Meet Our Instructors

 

CATHYLEE MORALES
Owner & Master Instructor

Cathylee is a wife, a mom of 2 boys and proud owner and master instructor at Once Upon A Creation. It has always been a dream of hers to combine her creativity and passion for bringing joy to others and in 2017 she was able to do just that!

Just 1 week after giving birth to her second son, Roman, she was laid off her job. Shortly after, hurricane Irma-the most intense hurricane to strike the US since Katrina- came rolling through. Finding employment was difficult. Her wonderful husband of 10 years, who worked in the hospitality industry, was deeply impacted as tourism declined and their finances took a huge hit. A really big one.

In the midst of the turmoil, she made the bold decision to chase after her dreams. It was then Once Upon a Creation came to fruition. With the support of her husband Jesus, she started creating custom items for friends and family. Next thing she knew, orders started coming in...and kept coming. She began to expand in her ability to create custom items into wooden signs and launched her DIY private sign party service with now over 1200 customers. She loves to teach and bring the joy into people knowing they can create something beautiful too.

“When supporting small businesses like mine, you’re supporting small families, who work hard and love what they do. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart, to all my customers and friends who have supported me and this lifelong dream. It is an honor to play a role in your life’s special moments.”

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Jessica Gagliano
Master Chef 

"My love for food started at a very young age standing in my Grandma’s kitchen with my hands in the mixing bowl making meatballs. From that moment I knew food would play a special role in my life. Throughout high school and college I worked hard to start my career from making sandwiches in a small cafe to selling dippin' dots at fairs & festivals my food experience continued to grow. In 2008 I was given the opportunity of a lifetime earning a spot in the Disney College Program as a Cook at the ESPN Club & Tony’s Town Square in the Magic Kingdom. After working at Disney, I graduated in 2010, from Johnson & Wales with a degree in Culinary Arts and Food Service Management. Days after graduating I made the move from New York to Florida to further my culinary career as the Manager of multiple corporate cafes. Throughout my 8 year corporate career I taught numerous cooking classes which sparked my love for teaching and so the idea of The Creative Kitchen was born! Today, I am a mom to my 3 amazing kids Madison, Ava and Mason! Like myself they all enjoy putting their hands in the mixing bowl helping to create delish meals and lasting memories!"

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CHRISTI TILLETT
Master Instructor & Website Administrator

“Hi, I’m Christi! I’m originally from Southern Indiana but I’ve lived in Florida since the end of 2018. I’ve been involved in some form of crafting for as long as I can remember, from cake decorating with my Grandma, scrapbooking and all sorts of needle arts with my Mom, to baking pretty much everything, making wreaths, creating jewelry, t-shirts and decorations for my home, I love it all. All of that creativity sparked an interest in graphic design and building websites, which I’m able to do as part of my full-time job and I’m grateful to also be able to bring those skills to OPAC! I do a lot of work behind the scenes, but I also love when I get the chance to join a workshop and watch everyone’s confidence grow as they walk through the process of making their very own piece of art. It is a beautiful thing to see! In addition to all of this, my most important role is being the Momma to the best 12-year-old boy around. We love creating and baking together and making special memories every moment we can.”

 
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 DANIELLE NOTTKE
Assistant Instructor

“Hi I’m Danielle! I have lived in the Clermont area for the second time for about 2 1/2 years now. I come from a family that is very artsy! My mom is into gardening and painting, I have a sister who is very talented in music, and another sister that can draw amazing animal portraits! I have always been into crafting, from teaching craft time in VBS, to baking with the kids I used to nanny, and even as a preschool teacher coming up with ways to make learning more fun! I enjoy decorating our home, cooking and baking, I have a crazy obsession with dogs, I’m an avid Disney lover, and I enjoy getting out and adventuring with my husband Kaleb and our sweet goldendoodle puppy Luna!”


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 KRISTIN COX
Assistant Instructor

“Hey there, I’m Kristin! I am a stay at home Mama of 2 kiddos and I have a degree in Hotel/Restaurant/Hospitality Management. My passion is caring for others and serving the Lord! With that being said, you can find me lending at hand at Once Upon A Creation or with my Women’s Group here in Clermont! I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, spending time at the beach and volunteering whenever I can!”