my story

My name is Donna-Marie Lee and I am the owner of Forever After Cakes.  I have been married to my husband, Robin since 1983.  Together we have three children, Alan, Belinda and Christine, a son in law, Matt and two adorable grandsons, Jesse and Jennings.  


I was born and grew up in Africa.  My mother was American and my father, was the child of missionaries with the church of Christ to Africa from New Zealand. They moved to Africa in 1902.  Before I was born, my father was killed in a bush car accident on a Sunday afternoon on his way to go preach.  My mother remarried another missionary, from Oklahoma.  We moved to America when I was 17 and I attended Abilene Christian University.  As a child, If I wasn’t in the kitchen with my mother helping with whatever she was doing or sitting beside her sewing, I would be in my room sewing, drawing or working with scissors, paper and glue.  My parents were missionaries too, so resourcefulness and creativity was a must. Much of the time, in a more remote area, if you wanted something, you made it,  with whatever you had around the house, be it toy kitchen appliances, a new skirt, bedroom curtains. Now when I'm working on an unusual design for a cake you could find me searching the house for an object to use in a new and unexpected way like the time I discovered that a wire locker shelf makes a great rack to hang fondant flowers to dry! I did not grow up in a hut though.  England and Europe heavily influenced the part of Africa that we were in. So amidst all the wild, beauty and rustic surroundings there was refinement and culture. 

Tea with a Mongoose

One of my fondest memories is sitting in a large round pavilion in Kruger National Park in South Africa.  To smell the thatch and wood, while looking out on the African bush, listening to its music while drinking tea from china on crisp, white table linens is pure bliss! Even the animals were influenced.  If you left a little tea in the bottom of your cup, a little mongoose would come by and finish it for you!  How rediculously lucky I was to get to grow up there!  My husband and I also spent a year in Holland and two years in Germany with his business.  I have a life of rich experiences that I bring into my work. I also give God the glory for my talents and I am eternally grateful for all the opportunities He and my parents blessed me with while I was growing up.  I also would not be where I am today without the encouragement of friends and family and most of all, my sweet husband.


Working with my hands and being artistic are things I have always loved since I was a little girl. Now it seems that Robin and I constantly have home improvement projects going on such as refinishing a peice of furniture or painting part of the house.  


I used to own the drapery workroom business, Nest Feathers.  Decorating a cake and decorating a room draw from similar skill sets and interests.  Icing a cake is rather like spackling a wall, and I love doing that!  (It's just grownup playing in the mud!) Draping thinly rolled fondant into swags draws on my experience with working with fabric.  Tinting icing to just the right color is like mixing paint.  I am always passionate about what I do, and I love trying new things and experimenting with new techniques.