Cake Ladies

Kim's profile pic on the stairs of the school featured in Ferris Bueller's Day Off

If you don’t recognize these stairs, here’s your hint: “Do you have a kiss for Daddy?”

Hello there, comrades! I’m Kim Place-Gateau, a writer, artist, & small business wrangler.

A wee bit about me: I was 16 when I took a job at Bob’s Big Boy, where I spent my Sunday mornings replenishing the brunch buffet and learning far more about human nature than I’d bargained for. After my escape, I spent a couple of years of working at a record store (remember those?) where I decided that dealing with the public really ought to involve the possibility of tipping.

I somehow lucked into the best job in my wee college town, working at a popular, crunchy, crowded and all-around fabulous little restaurant called Sammy T’s. Waitressing paid my tuition in college, taught me everything I know about teamwork and dedication, and provided me with lifelong friendships with the best people ever.

I delayed my post-college entry into adulthood by fleeing to Europe and, eventually, grad school in Edinburgh, Scotland. After an amazing couple of years of serving (and drinking) lots of beer at the Old Bell Inn and cranking out academic writing, I retuned to the US no better equipped for life in a cubicle. A few years’ work as a youth counselor, mentor and tutor didn’t shake the food business from my DNA, so I opened my first business in 1998—a restaurant, bar and live music venue called Orbit’s Downtown Eatery.* I opened a storefront catering shop and deli called green Goods Company in 2003. In 2005, I left all that behind and took off for my home state of California with my husband, Jamie, for the first of our many grand adventures. Since then, we’ve lived and traveled all over Europe and the US.

Since then, my career has been as varied as our many locations: I’ve helped clients through the estate planning process, created workshops and tutorials, written grant proposals, developed a training curriculum for aspiring food truckers, and have done all manner of freelance writing—web content, magazine articles, publicity materials and employee manuals.

I spent my undergraduate and post-graduate money and attention on criminology and law. More recently, I’ve earned an MFA in creative writing. I’m a utility player, too: I’m qualified to teach English as a foreign language and I have a paralegal certificate. This year I’ll begin my coach training at the Coaches Training Institute

I live, work and run a tiny dog leash and collar business in Alexandria, Virginia. 

* Orbit’s really is supposed to be possessive—just so you don’t think I can’t use punctuation properly. It’s a long story, and if you hang around here long enough, you’ll surely hear it. 

purple selfie


Positivity Specialist, Change-Maker, Artist, Explorer, Art Therapist, Public Speaker, Workshop Giver, Runner, and Unicorn Lover.

Jennifer does what she does because someone told her she couldn’t.  Actually, a great number of people told her she couldn’t.  After living up and down the east coast as a Navy brat Jennifer ended up in a great little town in Virginia.  She worked a few awesome jobs in the service industry (she may or may not have met Kim at the best little place downtown where she called Kim “bosslady”) with a little non-profit action sprinkled in. And then she decided to go back to school.

A Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art and a Master’s Degree in Art Therapy and Counseling later Jennifer has realized lifelong learning, teaching, and sharing is where it’s at for her.  Cultivating creativity has become a passion fueled by hosting self-care workshops, ongoing public art making, sharing, and community building wherever she is.

Jennifer works as an art therapist by day and is a crazy dog and cat lady with a kick-ass husband by night.

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