I’m really excited to be introducing Jenna of SweetFineDay as a featured Designing Mom today. Eat my heart out, literally. As a designer, she and her husband (a pastry chef) run a Brooklyn based confectionery called Whimsy and Spice. On top of that she beautifully chronicles the adventures of their family’s life all at SweetFineDay. Curious to see what a day in their life is like?
What is your background? Was it daunting to launch a confectionery business?
I’m an art director and designer. Launching a business was daunting, but not because it was a cookie business. Mark had been a pastry chef and in the restaurant business in NY for 12+ years when we opened. He knew what to do, including sourcing ingredients and ramping up for mass production. I took care of the product photography, website, branding and package design. Between the 2 of us, we had all we needed to do this.
Why “spice” as your niche for a confectionery?
Mark always liked to incorporate spices and herbs in his plated desserts. It was just a natural extension to carry it over to cookies and marshmallows.
What is it like working with your husband in the business?
Mark and I have known each other for 20 years. Being in a business together is like anything we’ve dealt with together so far – being classmates and working on music, marriage, parenting. Maybe it’s because we have a long history, but working together just feels natural.
Do your children ever get involved at home in the kitchen? What are the family favorite spices and treats?
The girls are starting to help out in the kitchen. Mark will give them tasks like shelling the peas or grating the cheese. The older one has even started making salad dressings. We like fennel seeds, cardamom, cloves, ginger, etc.
You manage to document your life so beautifully…how do you find time to run your business and family AND wield a camera to capture all of this?
I pretty much have a camera with me at all times which isn’t always easy because my current equipment is quite heavy. Sometimes I do get burnt out though, so there will be stretches where I don’t take many photos at all. Sometimes you just want to put the camera down and just live.
Give us a little rundown of what a day in your life is like.
Since Mark and I are self employed our day varies with the tasks on hand. The one constant that rules our life is the girls school schedules. This year got a whole lot easier because both girls are in the same school full time now. Mark typically goes into the kitchen early, around 6am. After I walk the kids to school, I come home to start working. I devote around 25-30% of my day to our business, but the majority of the time I am working on freelance projects, mainly through other agencies and design firms. Mark will pick the girls up from school as he usually finishes baking by then. We always have dinner together as a family around 6. When the girls are in bed, we typically resume our work. I am a night owl and won’t get to bed until 2am.