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Four-year-old daughter of laid-off Toronto flight attendant blowing up on social media

It's impressive when you can get content to go viral on social media, but at just four years old it's even more sensational.

At that age, Ellis Tang is still catching up to her mom Joanna Lo's level of experience with 10 years of cake decorating under her belt.

It's always been a hustle on the side for her while she worked as a flight attendant, but when she had Ellis in 2017 and became a mom of two, cakes had to take a back seat.

Her busy life suddenly changed completely when she was laid off in March 2020.

"Daycares, even playrounds, were closed so Ellis was home with me. Without my job, I tried to restart my cake business again," Lo tells blogTO.

"Ellis saw me making cakes but she didn't understand why she can't eat it and why people come to pick up the cakes. She cried every time she saw a cake go. So I tried to incorporate her somehow, so that kept her busy while I can still make cakes."

She gave her daughter some fondant and tools, and Ellis would "practice" next to Joey while she made real cakes for customers.

"I taught her some simple techniques and she picked them up really fast. She was only three but her fine motor skills were really good. We were like coworkers," says Lo.

"The first time I recorded her making a cake and posted online was a birthday cake for her dad. It went viral on Tiktok. That's when I realized oh, people like to watch her make cakes, and she's pretty amazing for a three-year-old."

The level of enjoyment people were getting from watching Ellis inspired Joanna to learn more about making videos and social media.

"It was therapeutic for us, instead of having to come up with 20 toddler/preschooler activities every day during lockdowns, we made one cake," says Lo.

"From start to finish, it kept her engaged, it kept us happy, it gave me a purpose, she learned how to make cake art and I learned how to use social media...we kind of forgot that we're on lockdown."

Lo says she typically shows her daughter how to do certain techniques and she copies her step by step. Some of her especially impressive skills include crumbcoating a cake and making edible figures out of fondant, which can be hard for even adult bakers to master.

"People like to say she's gifted, artistic, a prodigy in cake art. My followers are mostly home bakers, professional bakers and moms," says Lo.

"Bakers usually say watching her make cakes bring them joy, I think it's because they are always making cakes for customers, they forget what it's like to make a cake as a creative outlet, and they see that in Ellis, making a cake for fun and enjoying the process."

By now, a mom and daughter Instagram account has over 155,000 followers, but Lo isn't considering monetizing her daughter's efforts.

"We are getting messages from people wanting to order a cake from Ellis," says Lo.

"They want to let her design it and make it however she wants and they want to pay her. It's very supportive of them but I haven't taken any orders and likely won't any time soon."

Lead photo by

Joanna Lo

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