Charmaine & Mdm. Josephine: Embracing their true self

Charmaine & Mdm. Josephine: Embracing their true self

Cake bakers make the world smell better! The cake artist, Charmaine, also known as Charmwasabi, uses her creativity to treat the world with her aesthetic yet tasty cake pieces to bring a smile and sweetness to everyone's face.

During our short interview, Charmaine shared the story about how she leverage on the pandemic situation into a turning point in her life. Charmaine's mother, Mdm. Josephine has always been a supporting pillar throughout her whole cake journey.

The enemy of art is the absence of limitation. As we get to know them, we find out that Charmaine's mom clearly knows how to embrace her daughter's characteristics and art style, and support unconditionally with anything she does. We encourage you to read on as they prove that embracing one's self is the only right way to love each other.

Tell us more about yourself and your mom.
J: My name is Josephine, Charmaine's mother. I was actually in the corporate line working in an office as a secretary but I retired before the pandemic started. I'm helping my daughter with her cake business now.

C: I'm a self-taught baker. I own "linlin_cake" and I am currently doing this full-time. I enjoy the creative process of the cakes I made and I would love to call myself a cake artist instead of a cake baker.

What is one positive and one negative thing about each other?
J: My daughter is a little bit unorganized as I emphasize tidiness. I remind her to always maintain the neatness of her room and for the cake business as well. The positive would be that I am very proud of her. She is very talented and she does her work with passion.

C: Before I answer the questions, let me just counter back what my mom said. She said I was being very messy.  Which artists are not messy! If you're not messy, you are not an artist. Haha! Anyway, we are organized in our minds, especially when it comes to our creation.

My mom is very particular about cleanliness and tidiness. We are totally opposite when it's come to work and that is why we sometimes clash. I always thought she resemble closely to the cute vacuum cleaner from Teletubbies that cleans up every dirty spot in seconds!  This may come off as a negative trait, however I am very thankful that I have my mom because she is there to make sure our workspace is constantly clean and tidy when baking.

What is the story behind the picture you just recreated?
C: It is from my first birthday. Honestly, I do not remember the situation as I was just still a toddler. I only remember that the first birthday cake I had was a Garfield cake with a big letter "1" on it. 

J: My husband and I decided to have a grand first birthday party for her. I invited all our neighbors, friends, and colleagues to celebrate together. She may be too young to understand what was happening but I can feel her happiness radiating through her expression when everyone was gathered.

C: Yeah! I realized that I always smile in my old photos.

Transitioning from working in fashion & retail to baking, how did you decide to bake full time? Will you expand the family business or explore other fields in the future?
After working for 3 years in corporate, I wanted to further explore my capabilities therefore I decided to try new things on my own such as video productions, fashion styling and started a clothing customization brand leading up to LinLin Cake.

Baking has been a hobby since I was a kid and it never cross my mind to do this as a business until one day during the pandemic lockdown, I've decided to have a little fun and make cakes.

I had posted up my creations on my social media platform and received reviews that i should try selling them which I thought wasn't a bad idea as I was on the outlook for opportunities.

By combining my last name “Lin” and “cake”, I came up with “linlin_cake” as my new page’s name because I thought it was pretty cute and catchy. LinLin Cake started off with bento and mini 4 inch cakes which captured a lot of people’s attention!

It was really difficult in the beginning because I was handling all orders alone but I started to get a hang of it when my parents got involved which now ventured into a small family business.

We are still baking from home for now but I am planning to find a studio due to the limitation of space. I’m also planning to start hiring workers to expand the team soon too. More updates about this will be up on LinLin Cake Instagram in the near future. Stay tune!

You achieved a powerlifter world record in 2017? As it's different from the cute colorful aesthetic in your cakes, fashion, and makeup, how did you get into powerlifting? What motivates and inspires you to achieve your goals?
Yes, I did. I have always been an active kid. Powerlifting started when I joined my sister for a Saturday strength and conditioning class. I joined powerlifting competitions just to have some fun and the record I achieved was totally unexpected. To be fair, powerlifting was not so popular among girls back then therefore I was able to achieve a records at that time.

The friendship bond is what made me goes back to the gym all the time. Meanwhile, I love to keep myself active to stay healthy 😉

“I will eventually support anything she desires.”

(To Mdm. Josephine) What do you think about your daughter who is cute and also a weightlifting beast? How did you start to embrace her for who she is?
I do not restrict her. I will always support her as long as she is safe and careful, especially when lifting heavy weights.

Yes, she's a very cute girl. She has always liked to dress up since she was young. We buy Barbie dolls for her those days and she loves dressing them up. We found out that she has the potential when it comes to being creative therefore we decided to send her to art class and it was no regrets because she excels!

As a mother, I always encourage her to excel. My husband and I always encourage and give her the best advise to overcome any problems. We want her to know that we are always there to back her up and she's not alone. 

As a family, we usually close an eye and embrace the good and bad sides of our family members. As your mom embraced who you are, what is something bad that you could accept from your mom? (e.g., nagging, meticulous...etc.)
Despite being very particular about tidiness, our family appreciates her for who she is . As a young adult, I tend to handle things at a very fast pace and if my parents are unable to keep up, I would choose to be patient and embrace their age. 

What advice would you give to parents or youth on how to strengthen bonds between mother and child?
C: As I grow into adulthood, I came to realize like not all families are made equal. Therefore, I really love my family and I appreciate them.

My suggestion would be to learn to appreciate and to accept the way that your parents love you. Getting to understand from the parents’ point of view is very essential as well. It is never too late to love yourself, love your parents and then love everyone.

How does your mother influence your inner or outer beauty?
I am not sure if “influence” will be the word but I think “by blood” would fit better in this scenario.

Looking back at my parents old photos, I came to realize that my parents used to also dress up when they were my age. I love my mom’s style when she was younger and I believe I could pull it off too!



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