The next time you need to decorate your tree because world leaders are coming over for Christmas dinner, you should call Kodi Malott.
Malott, of Kodi's Cakes in Kansas City, Kansas, was recently asked to create a series of cookie ornaments for the Christmas tree at the Blair House -- the President's guest house, across the street from the White House. It's where foreign heads of state stay while they're visiting and this month, they'll see Malott's creations.
"It's exciting to think that something I made is going to hang from a
Christmas tree and be seen by all of these world leaders and potentially President Obama," says Malott.
So, how does a baker from Kansas City, Kansas, end up getting a contract for a high-profile display in Washington D.C.?
Topeka's Mother Earth News was participating in a Magazine Holiday Design Showcase at the Blair House, and an old friend of Malott's at the magazine brought her on board.
She ended up making more than 100 cookie ornaments, using world flags and paint to decorate them. But because they needed to last throughout the month, they are non-edible -- essentially sugar cookies without the sugar.
"It ended up being more of a craft project," says Malott.
"Baking was always a hobby and now it's a side business. I'm hoping it can be a full-time career at one point," says Malott.
For now, she bakes at night after her day job in sales and marketing for a local publishing firm. In addition to wedding cakes, she's started making sculpture cakes for themed parties.
The slew of cake-baking reality shows is her televised classroom. Malott breaks down episodes like sports color commentators, rewinding and replaying in slow-motion to learn new techniques or glean ideas from professional cake bakers.
She's booked for the holidays, but says she is usually about two weeks out on orders.
"I'm always willing to bake for world leaders," she says, "but I'm also just excited to make the next cake."
Editor's note: Some content has been corrected since this post was originally published.