Have you ever seen that funny meme floating around about makeup artists? The one that shows all the different exaggerated perceptions about working in makeup? no? Well here ya go, this meme always cracks me up because its kinda true. I mostly wash brushes, lots and lots of them every week and sometimes I am lucky to work on a semi famous face but its mostly wonderful everyday women and a few men from time to time
I wanted to think of a way to pull back the curtain a little to share with you what the full time life of a makeup artist looks like and also introduce you to some of the amazing people I am lucky to work in the creative community with. So today, I am kicking off a fun series called Studio Sessions, my own little hang out time in the studio with other creatives and strong entrepreneurial women in the PNW where we talk about building a business, our own attempts at work life balance (giggle), struggles, success and yes, we play with lots of makeup!
For my first session I invited Lauren Anderson to hang out, she is the owner and lead baker of Pacific Northwest Cupcakes and seriously she makes the most beautiful and delicious baked goods! Lauren's cupcakes are not only works of art but also are organic, she uses locally sourced ingredients and has gluten and dairy free options!
I connected with Lauren online this year through various wedding industry groups and we finally got to meet in person a few weeks back and decided to make this happen. With the help of my very talented friend and wedding photographer Kate from GSquared Weddings we had a date!
So here is how it started...
Me "tell me about your makeup routine"
Lauren "hahaha I wear mascara, but I want to learn to maybe wear more makeup!"
I love a good start up story, why people chose to work for themselves because 99.9999999% of the time it is never about money...Mine is simple, I have blogged about it before I just have a hard time with not being able to travel when I want (queue the small violin) and knew that on my own I could make the same or more money in less than the required 8 hour retail shift.. and then travel more!... but this is not my story today its Lauren's I hope you enjoy this maiden voyage and come back to see who I will interview and style next!
Q I feel like nearly everyone has that first career before they find their creative click, what was yours?
I've done dressage for 12 years , been riding 15 years and I originally moved out to Washington to pursue my dressage riding career (equestrian). I also worked retail at Gap and H&M
Q What was the spark that drove you to baking and specifically cupcakes?
I have always had a love for baking, but my business started after I did cupcakes for my son's first birthday, and all of our friends and family LOVED them. So, I just kind of went on a whim and did it! I did it very loosely on the side for a good year, and didn't get super serious until last summer. I only did cupcakes for the first year, and then incorporated small cakes because couples were requesting a small cutting cake, and then discovered I LOVED cakes, so then I offered cakes of all sizes. This fall I launched artisan gourmet brownies. And this year I have plans to launch rustic pies, macarons, and a few other confections.
Q What is the best part of working for yourself?
The best part of working for myself is being able to be with my son so much, and the flexibility to create my own schedule
Q What was the moment you knew this was going to work?
The moment I knew this was going to work as a full-time gig was the first time I did one of my specialty cakes - a semi-naked spiced pumpkin cake with salted caramel buttercream, salted caramel drip, dressed with 23k gold leaf and floral. It just hit me. I had a specialty, and that combined with being the only bakery in the area to use only locally sourced organic ingredients, I knew I had something good with a passion I loved.
Q You have so many unique flavors, I swear every time you post on Instagram I am looking at my phone drooling! Where do you come up with the flavor profiles?
Flavor combinations were what set me apart from other bakeries before my aesthetic became a focus. I just have this wild skill for coming up with amazing flavor combinations that really hit your palate. Sometimes they're inspired by non-cake desserts, sometimes by drinks, but also they come from meals I've had at favorite local restaurants. I have come up with over 150 flavor combinations, and I am always coming up with more, occasionally rotating some out. It's what my clients find me for and repeatedly come back to me for! It's who I am
Q What sets you aside from all of the other bakeries and pastry artists out there?
Everything I do is very unique; I have a very niche aesthetic - everything I do is focused around the natural beauty of my ingredients and the pacific northwest, so you'll never find fondant in my shop, and the only food dyes you will find are all natural. Everything I touch has floral in mind!
Friends, if you are ever in the north sound reach out to Lauren, follow Pacific Northwest Cupcakes on Facebook and Insta she is always posting something delicious
Thank you Lauren for hanging out with me, it was so fun spending time with you in the studio! Thank you Kate for the amazing photos and check back in to see who I hang out with next!
Pacific Northwest Cupcakes
Congrats to MEGANN NIELSEN you won!! Please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can coordinate getting this amazing basket to you!!
I will do a fun giveaway every month, so stick around!