• April 2013

D'Ellizia: Making the World Sweeter, One Cake at a Time

By Marga Fripp
Empowered Women International

Here at EWI, we know these women can and will succeed. Each year, we work with dozens of budding entrepreneurs who have a great idea, and the ambition to turn it into a successful business.

Below, you’ll find an inspirational story written by Jeremy Brandt-Vorel, an EWI volunteer, about Elda Larue and Lyzbeth Monard. These graduates of Empowered Women International’s Entrepreneur Training for Success program are the creators of delicious cake pops that have become a birthday party staple.

We’re so excited to have them be part of EWI community, and we look forward to watching them grow and prosper.

The Sweetest Women in the World

By Jeremy Brandt-Vorel
EWI Volunteer

Imagine a world in which baked goods are currency. Where, instead of bank vaults, there are bank ovens. Wallets are replaced by Tupperware. In this world, Elda Larue and Lyzbeth Monard are queens; the richest women in the world.

But meantime, these two women micro-entrepreneurs (pictured above), graduates of Empowered Women International’s Entrepreneur Training for Success program have to make do with their delicious cake pops.

The story of Larue and Monard’s baked goods begins in Latin America.

Monard grew up in Peru and attributes her culinary skills to her mother. She recalls the parties her mother would prepare, with sandwiches, appetizers, drinks, desserts, candy, cake, and more. Similarly, Larue remembers her childhood in Mexico, where her mother put out lovely displays for each party.

Once they came to the United States, the women started families of their own, and soon they were planning birthday parties for their own sons and daughters. The two recall having to buy different cakes for different children, and often feeling the homogenous selection of cakes was sub-par. Larue and Monard became disappointed in American birthday-party culture, noticing a lack of birthday-party preparations, and mothers who were too busy to properly host each event.

Then business inspiration struck: They decided to cater birthdays, to provide a service that they felt is too often overlooked.

Larue and Monard began by practicing, researching, and creating beautiful cakes and baked goods for their friends and family.

The two stirred up “magic” in each of their cakes, and soon, the culinary duo was ready to act on the suggestions of their loved ones, and begin a business of their own.

Luckily, Monard had a friend in the entrepreneurship program at EWI. They saw the friend’s business grow with the help of EWI, and aspired to find the same success. Larue and Monard joined EWI’s Entrepreneur Training for Success to gain a better understanding of the market and how to sell.

“Every time we did a cake and delivered a product, it [was] so much fun to see their faces, the reaction in people. It is really like, ‘Hey we did something good!’ and it makes us feel good inside. If we can achieve that every single time and go bigger, I think that would be wonderful—it helps us inside, and it helps us monetarily, it’s like the whole package,” say Larue and Monard.

Check out their amazing cakes and invite them to cater your next birthday, anniversary or special event at www.facebook.com/DEllizia.

Read more about Larue and Monard here.

About Empowered Women International

Empowered Women International is an award-winning nonprofit organization that channels the entrepreneurial drive and creative talents of high-potential immigrant, refugee, and low-income women in the Greater Washington DC Metro Area into micro-businesses that create jobs, provide sustainable incomes, and allow them to integrate into the community and pursue the American Dream.

We offer a holistic model of empowerment and use the power of the arts to bring people together, empower women, and build multicultural understanding. Art has exceptional storytelling and healing qualities and transcends language, cultural, and economic barriers.

Economic and self-empowerment are powerful tools to liberate and transform each woman, so she can achieve independence and self-sufficiency. EWI’s strategy is to empower the whole woman, not only teaching her the skills she needs to launch and grow a business, but using peer-to-peer relationships, a mentor family and a network of support that helps women build confidence, connect in the community, and recognize their power as changemakers.

Check out our monthly series of women entrepreneurs who are not afraid to dream big, embrace chance, and overcome adversity. If you know someone who can benefit from our services, send her our way. To reach me, email Marga C. Fripp, EWI founder and president at margacfripp@ewint.org.