When the Depressed Cake Shop, the brainchild of Emma Thomas, a U.K. p.r. guru, first popped up in 2013 one of the artists that not only inspired the effort, but created many of the eye popping confections that put the project on the map was Miss Insomnia Tulip, aka Lou Lou P's Delights.
When asked about her involvement back in 2013 by Eleanor Capaldi Lou said "I don't have the confidence to stage the pop-up shops. I have bipolar and regularly experience problems leaving the house. My contribution to the Depressed Cake Shop is through baking one-off pieces, these I disseminate over social media."
Capaldi continued, "For Lou and the other Depressed Cake Shop bakers, cake isn't just a sugary food item, it's a therapeutic outlet and a way to talk about the mental health issues often overlooked by society."
Well, things can change a lot in four years. I reached out to Lou yesterday to tell her we were updating this article and I reminded her of her quotes. I asked her if she would like to talk about the years since that first DCS, and if anything had changed. We were Facebook messaging and those little bubbles kept popping up.
I waited nervously. I love my brilliant, talented and funny Lou and I wondered how she would feel being reminded of her feelings four long years ago. Finally, she answered "Truth be known I have come so far too.. seeing that about not leaving the house really just brought it home. Strange you never really feel like you are getting anywhere until you look back. I'll have something to you first thing."
As I sat at my computer I thought about how I joined Lou and her mother last year as Lou got up on a stage in front of hundreds of people at Cake International and demonstrated her magical unicorn macaron. I thought about the stunning Depressed Cake Shop she and Annabel de Vetten (aka Conjurer's Kitchen) popped up in Birmingham last year.
This morning I woke up to this from Lou, "In recent months I have been unable to devote as much time as I would like to Depressed Cake Shop. In this regard the project has become a victim of its own success. Finding this refuge, this safe area of expression, has enabled me to externalize my insecurities and doubts in a way that no other therapy to date could. Finding and sharing with others my inner most demons has proved that everyone has their demons and together can can muddle through to find answers, or at least further questions to ask. I still have up days and down days, but now I know I can thrive, and I know what to thank for that: Depressed Cake Shop."
So, in the second of a series that is running in celebration of DCS pop ups this fall, 7 amazing creations by our beloved Lou. And, be sure to visit her Facebook page for more of her brilliant work.
1) Stick & Stones Candy Jars
Sticks and stones can break my bones but in less than 140 characters you could kill me.. DON't BE A CYBER BULLY
2) DCS Tin
Lou made these to celebrate DCS's nomination for a BBC "All in the Mind Award"
Tiny kitty Anti-de'purr'essant Butter Shortbread Cookies. Take as and when needed ;)
4) Anxiety Blob Macarons
Homage to our collaboration plush doll with Sweatpants & Coffee. Our cuddly plush buddies will be back in store this holiday season.
Limoncello Cream Positiveroles with grey chocolate, sour rainbow chews and caramel.
6) DCS Anxious Oreos
Notice the custom DCS mold?
7) Mercurial Macarons
Handpainted Strawberry Milkshake Macarons