Makers + Shakers: Meet Sweets Indeed

A couple of years ago, over on Seattle Mamas, I started a series interviewing local powerhouses who started with an idea and turned it into a crazy reality.

It was so popular, I thought to myself, 'hey self, you should do the same thing, except this time, you should stalk some more of  your favorite bloggers from all over'. So, I created the Makers + Shakers Series: 8 Creatives You Should Follow.

The series was so popular, I decided to continue it with 8 more creatives!

This week we are meeting Marie Dannettelle of Sweets Indeed, creator of Sweet Skewers™, the original candy kabobs...many imitators, never duplicated. I fell in love with her when I came across her purple and lace gothic Halloween dessert spread  pictured below (which I'm sure many of you have come across on Pinterest back in the day and still a classic...) and been hooked on her fabulous dessert and candy spreads.  I've had the pleasure of enjoying her custom creations (hello, pineapple candy kabobs!) and I'm currently crushing on her latest sweet fix, Candyfetti™.

Let's learn more about what makes Marie tick...

Please tell our readers a little bit about who Marie is
Hi, I'm Marie, owner of Sweets Indeed. I am a bit of a goofball, am terrified of spiders, have a massive sweet tooth and am foodie at heart. I live in Southern California in the town I grew up in with my two, silly kids, two big puppies and a husband who deals with my creative ADD like a champ. He is mainly a graphic designer/photographer but I am lucky to have married a true “jack of all trades”. My family keeps me on my toes and reminds me that time is precious. I'm also a zombie fanatic and love all things Alice in Wonderland. Bring on the zombie apocalypse because I’m ready! 

I've been a huge fan of your dessert tables and Candy Kabobs...candy on a stick is always awesome! What inspired you get into the sweet treats business?
Thank you so much! From a very early age, you could find me rearranging furniture in my room, styling holiday vignettes around the house, helping my mom set up her classroom before school began and baking in the kitchen with my grandma.

In 2009, my desire to make life sweeter for others quickly grew into a full time business and proved to be the perfect way to merge my creative side with my sweet tooth. I've always felt that a personal touch and attention to detail is what truly makes moments special and in turn, creates long lasting memories.

I also knew that there was no way for me to master everything in the dessert world so I felt that finding the best of the best and bringing them in as Sweets Indeed's vendors would give my clients an impressive array of options for their special occasions. I didn't want them to be limited. If you want the best red velvet, I'll find it. If you want your grandma’s famous cookie recipe recreated for your wedding, we'll make it happen.

Our Candy Kabobs emerged when my daughter was little. She was sitting on the sidewalk at a parade, eating sticky candy off her fingers and a lightbulb turned on. I thought, “there has to be a better alternative to this gooey mess!” It’s been such a fun process and I never knew it would take off as much as it has. The past few years, anything on a stick has become more and more popular and with it, so have our Candy Kabobs!

With all of your fabulous dessert stations and creations for your small business, your work with charity organizations like Operation Shower, and oh yeah, being a mom, how do balance everything? Or do you?
I’m going to be completely honest here. I don’t. Everyday's a struggle to create and maintain a balance between by family, my business and my desire to serve. I actually look forward to Operation Shower events. They are my absolute favorite and quickly remind me of what’s important in life.

My littlest is two and let me tell you, the past two years have been the most challenging of all. I am a full time mom and it’s certainly made me re-evaluate where my time is spent and I reassess what’s lucrative quite often. I've gotten pretty creative at conducting phone consultations in a closet and answering emails on my phone while doing puzzles.

Nap time and after bedtime are when I have to be productive. Because of this, I have learned to focus, organize and be more task oriented. I could write an entire article on balancing kids and being an entrepreneur. I wouldn't say I'm truly successful at it but I haven't given up!

Speaking of fabulous creations, I know there are so many choose from, but which dessert station orproject is your favorite and why? 
Oh man. This is a tough question. Operation Shower dessert stations are always my favorite. Each time I’m involved in a shower I think, “this is my favorite”. Getting to work with other industry professionals and seeing the appreciation and excitement is so much fun. I can’t choose! I think aside from Operation Shower, I always go back to an Alice inspired Sweet Station I designed for a wedding. I had a blast incorporating wonderland details into what turned out to be a gorgeous spread.  It still holds a special place in my heart.

 I also recently designed a Walking Dead dessert station for a birthday party. I completely geeked out and that dessert station has started a whole new candy line that is launching this summer.

It tends to be the events that touch a personal chord but there are definitely elements of each event that I could say are my favorite.

Readers see beautiful, styled photos but we rarely see what is going on behind the scenes or how things didn't turn out quite the way you planned. How do you handle having to kick into Plan B or Plan C? Do you have a 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger' experience to share?
I have an awesome tool kit that I take with me everywhere. It is full of supplies and you can find everything from safety pins and glue dots to cupcake liners and buttercream. I've added things over the years and it’s helped me tackle any mishaps with backdrops, table design or the occasional dessert disaster.

I have also learned to take responsibility for as much as possible in regards to my services. I'm a bit of a control freak and if it’s in my hands, I have a better chance of making it run smoothly than if I rely on other elements. I definitely think I am a calm person and my goofy side helps me kick into plan B with ease. I don't stress, I just fix.

I lost an entire bin full of candy jars and decor on a golf course in the middle of a tournament once. We had to load in on golf carts and it flew off the back, shattering the contents. I have no idea how I cleaned up the mess so fast and quickly rearranged the table design so no on knew. Inside, I was mortified. On the outside, I was laughing.

There have also been instances where our set up time was shortened on the spot due to unforeseen circumstances. I've been known to run through hotel corridors with candy jars in hand and bride people with sweets in order to get a 3 hour setup done in an hour.

In the end, if you remain professional and resourceful, no one knows what the original plan was, only what you present! There’s a lot more that goes on from consultation to presentation than people think. A lot!

I am inspired by things around me...a pretty pattern may spark an entire party theme. What things inspire your sweet creativity? 
I love patterns and textures and often find inspiration through the fashion industry. Candy is naturally very colorful as well and with all the trending food creations, I am always finding new things I want to try.

I'm also a big movie buff. My husband and I don’t get out much so the few hours of quiet time consist of us watching our favorite shows or movies. It’s amazing what “brilliant theme ideas” I drum up while watching tv.

Do you have favorite blogs and/or websites you like to visit when you have a moment?
I have a HUGE list of blogs that I follow but rarely get a chance to go through all of them. Right now, I frequent Studio DIY, Oh Happy Day!, A Subtle Revelry, Decor8, Hollywood Housewife, Celebrations at Home, Pizzazzerie, HWTM, Paper and Cake and I love Anthropologie.

See! It’s so difficult to narrow it down. There are many, many more but it really depends on what I’m into on that particular day.

I love to ask everyone I interview: if you are stranded on a desert island and can take one item and one meal, what would they be?
My iPhone so I can look up survival techniques and phone a friend and chocolate. Chocolate is considered a meal, right?

Of course it is, Marie...

Follow Sweets Indeed on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Thanks so much for sharing a little of your sweet world with us!

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