On Baking Your Way to Design Success: an Interview With Melissa

Image from designeatrepeat.com
Image from designeatrepeat.com

Image from designeatrepeat.com

It feels so good to be back, babes! I've been having some technical difficulties with Wordpress this week, thus the radio silence, but I have FINALLY got it to cooperate again. Thank goodness! Unfortunately that means this month's interview is a day late getting to y'all, but I'm so excited to share it regardless. Today I'm sharing an interview I did with Melissa, which wouldn't have happened unless I baked a batch of her sugar cookies over winter break and decided I needed to get to know the girl behind the recipe that had my whole family singing praises. So, without further ado...

Would you mind introducing yourself and what you do? Hi there! I'm Melissa & I'm a freelance Graphic Designer & Blogger over at Design Eat Repeat. I recently made the leap to take my business full-time, and now spend my days designing blogs/websites, branding, stationery, and more! I get to work with other creative business owners & bloggers every day & I absolutely love it.

How did you first get into cooking and baking? Were they lifelong passions or ones you stumbled upon? I've been a baker ever since I was really little. I come from a big family, so anytime I wanted to step in and make dinner/treats for the family, my parents had no objections! I made tons of messes and always made a deal with the family that if I cooked, then had to do the dishes.

Do you think blogging about your adventures with cooking and baking have changed how you approach a recipe? How so? Yes, definitely! Growing up, I didn't really experiment much with recipes, mainly because I didn't want to waste ingredients if they ended up not working. I would use recipes I found in family cookbooks and usually decorated them with my little decorating kit. Now days, I better understand how different ingredients interact with each other, so I take a little more freedom in developing new recipes. Before posting a recipe, I always make sure it's something I love & something I think my family would love. My siblings are pretty honest critics of anything I bake, so I just try to imagine what they would say about it before posting!

As a graphic designer by trade, do you see any influences in your cooking from your design work? And conversely, are there any influences from baking that come into your designs? I'm a big lover of clean, simple design and I think I carry over an element of that in my baking. Mainly with how I decorate goodies, but I tend to lean more toward simple treats, rather than something with a lot of extra "fluff."

Image from designeatrepeat.com
Image from designeatrepeat.com

You also offer printables on your site. Was that always a goal or something that just happened? I started my blog back in 2011 the summer after my sophomore year of college, simply as a little summer hobby & an excuse to craft. I had zero idea of what I was going to blog about & really had no idea what kind of "niche" I wanted to take the blog. As I went through design school & experimented with a bunch of different design projects, I decided that I might as well share some of these designs as printables on the blog. A lot of my readers & clients find me through a printable they saw on Pinterest & Craftgawker & I always love seeing reader photos of something they printed off my site.

On your blog you document series of food-related challenges, as I think of them. 30 days of cookies, smoothie week, etc. How do you come up with the ideas and the recipes, and how do you stay motivated to keep up with them all the way through the end? Whew, 30 days of cookies was a real challenge! I did that challenge mainly because I had been pretty sporadic at blogging throughout the summer & needed an excuse to bake & get some new content on the site! I honestly didn't know HOW I was going to complete 30 days of cookies, but I made a point to bake/photography 4-5 recipes each weekend, so that I didn't have to do much baking throughout the week (I was working a full-time design job at the time, so my weeks were pretty full). I usually just do these type of challenges when I have a bunch of different recipes within the same category in mind. I figure that I might as well group them all together!

Who are some of your heroes? Life inspirations, style mavens, people who make your soul shake. Professionally, I am always inspired by Courtney over at Pizzazzerie. She's a styling genius & I just love everything she does. Melissa over at Best Friends for Frosting is also conquering the party & entertaining world, and everything she touches is just gorgeous!

You can only read one book, watch one movie, one television show, and listen to one album for a year. What do you choose and why? Eeeek, okay moment of truth. I am the WORST book reader, movie watcher, and pop culture follower on the face of the earth. Whenever I do sit down and watch tv, it's usually some kind of reality tv (yeah, embarrassing). But when it comes to music, I love country music, as well as a little bit of pop.

This is a space for you to leave any last remarks that you would like to share! Or, if you would like another question, here’s the last one: Has running Design Eat Repeat changed your life in ways you thought it would, or have you been surprised by the ride? Starting my blog has absolutely changed my whole career path. Like I mentioned before, I started it on whim after a friend told me that I should start one. I literally did not think I would stick with it for more than a few weeks. I had no idea what blogging really meant, and I had zero intention to ever turn it into something more than a little summer hobby. It has completely taken me by surprise, but it was one of the best spur-of-the-moment decisions I made. My blog has allowed me to connect with other creatives all around the world and grow my client base for my business. It has also given me a creative outlet where I can share free printables & family recipes, in hopes that they make someone's day/party/get together a little brighter! I recently left my 9-5 job to pursue my graphic & blog design business and there is no way any of that would have been possible if I had not started my blog.

You can find more of Melissa on her blog, Facebook page, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.