents.
If you could choose any event to cater, a real one from the past or a hypothetical dream job, what would it be?
Let’s face it, ain’t no party like a White House party, ’cause a White House party don’t stop! Seriously, though, I’d love to design a dessert table for an inauguration. It would be a people-watching dream. Celebrities, politicos, reporters. The entire room would be full of fascinating people.
I think it’s safe to say you love what you do, but what job stands out as the most difficult?
When I was pregnant with my second baby, I had a wedding about an hour drive from my house that lasted well into the night. I was still in that super tired/nauseous stage, and I was seriously debating laying down behind the dessert table and taking a nap. I was also really emotional, so I cried a lot during the couple’s toasts. And not a cute, dignified cry. It was one of those runny nose, ugly cries.
You mentioned that your grandmother is an inspiration, when did your love of crafts and baking start? What are your family gatherings like? Do you draw straws to see who gets to do the decorating?
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t in the kitchen learning to bake and cook. Both of my parents are great cooks, with different styles, and my grandmother makes things from scratch to this day. I still have my mom’s 1963 Betty Crocker textbook, and use it all the time. Since I’m the only one in the family who professionally styles events and shoots, I usually volunteer for those gigs at family functions.
So we’ve talked about your most difficult job, but which stands out as your absolute favorite?
My favorite job was probably my biggest. Not because it was a big payday, which didn’t hurt, but because the couple was very relaxed. The bride trusted my experience and talent, so she let me be as creative as I wanted as long as I incorporated her flamingo theme. That dessert table was 16 ft. of fabulousness, so it worked out really well. Two years later, I worked with the client again when her daughter got married.
What’s the most unusual party styling theme request and how do you accommodate difficult requests and make every spread unique?
Sometimes, the theme of the event is the most challenging to accommodate. Recently, a couple wanted a dinosaur/book/Lego/cat theme for their dessert table. For me, the challenge is incorporating their vision while staying true to my style. The more unique the theme, the more I have to get creative and design custom details to pull the design together. I never want a display to look chaotic or unfocused. I think it turned out really well, and the couple was thrilled. It was a win-win.
Have any of your kids caught the DIY or baking bug yet, or do they seem to be going in a different direction ? I see on your facebook page and blog that you like to involve them in the fun, like with those adorable $10 DIY Halloween costumes (I love the baby owl one! So cute!)
Along with dessert tables, I’m also the co-founder of Confetti Pop, which is a party-centric DIY site. My girls are always on set when we shoot things, and my 4 year old likes to pitch in as an art director, photographer, and stylist. She also models for us from time to time. It’s pretty cute. She’s already said, “Don’t forget the macarons at my birthday party.” She and her sister have been sampling sweets since they were teeny tiny, so they’re both dessert pros.
You’ve got a catering company, you’ve co-founded confettipop.com to share your awesome DIY projects, and you’ve been featured in magazines and even TV spots. What’s next on your bucket list?
Photography exclusively for Best Friends For Frosting by Melissa Oholendt
Quote Graphics by Meredith Carty exclusively for Best Friends For Frosting