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On Location with Martine Cajas

image via Susquehanna Style

Martine Cajas immediately struck me as an innovator, someone who saw the flaws in his chosen industries and has worked to make himself into a problem solver and Lancaster-based influencer. Many Lancastrians have tapped into his talent but even those who may seem immune have absorbed local wedding images that would not have happened without Martine's influence. As the editor-in-chief of Dream Weddings magazine and owner of the Dream Weddings semi-annual episode airing, Cajas controls what people think of weddings in Central Pennsylvania.

You may get a cringe out of Martine, though, when you mention this because PA weddings tend to have a dated and rustic burlap, mason jar theme but trust me it goes way beyond the stereotypes. Martine works to expand couples horizons and allows them to dream bigger through his cake design and creative work on the magazine and show.

I met Martine on location at Weaber Lumber as he prepared for and executed his

quarterly stylised shoot for Dream Weddings. His work ethic and focus drew me in and also lead me to reach out to him for a full interview after the shoot. Martine has so much to share and to give so what follows is simply my most favorite parts of what makes Martine who he is and why he is so important to Lancaster, BE INSPIRED!

Martine came to Pennsylanvia from Peru with his parents who wished that he could have a better life. In turn, Martine didn't want them to have to work horrible hours in factories their whole lives to support him. This sense of drive and wider purpose accelerated Martine into the role of entrepeneur and apprentice by 2004 when the owner of House of Clarendon began training him to be able to buy the bakery in 2008. Martine already had plenty of work experience through working at his Uncle's restaurant, El Serrano (I wish my family was that cool).

Anyone who spends even a minute with Martine will easily understand why then in 2011 he got tired of simply designing cakes for weddings he didn't plan, and decided to gather up all the wedding vendors he knew and started his own franchise. Although Martine's drive clearly sets him apart, his ability to manage a creative business while also operating all the pieces, including finance, is an immeasurable resource to his entire team.

Martine uses prayer and his everyday routine to help him stay grounded and relatively stress-free in his deadline oriented life. He yearns to understand others points-of-view in an attempt to also rid his life of unneccesary drama or misunderstanding (I think we can all take a page out of his book on this one). Most importantly, Martine does not have icons. Rather than idolize, he looks to see the better traits in everyone and pull something from each person in his life.

In a moment of more personal questioning, Martine said, “In my world, I am not gonna get married so I live vicariously (through my work)."

I'm not going to lie, this line struck me. Martine, this insanely handsome, talented, and charismatic man isn't planning on finding a lifelong partner but the more I

via @martinecajas on instagram

thought about it the more I felt I was looking in a mirror. Martine is a workaholic and really only has time for his family and friends outside of his work. When you see how amazing his work is and how small his team at the magazine is - five, including him - this makes a little more sense.

As is written in his nature, Martine will also probably cringe at me saying workaholic so let me rephrase. Martine is passionate; Martine is fiery, in the best way possible, and Martine wants to get as much out of his life as possible. Passion drives him and is why he finds himself working so hard if only to reach his lofty goals. When asked for advice to a younger generation he delivered this most beautiful line of "Follow your passion and find what you bleed for. You need to love what you do, there is a relief in it."

Herein lies why Martine is so great, he allows his passion to drive him and help him make big life decisions. I think this is how everyone should live and why I am so happy Martine Cajas was our kickoff into spotlights on my favorite creatives. We value you, Martine, and we wish you the best! You can find Martine on Instagram @martinecajas, his magazine and show Dream Weddings @dreamweddings, and his cake shop House of Clarendon @houseofclarendon. You can also find all three of these entities on Facebook just as they are written here.

And I promise I didn't forget about the Rihanna gif! Here is one of my favorites of Rihanna that reminds me of Martine.

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