By Amy Nicole Tangel
Setting goals in life and achieving milestones are drives of human nature. Although it has been an uphill battle for one entrepreneur who is expanding her career in entertainment amidst great challenges, she is determined to rise above and never give up.
Event planner, cake artist, model, actress and creator, Sonia Caligiuri has been building her brand Heaven Desires, LLC one venture after the next and if that wasn’t enough for one person, she is now adding author to her list of titles with her upcoming new book, “The Rise of a Broken Woman.”
Appropriately titled, the book reflects the adversity Sonia has faced not only in her personal life with an emotionally and verbally abusive relationship but her own quiet battle with cancer. Through the struggles Sonia has not let any of it slow her down. In fact, with every challenge Sonia said it has only made her drive stronger.
“I feel you can be anything you want to be no matter what,” she said.
While Sonia is still waiting for surgery to remove a tumor in her small intestine, she said she is expected to only have a few more rounds of chemotherapy when all is said and done and is looking forward to getting on with the rest of her life from there. Sonia has lived by action and has continued to live life as much as possible everyday baking cakes for events, working on her book and filming in a new upcoming action/drama series, “The Italians.”
Sonia said staying busy with her ventures and remaining productive through it all helped her a lot and kept her going. For Sonia, she said there was time when it was a little touch and go, but she is grateful she was able to fight it and make it through to today.
“It’s a little bump in the road; I didn’t let it bring me down,” she said.
With a career that began primarily as a cake artist, Sonia said her passion is driven by her love for creating and for making other people happy. Sonia credits herself with being primarily self-taught thanks to the help of YouTube and Google, and said her process is easy and complicated at the same time. Sonia said taking the time to really listen to her clients and customers is the key to get a feel and vision for each event.
“I’ve always been artsy. I’ve always drawn. I was always playing with playdough as a kid; that’s how my mom kept me busy. I’ve always loved to create,” she said.
In March 2019, Sonia said a highlight of her cake artistry career came when she had the opportunity to bake and present a Wonder Woman birthday cake to the late and legendary Mary Wilson of The Supremes at Big Apple Comic Con in NYC. Sonia said it was an honor that she never imagined possible to see Mary so happy and amazed, and Sonia said she still looks back in awe of the memory.
“It was an amazing moment in my career as a cake artist. It started out as a hobby, winded up being a business, and I love it; I just love it,” she said.
Prior to Covid, Sonia’s career had continued to expand in what she said were completely unexpected happenings when she began acting only to be followed-up by modeling; resulting in a television series role and becoming a Human Canvas Magazine cover girl.
Sonia said she went into acting as a fluke when “The Italians” creator and producer, Zach de’ Epey was filming in an office building where she was working at the time, and randomly approached her to consider acting. Sonia said she told the producer that she wasn’t interested and didn’t take it seriously until he had searched the entire building for her after their meeting. The rest was history for Sonia, and she said from that day on she and de’ Epey have been friends with a great working relationship.
“I am excited. It’s my first-time-ever acting,” she said.
Just like acting for Sonia, she said modeling was also something that “just happened” when she accidentally walked into a fashion show at a photoshoot for “The Italians” when designer, Queen Iris of Queenslay Clothing, simply looked at her and threw something at her to put on. Looking around at a room full of women younger than half her age, Sonia said she couldn’t believe what was happening and thought for a second there was no way she could pull it off, but ultimately she said to herself, “What the hell? You only live once.”
In that moment, Sonia began her modeling career and since then she said Queen Iris has become her mentor, promoter, and business partner. Most recently, Sonia did her first body paint shoot and said she felt a little out of her element, but in her true fashion she didn’t let it stop her, and as a result ended up as a centerfold on the cover of Human Canvas Magazine.
“Something that I was uncomfortable with and going out of my element turned out to be a very good outcome,” she said.
When Sonia said she realized she didn’t have to stay on the straight line in her career she knew she could do whatever she dreamed of and all the doors opened. Sonia carries a strong-willed mindset and said she doesn’t care what people may think of the risqué edge to her photo shoots. As a woman she said she feels good and is grateful to have a second chance, so she is living her life to the fullest in whatever way she can.
Like many others in the entertainment industry, Sonia was home during Covid and searching for ways to continue to expand her brand, Heaven Desires, LLC. She said cakes were down, because nobody was having parties, and any fashion shows or performing was out. While she has an existing line of jewelry, clothing, and makeup; brainstorming and creating during the pandemic led Sonia to expand from lip glosses, plumpers, and mattes to now developing eyeshadows. All the while she said she just keeps asking herself, “What can I do next?”
To keep up with all things the ever-versatile Sonia Caligiuri is doing next or to inquire about any event services, you can contact and follow her on social media through Facebook at Sonia Caligiuri of Heaven Desires Events and Instagram @heaven.desires.llc.customs.
Photos courtesy Sonia Caligiuri