Gitu Mehra is a multifaceted TV news producer and the founder of Cake Play, a program that hosts cake decorating events and workshops.
Tracing her roots to Singapore, Gitu relocated to California soon after completing her education. Gitu’s active involvement in a melange of activities is impalpable. She’s part of an all-female barbershop organization called Sweet Adelines International. Her talent across media, while juggling the world of desserts and a host of other programs evokes a sense of inspiration for many.
In a conversation with us, Gitu talks about her career, hosting her much acclaimed events, and singing in a women’s barbershop chorus and quartet. She regales us with how she made the jump to host the Cake Play events, while jostling through the media industry.
“I’m a TV news producer by day, and I’ve been producing local news for over 15 years across several news companies. I’m currently based in LA and with the odd hours, the long weekends and sleepless nights, I made a personal decision that I didn’t want to do that anymore,” she tells us. “My priorities shifted and my situation changed. I have a very supportive partner who never stopped encouraging me to do what I was really passionate about,” she adds.
Learning to decorate cakes was an exciting task, an art she had learnt before she married. “When I had met my husband, there was a short period of time during which I was not employed due to visa restrictions. That was when I took up cake decorating. The classes taught me the basics and laid the foundation for my hobby!” Gitu says.
But the initial days were not the easiest. “It’s cake! It’s not something I could hang on my wall and show it to people. So initially, I kept asking people if they had any celebrations coming up or if their kids had any events, and pitched in to volunteer with cakes for some events,” she tells us.
“A few months later, my friends suggested that I delve into taking this up as a business. But as anyone in the food business will tell you, it’s real tough to crack it with the cut-throat competition and the red-tape,” Gitu says, highlighting the hassles that spring up with launching a full-fledged business.
This spurred the idea to launch workshops from her home, which enables her to market the event at her convenience. “There are many young people out there who are always looking to chase their creative ideas. They’re looking to get social and make fun memories!” she says, excited.
And Cake Play does just that!
Gitu truly believes that anyone can get artsy with their hands- especially on cakes! Her events help clients grab some fun time with their friends and family, while learning quick, easy steps to decorate cakes. Gitu’s workshops guarantee that anyone can bake and decorate a cake with oomph. She’s had clients who are as old as 75 and who’ve faced bouts of jittery, shaky hands and they’ve not let it hamper them.
During the holiday season, Rent the Runway approached Gitu to lead a workshop for their holiday. Gitu involved the participants in a cupcake demo that helped them learn everything from piping poinsettias to working on cake bouquets.
The going has taught Gitu what it has been to start a business, charting business plans, learning the many regulations and much more. The learning has not stopped and the process could pave out newer avenues and opportunities for Gitu.
When she’s not working on a deadline or hosting Cake Play events, she’s found singing with Santa Monica Chorus, or her barbershop quartet. Both are part of the Sweet Adelines, which is an is an organization of women actively engaged in the American folk art of Barbershop, and its traditional 4-part a capella harmony. A global movement, it’s been in the limelight a lot recently with newer chapters opening across various countries.
Gitu Mehra’s success story is a truly inspiring one for those of us looking to carve a niche for ourselves with our multifarious hobbies and interests. To more wonderful cakes, bakes and events, we wish her the very best of what is to come.