The smell of sweet frosting on freshly baked bread and charming decoration everywhere around attract passersby to a small cupcake shop located at Itaewon. Inside, people are enjoying their delicious cupcakes with a cup of coffee and having a great time chatting with friends. Lee Saem (Business Administration, ’05), the owner of the shop ‘Life is just a cup of cake’, greets her customers with a big friendly smile and continues to make the tasty treats.
Having worked at the sports marketing area of Cheil Worldwide Inc., one of the most famous advertising companies in , Lee was not satisfied to her routine life and was eager to try out something new that could bring her true happiness.
“I wanted to do something that expressed my own voice and made me feel that I am creating something of my own. Belonging to an enormous organization such as a company did not make me feel that I was being myself,” said Lee.
With positive energy and courage, Lee quit her job and started her own business at 2008 by opening ‘Life is just a cup of cake’, the first cupcake shop in . Lee’s decision of opening a cupcake shop was inspired by her hobby of making cakes. Baking cupcakes surely was something she could always do with fun.
“I first thought that I would have more free time for myself after quitting my job. But reality was the opposite because my cupcake shop fortunately appealed to many customers and became famous through internet blogs and hearsays,” said Lee.
At that time, the popularity of baking cupcakes surging from
When asked the difference of ‘Life is just a cup of cake’ from other cupcake shops, Lee said that she uses healthier and more natural ingredients for her cupcakes even though this might bring her less financial benefits. Her simple-looking yet organic cupcakes seem to entice many people and make them come back to the shop. This was also the reason for Lee’s decision to decline the suggestion of selling her cupcakes in department stores. Lee did not want her cupcakes to be made with unhealthy flour in factories because in that way her cupcakes would lose their values.
“Instead of selling my cupcakes in department stores, I gave out lectures to those who were curious of the cupcake recipes. Some people who attended my lectures actually opened their own cupcake shops later,” said Lee.
Last year, Lee also wrote the book Cupcake, My Sweet Life, which contains various cupcake recipes and stories about the events that happened while opening her own cupcake shop. Lee always wanted to try something new and writing a book about her own life was one of it. The book, available at every bookstore, became the best instruction for readers interested in cupcakes or even managing their own businesses.
Other than publishing a book, Lee is always ready to do something new that can make her feel happy.
“Because I am very much interested in the environment, I look forward to trying out something related to improving fair trade or organic food later when I have the opportunity,” said ‘Lee.
Just like the name of the cupcake shop, Lee believes that life should always be as sweet and delightful as a cupcake. Life can sometimes be hard, but when with a tasty cupcake, people can forget about the worries in life and be happy for that moment.
“Life is full of opportunities. Instead of heading toward the same fixed goal, trying out new things that one really wants to do and having positive minds can make life easier and happier,” said Lee.