Some people look at social media to just read the latest bit of gossip. Some folks look at recipes and photos of family. Still others use social media to keep in touch with childhood or college friends.
And then there’s Robert Lucas.
Lucas was scrolling on social media one day, he says, and he saw a picture of a cake. He immediately decided that he could recreate it, thinking that it would be something he’d enjoy and something that would fill some of his spare time.
And thus began Sweet Impact Desserts. Lucas created his very first cake in June 2019.
A native of Newington, Georgia, Lucas now lives in Statesboro. He came to the Boro to attend Georgia Southern University, where he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology with a specialization in Networking. He now works for Bulloch Solutions and is the sales and marketing coordinator.
Lucas says he chose his college major because he had always had an interest in anything that was technology related.
“I liked to take things apart as a child, just to see how it worked,” he said, adding that he chose GSU because “It is really a great school here in southern Georgia, and it was not too far from home, so that was a bonus.”
Lucas bakes his cakes from scratch, and says his ideas for the decoration are original, or in keeping with baking trends.
“But I put my own spin to it,” he said.
He doesn’t sell his cakes, but instead gives them to family, friends or coworkers.
As he has continued to develop his new hobby, Lucas says his skills are ever growing and evolving.
“I believe my greatest skill is my creativity. I like to push myself and create designs that are interesting to look at,” he said. “I’m still growing with my airbrushing skills. An airbrush can really elevate any cake design when used effectively.”
Despite being known for cakes, Lucas says his favorite thing to bake is cookies, and he enjoys coming up with new flavor combinations.
Lucas says out of all the cakes he’s created, his favorite is one he created to look like the Michael Jordan shoe.
“It took the longest to make out of any other, but the details came out so great and looked very realistic,” he said.
Clean design is always a priority for Lucas, and he says he keeps his cakes simply decorated, but stylized artistically.
“I try to be as creative as possible,” he said. His inspirations come from what he sees and reads about online, but he says since he’s so new to the culinary world, he hasn’t had the time to find another baker who would inspire or mentor him.
“But I’m sure that will happen,” he said.
Lucas has become known far beyond Statesboro for his baking thanks to TikTok. He has more than a million followers on the app, where he posts videos of his cake decorating. He says his favorite part of baking is the decorating, so that’s what he chooses to showcase, helping people to see how much goes into the final product.
For the videos he sets up lighting to match the theme of the cake he’s making, and produces the videos himself. He sets the camera up on a tripod and edits it on his computer.
Amassing 1.1 million followers on TikTok was not something that Lucas expected, and it happened quickly.
“It feels amazing to know that so many people like the content that I create,” he said.
Being on TikTok, Lucas says, has done a lot for his confidence.
“I enjoy what I do, but seeing the many nice comments keeps me going and pushes me to create even more,” he said.
Lucas was named to the inaugural class of TikTok for Black Creatives. He says it was exciting to know that TikTok believes in his content and “chose to help me improve what I was doing even more.”
Lucas says that it is important, considering the national headlines and current climate of the country, that his presence on the social media site be something that promotes positivity and creativity.
“It is not often that I see a Black man as a pastry chef or create designed sweets in the media, so it is exciting to know that I am able to fill that void,” he said. “I have been messaged many times about how I am inspiring others, and that is amazing.”
Lucas is well aware that his platform is one that affords him the opportunity to be someone that other young people can look up to. He has a bit of advice for others seeking to follow their dreams.
“Do whatever it is that you have a passion for. You never know who you could inspire or what you can accomplish,” he said. “Your dream may seem out of reach for others, but that does not mean you will never reach it.”
You can find Lucas and Sweet Impact Desserts on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, and view his videos on TikTok, @thesweetimpact. You can find more information at www.thesweetimpact.com.