Before talking to Lais Marcolongo (30 years old) I’ve seen her cakes on Instagram and said Wow – they simply look amazing. A lot of people make cakes – but what she’s doing is much more, is real work of art with sweet ingredients. Cakes for special occasions, from birthdays to big weddings, are made with passion, attention to every detail and a lot of love in her workshop from Alesund, Norway. Seeing what she’s doing, you can assume it’s her job for many, many years – but it’s not. She comes from Brazil, where she lived in Sao Paolo, the 5-th biggest city in the world. She graduated in Physics, was an English, Physics and Mathematics teacher, and came to Norway 4 years ago, following the love of her life. And restarted her life completely, from scratch. In a small, charming norwegian town she simply reinvented herself professionally, grew up step by step, one happy client after another. Today, four years after, Norway is a beloved home, a place where dreams come true.
For Lais, moving to Norway was not initially a plan. Her boyfriend at that time came here for a masters program, and they tried to have a distance relation – but it was way too hard. So they got married soon after, and in April 2015 she moved from Brazil to Norway, in Alesund, a charming small town in the northern part of the region known as Fjord Norway.
Something to connect, made with love
It was a huge change from all points of view. She was living in Sao Paolo, the 5-th biggest city in the world. She graduated in Physics and was an English, Physics and Mathematics teacher in Brazil. “After I moved I kept some of my English students through Skype, then I started missing something that would connect me to where I was, to the city”, Lais says.
She worked three months as a waitress in a restaurant, but she wasn’t happy. “That made me think about doing something I like, something that makes me feel I belong here”, she says. And she just gave a chance to an old passion, and started making cakes. Asked her neighbors if they thought it would work – and they supported and encouraged her.
In September 2017, the sweet world, Sukker på Toppen, was officially open.
Sweet works of art
Two years after, Lais is happy every day with her choice. She built everything from scratch – with passion, attention to details and a lot of love. A lot of people make cakes – but what she’s doing is much more, is real work of art with sweet ingredients.
Her small business grew up step by step, one happy client after another. Online promoting was very helpful. Clients come from Alesund and surroundings – there were wedding cakes transported for 4 hours, for instance.
“My favorite part is to decorate the cake, and I’m always very excited to see how the clients react. A child asked me – is that cake?” she remembers, laughing. “This is the most beautiful cake I’ve ever seen” it’s another thing frequently heard from clients – no wonder why.
Today, after more than four years in Norway, Lais truly feels here like home. “I was lucky, I didn’t feel any hard time because of the change. I came here very open to any changes that it would bring. Norway fitted me as a glove, I love the weather, the food and I learnt to love the people here – they are very concerned about the others and not only themselves. It’s a place that supports my idea in a way I simply love.
It’s not where we are born that defines us, we are global citizens, we have the freedom to choose where to stay, where it’s better to us”, she says.
Happy and grateful
Looking from the outside, what she did might sound easy for some people. Of course it wasn’t, challenges come all the time. To open a business in Norwegian was one of them. Dealing with taxes, accountancy, was another – the biggest, maybe. “There are terms I’m not familiar with even in my own language, this was one of the most challenging parts”, she says. She attended an accountancy course in Oslo and does everything by herself, including this part.
It’s a lot of work, a little overwhelming sometimes, but she is very lucky to do it with love. “I wanted to create something, not to follow patterns. I’m really grateful to having gone that far, to pushing my limits every day. It worthed”, she says.
You can find out more about Lais on her website, HERE
PHOTOS FROM PERSONAL ARCHIVE
Do you know a very special person? Someone who has followed his dream, built it piece by piece, with passion, energy and lot of soul? An usual, simple person who did something in life, who you can identify with, who can be, for others, a source of inspiration? Tell me about that person and let’s tell the others his/her beautiful story. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org, here, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.