ELLIS — When she was a teenager, her need for a creative outlet began, and it was during that time she truly recognized her desire to decorate.
But even before her teenage years, Linda Augustine, Ellis, was fascinated by a certain type of creativity.
“When I was a child and went to a wedding reception, I was just amazed at the wedding cake with all the decorations and frosting flowers on it,” Augustine said.
As a Grainfield High School student, she spent many hours of her time decorating cakes for friends and family.
“I started with a relative’s wedding cake, and then it just kind of grew from there,” Augustine said. “It was a small town. There were no bakeries or anything close by, so it was just an easier way for people to get something.”
Her creations started off as simple, friendly favors, but once word spread, friends slowly transitioned into customers.
“It kind of just went from a hobby to a job,” she said.
Roughly 37 years later, Augustine now decorates for her customers through her small business, Linda’s Country Creations.
The business features much more than cakes, however. Augustine now handles everything from linens to backdrops, and gossamer to centerpieces.
“I also go in and watch over the reception part of the wedding — everything from lighting candles to making sure snacks stay filled,” Augustine said.
Most of the preparation takes place in her kitchen, where she regularly keeps an array of baking ingredients on hand.
Edible glitter, pearls and beads are her usual choices for making cake designs pop.
“There’s just so many different things you can do, and I love working with the fondant,” she said.
In between busy wedding seasons, Augustine works part-time in the floral department at Dillons, 1902 Vine, Hays, and also at her daughter’s salon, Paradise Tanning and Cuts, 105 E. 27th, Hays.
But during many of the spring, summer and fall months, Augustine stays on the move in her own business, sometimes booking multiple weddings the same weekend.
“She has a good business,” said her husband, Mike Augustine. “She does a really good job.”
The couple reflected back to their 1981 wedding day, for which Augustine made the wedding cake and arranged the flowers.
“It’s quite a deal that she’s been doing this for such a long time,” Mike said.
Now, in addition to weddings, Augustine decorates for birthdays, showers, anniversaries, and other parties — fulfilling her need to be creative, while designing personal, one-of-a-kind products.
“It’s so neat when you get to just sit back and see everything set up the way it’s supposed to be,” she said. “I just love to see the finished product when I’m done.”
For more information, visit the Linda’s Country Creations Facebook page.