Katashia DeWalt loves a challenge — almost as much as she loves cakes, cookies, cupcakes and confections.
Growing up, she was the only one in her family who didn’t bake. As an adult, that all changed. Not only did DeWalt challenge herself to learn the skill on her own, but she also turned it into a business. In 2012, DeWalt opened her custom-baked business, Delectably Naughty Sweets, with her best friend.
Before going into baking, DeWalt worked in banking. She shared with her co-workers her dream of a custom bakery business. They inspired her with ideas for custom-baked goods. When she lost her job, DeWalt took it as a sign that it was time to move forward with the business. She and her best friend set up DeWalt’s home in the Hobby Area District, just west of I-45 near Bellfort, as their bakery. It was a small operation to start.
“Then it blossomed into something bigger,” she said.
The business name, Delectably Naughty Sweets, came about because she initially focused on some provocative orders for bachelorette parties. Although she bakes for a wide range of events now, she’s kept the name. Her products, however, are anything but naughty. According to DeWalt, one of her best-selling items is a gift package of treats that includes candy apples, Rice Krispie treats, pretzel rods, and Oreo cookies.
After her friend and business partner passed away in 2019, DeWalt paid less attention to the business. But she came back strong in 2020, despite the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, her business thrived, making six times as much money in 2020 as she did in 2019.
“I guess my success at the beginning of the pandemic was because I was still out there, still available,” she said. “People didn’t go to the grocery store to get a cake made, but I was at home making sweets. The business has been growing ever since.”
DeWalt creates custom-baked goods for birthdays, bridal showers, baby showers, and other celebrations like graduations, which is one of her busiest seasons. She relies on Instagram and Facebook to showcase her products and word of mouth from past clients, friends, and family. She also works with a party planner.
Her confections are, by turns, sparkly, intricate, humorous, and heartfelt. For a baby shower for twin girls, she formed teddy bears with big pink bows made from Rice Krispie treats with Oreos and candy apple pieces. And for a seventh birthday party, she made cupcakes decorated with social media icons. But one of her favorites was for a graduation party where she created chocolate-covered Rice Krispie treats with vibrant basketball-themed decorations.