Ann Pate opened her first interior design business nearly 40 years ago because she wanted to use her creative talents to help others create beautiful spaces. Originally from Henderson, KY, Ann opened for business there in 1979. In the late 1990s, Ann recognized a golden opportunity to expand into the Evansville market; founding SugarBakers Home Fashions on the city’s burgeoning east side.
Ann is an expert seamstress and one of very few in the Tri-State with the ability to create custom draperies. Her grandmother was also an excellent seamstress, and her father was very talented at creating custom draperies and reupholstering furniture. Hard work and experience along with natural talent serve as Ann’s résumé. “Even as a child, my creativity found its outlet in design. I was constantly arranging and rearranging my small bedroom,” Ann recalls fondly.
Kendi Speakes, the daughter of SugarBakers’ Owner Ann Pate, literally grew up in the interior design business. A lifetime resident of Henderson, KY, Kendi now spends her days managing SugarBakers in Evansville. “I love being able to work in the family business and contribute to my mom’s vision,” Kendi stated. Kendi holds a Bachelor of Science in Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles Degree from the University of Kentucky (UK). She also holds a Master of Business Administration with a focus on Marketing Degree from UK.
Servane Dicus originally came to the United States as an exchange student at Wabash County College in 1999. She moved to the U.S. permanently in 2005 and began working at SugarBakers in 2008. Originally from Thiviers, Aquitaine, France, Servane studied art at Ecole Pivaut in Nantes, France. She studied interior design at EDAI Interior Architecture and PCDI. Her background brings a special appreciation for architecture into each of her design projects. Her travels growing up also add to her unique style and perspective. Servane is a very talented artist and uses this talent to help her clients visualize and realize their dreams. This includes designing custom furniture pieces and conceptualizing tile work and built-in pieces to contractors.
Amber Clark grew up knowing Ann Pate and Kendi Speakes, the owners of SugarBakers. Now in her 13th year with the company, she is the assistant manager. However, jack-of-all-trades might be a better description of her true role. “In my position as Assistant Manager, I take care of a lot of things,” Amber said. Amber’s work ethic might only be overshadowed by her humility. She is “the glue”. The one who makes sure it gets done right and everything functions and goes smoothly for clients as well as team members. By assisting the designers and taking care of client needs and concerns, she makes sure the process goes off without a hitch.
Kaitlin Mansfield was born and raised in Evansville. She graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a Bachelor of Science degree in both Journalism and Public Relations/Advertising with a minor in Art. After graduation, she married Mitchell, who was in the Marine Corps and stationed in Kailua, Hawaii. While in Kailua, Kaitlin became a Visual Merchandiser with Macy’s Department Store. Several years later, they relocated to Virginia Beach, Virginia, and started a family. She also began a career working remotely as an Online Interior Designer. Upon returning to her hometown in 2018, Kaitlin accepted a designer position with SugarBakers.
“When I was younger, I always thought this would be a fun place to work. Now, here I am! I’m loving being a part of the SugarBaker’s team!” Kaitlin said, “I love helping clients find the perfect mix of furniture, upholstery, and textiles to make each space reflect their personality.”