The only comparison to the excitement I felt on my way to meet Amy Atlas would have to be the feeling that a young child experiences when they go to Disney World and meet Mickey Mouse for the first time. As a true innovator and one of the leaders in the craft/party/sweet styling space, I didn’t know what to expect when I met Amy. After all, it isn’t everyday that you meet someone who truly inspires you.

Amy was as down to earth as can be, and really took the time to talk with every person who was there to meet her. She broke the details down of a sweets design so it didn’t seem so overwhelming and provided insight into some of the things that inspire her work. She literally laid everything out there on the table, with the goal of teaching others how to create a masterpiece with each party they throw.

Here’s a little about what I learned during my afternoon with Amy:

Why did you write this book?

Plain and simple, desserts weren’t being given the attention they needed. When planning a party everyone seems to focus on the menu, the decor, the table linens, etc. and the desserts tend to get overlooked. Now the popularity for beautifully designed sweets tables is growing, and I know that I can’t create one for everyone, so I wanted to write a book with behind the scenes details, crafts, recipes and insider tips on how to create an amazing dessert table for any occasion.

What inspires you?

Colors, patterns, flavors, a destination, holiday or even something as simple as my husband’s neck ties (which were incorporated into my perfectly preppy table). In fact when I walked into Williams Sonoma today, I spotted a dish towel with a beautiful pattern that I would use crisscrossed as a table runner for a Moroccan themed sweets table.  I am constantly on the lookout for inspiration and challenge myself to find ways to turn it into a dessert table. I love browsing specialty shops, fabric stores and window displays in NYC (especially during the holiday season!) Whatever your inspiration, look for patterns and colors that fit your event. I tend to think that less is more when selecting a color pallet. A refined color palette provides a cohesive look that allows the eye to focus on the little details of the dessert table.

How many elements per table?

This varies by occasion, what else is being served and what type of crowd will be attending the event. I would say at least six to eight items on the table to make it look plentiful, but keep in mind not all of these items have to be dessert. The table can be filled with fruit, favors, beverages or other props to make the design look appealing to the eye. For smaller events, I would use a smaller table and more props. Just be sure to use varying levels in your display. Nothing is less appealing than a table that is completely flat. The eye needs somewhere to focus.

For those of you who won’t have the opportunity to meet Amy Atlas in person, I encourage you to pick up a copy of her book, Sweet Designs: Craft it. Bake it. Style it. Whether a novice or a pro, Amy’s book shows readers (with varying levels of crafting and baking skills) how to create fabulous sweets tables for adults and kids, combining easy recipes, dressed-up store treats and craft ideas to make dessert a grand finale to any gathering.

If there’s one big piece of advice I walked away with from my afternoon with Amy Atlas, it was to “look everywhere for inspiration” which I intend to take with me as I establish my new brand, One Stylish Party.