Sunday, May 25

*FEATURED ARTIST of the week* ~~whimsyandspice~~


1. What do you create?

We create handmade sweets - cookies, marshmallows, biscotti, brownies and cakes, often incorporating spices and unusual flavor combination in many of our products.

2. What led you to take up your craft?

Mark has been a pastry chef in the NYC restaurant scene for over 10 years and I've been a designer and art director for over 12 years, so starting our own business - and one that combines and relies on both our skills and expertise (after all, baking is just a small part of the business!) - has been a long time dream. When Mark left the restaurant industry a few months ago, we decided to jump right in and not look back.

3. Which part of your work do you most enjoy?

While coming up with new flavors and combinations is a lot of fun, I have to say that the most enjoyable part of the business has been meeting so many interesting people, both online through etsy and our blog, and in person at the Brooklyn Flea, where we sell our sweets on Sundays.

Since we don't have a storefront, it's been really great having the opportunity to meet people who buy our goods. Although Mark was part of the restaurant scene here in NYC for many years, starting this business has opened up opportunities and connections in the food business from a totally different prospective - as a small, independent food producer. It's been great fun to meet other small food artisans, purveyors and enthusiasts.

4. Which part do you find hardest?

The actual business part of the business is the hardest and most challenging - balancing numbers and getting all the legal stuff squared away. Although we have only been in business for a few months, things have gone quite swimmingly, so the challenge is to try and sustain that momentum, while managing growth and expectations.

5. Where do you get your inspiration?

Mark has been baking for a long time and has always experimented with unusual flavors and spices in his desserts and ice creams. He cites his extensive childhood travels and years living overseas in Yemen as an influence in his cooking. As a designer, packaging and presentation has always been really important to me, so design and photography styling in all our collateral plays a big part in our business.

We also have 2 little girls that inspire us very much. Our 18 month old, Claudine, is the "whimsy", while our 4 year old, Mia, is the "spice". They are the ones who keep us going when we are tired late at night packaging cookies.

6. Do you participate in any etsy groups, and if so, which ones?

Not yet...we are new to the etsy scene as a seller, though I have been a buyer for over a year.

7. What's one material your shop can't live without?

Sugar and spices!

8. What is your favorite item that you have purchased off of Etsy?

I bought 2 prints from Yellow Monday, an artist from Australia, that is hanging in our livingroom: mohair horse and rider, and dog walk. I love those prints so much.

9. If I could sell one item from my shop today, it would be...

the sampler gift box is a great way to try many of our treats! The packaging also makes a very nice gift.

10. If I had enough money to pick one item on my wish list from any shop on etsy to buy, it would be...

this elk pillow from feed the dog:

11. What are the top three favorite items currently listed in your store?

We are currently loving our

Rose & Black Pepper thumbprint cookies,

our Chocolate Chili Cashew biscotti,

and our Honey Lavender shortbread cookies.

12. What undiscovered artisans would you recommend the world to know?

I love these soft, handmade angora bunnies from Sonja Ahlers.

I also love Brooklyn artist, Kristiana Parn's illustrations. We have a few of her prints as well.

13. What is the best advice you have ever received?

In life and in business, follow your gut and heart. Don't over-analyize too much and just jump right in and do it!


rachel said...

YUM! I'm hearting that shop for sure... I just finished dinner and even though I had some frozen fruit for dessert, I could use an additional something sweet :)


oh wowow! I am a sweet lover and these look tasty. Thanks for highlighting. need to take a look at etsy!

Couture de Papier said...

OOO! Yummy I want everything! thank you for visiting blog..I will post your blog!

Marie Louise said...

Love this post! I find it fascinating to see how those out there are living their dreams. I will have to take a drive to Brooklyn to check out the Brooklyn Flea market she mentioned.

Melissa said...

Yum!! This post makes me hungry. :)

Art Kitten said...

Oh yummy! Great interview choice especially for an admitted foodie like me!

Oh and thank you so much for including me in your treasury! I saw that it made it to the front page! A hearty congratulations!

Five O'Clock Somewhere said...

Yum! Those are some amazingly good looking treats! Thanks for posting.