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Making It Work

Three local creatives share their passions

Article by Bree O'Brien

Photography by Courtesy of interviewees

Originally published in Kirkland Lifestyle

Kayla Heffner

Seatown Sweets

Some of my earliest memories from childhood are when I would bake with my grandmother at Christmas making frosted sugar cookies. These experiences sparked a love of baking. I learned how to bake on my own with cake mixes and recipe books and had fun experimenting with melting chocolate and molds as I got older.

After college, I rediscovered my passion for baking and pored over recipes on Pinterest, the source of some of my favorites even today. After years taking baking classes and testing recipes, I discovered I had a knack for buttercream and noticed that bakeries producing custom-made desserts are few and far between. Thus, Seatown Sweets was born.

Founded in 2017, Seatown Sweets specializes in hand-made and scratch-baked sugar cookies, buttercream cakes, cake pops, mini cheesecakes, cupcakes and other sweet treats that taste as good as they look. My favorite dessert to make are cupcakes. We bake for all occasions and celebrations.

As the bakery continues to grow, this year we are looking for a larger space for production with a storefront to showcase our creations.

Yong Cha

Pottery

A programmer and a potter. That’s how Yong Cha describes himself. When he and wife Eliza were living in New York, a group of acquaintances developed an interest in becoming “makers.” There was a pottery studio around the corner from Cha’s home called Mud, Sweat, and Tears that offered classes, and that’s where he got hooked. Adding to the fun, many of the teachers worked on Broadway and would belt out a tune in class. After moving to Kirkland in 2013, Cha found the Kirkland Arts Center and continued to take classes, honing his craft.

When asked what inspires him, Cha says, “I always want to go back to basics and use my hands to create a vessel that can hold liquid. I don’t use many tools. Throwing clay on a wheel and centering it is very meditative. There are times I’m almost in a trance, lifting the clay.” He also enjoys giving his creations as gifts.

In 2023, Cha plans to explore “moon jars and landscape and the body of clay where it’s not glazed.” His work can be found at the Bellevue Club, as well as his Instagram account @yongwon.cha

Jennifer Huffman

Sweet Serenity

Since it was founded six years ago, Sweet Serenity has seen an evolution. Originally conceived and launched as an online candle company, during the height of the pandemic it became an outdoor flower cart at Totem Lake Village, which gave rise to an indoor pop-up shop at the Village, and then a new storefront on Park Lane in downtown Kirkland last year. The storefront offers both custom-to-order and grab-and-go arrangements, while customers at the flower bar (cart) can select the blooms and foliage they like and Sweet Serenity staff will put it together.

Originally from Atlanta, Huffman began working with flowers in high school as a hobby. She describes her style as whimsical, “We’re not your traditional florist.” She counts roses, ranunculus, snapdragons, dahlias, and silver dollar eucalyptus among her favorites to work with.

In addition to arrangements and hand-poured candles (you pick the scent!), Sweet Serenity provides wreath-making and other classes with champagne and dessert. The downtown store can be rented out for private events like corporate team-building and even a wedding reception. We can’t wait to see what Sweet Serenity does in 2023!

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