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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Let's Get Local - Sweet Confections

 I have been lucky to constantly find myself surrounded by inspiring women doing their thing in the business world and not only succeeding at it but willing to share bits of their personal life and advice with us here on the blog. I absolutely adore getting to know the gals I feature a bit more with this "let's get local" series and love that todays guest has broadened my horizon on the fabulous finds that lay outside the city boarders that I am so accustomed to staying within. I CANNOT wait to try some of her suggestions for North Shore and Jamaica Plain hot spots, never mind get to indulge in one of her tasty treats again. I am thrilled to share with you all some lovely details about the fabulous Jocelyn, the talented and beautiful lady behind the delicious sweets of Mayflour Confections

Tell us a little about Jocelyn, the gal behind the pretty confections, i.e. what you like to do on your free time, personal style in fashion or home decor, guilty pleasures etc.

Most of my free time is spent with friends- in their kitchens sipping coffee and talking about food, out for dinner + drinks and talking about food, or sitting by an outdoor fire, making s’mores and talking about…food. You’d think the topic would get old, but it really never does, and it keeps me inspired at home and at work.

I am so in love with my industry that I jump at the opportunity to be an extra set of hands for other vendors…there is just nothing more fun than the excitement and romance before a wedding. If I do have a weekend without an event, I’m usually at the beach, or headed to the mountains to visit out of town friends. I love when I have time to get to a yoga class, watch a movie, or test a new recipe. In general, I really enjoy my time at home.

When it comes to fashion, I’m a bit of a lost cause- I’m really a jeans, T, and ponytail kind of girl- just thinking about accessories makes my head hurt. But home décor, I love. I could talk tile, light fixtures, and paint color for days, and have a serious passion for beautiful glassware, mugs, and linens. Having worked for a housewares company as a store designer for many years, I love good design in home décor- and what I most enjoy on Pinterest, blogs, and in magazines. I love all things clean and simple, and am usually drawn to midcentury furniture and décor that is soft, light, and neutral with organic shape + texture.

 What made you want to start your own business and do you have any advice for someone starting out in a similar field? 

For me it was a slow realization, as I was happy in my previous career. But, more and more I became aware that baking for events- and baking cakes, was what made me most happy. And then I realized that there was a demand there, other people were as passionate about good cake as I was- and there is nothing better than being able to share what makes you most happy with others. So I decided to take the leap and launch Mayflour.

My advice for anyone starting their own business, in my field or another, is to know what you do best, what you’re most passionate about, and stick to it. It’s hard when you are starting out to stay focused on exactly what you want to be doing, rather than what others might want from you. But keep a clear vision, offer a focused product or service, put time into presenting your brand, and you’ll have success because the people coming to you will already understand and value what you do. I would also say, connect with other small business owners; build relationships with people in your field. There is nothing more valuable than being able to support and inspire one another.

How would you describe your design aesthetic when it comes to executing an overall look of a cake or dessert for a client?

My belief is that simple is beautiful and ingredients should speak for themselves. So for me, it always starts with flavor. Once I know what ingredients I’m working with, then I can think about design. I love clean lines and subtle embellishments that are appropriate to both the celebration and the season. I think there is nothing more lovely than soft, creamy swirls of frosting finished off with seasonal fruit, an elegant silk ribbon, or beautiful fresh flowers.

What is your favorite flavor and most frequently requested item? 

I’m always partial to anything Lemon; I absolutely love citrus and I think Canelés are kind of magical- little, caramelized bites of heaven. But hands down, my most requested item is my carrot cake with cream cheese frosting…I know a few people that actually go a little crazy for it.

Where did you grow up & what brought you to New England, what are some of your favorite spots to dine, shop & or visit?

I’m a die hard New Englander. Born and raised, and went to college locally. I moved to Chicago for pastry school, which was a dream, but I couldn’t imagine living anywhere but here.

I lived in and around Boston for years, but have never really been a city girl. I moved to the North Shore last winter, and never looked back, although a piece of my heart will always belong to JP and I still frequent City Feed, Ten Tables, and The Haven when I’m in the city visiting friends. I’ve been picnicking in the Arboretum since I was in high school {especially during Lilac season} and I used to love a trip out to Wellesley College to enjoy their beautiful greenhouse, which is an amazing spot to visit in the dead of winter.

As for my new home on Cape Ann, breakfast at The Market Restaurant in the summer is my absolute favorite. I’ve been known to make frequent trips to Down River Ice Cream for an afternoon treat, and Short & Main {The Market’s sister restaurant} for pizza, oysters and cocktails. In Rockport, Milk & Honey and Lula’s Pantry are great spots to find beautiful home goods. There is no shortage of fresh produce and eggs, and I find myself making frequent trips to local farms, or the Rockport or Cape Ann farmers’ market. My favorite place to visit is Halibut Point State Park- the rocky coastline is simply breathtaking. The North Shore is really just one beautiful spot after another, there’s nothing better than living by the ocean.

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