It’s fair to say that most people would prefer an early morning routine of rolling out fresh chocolate croissants to a 9 to 5 desk job. But how do you get there? How do pin down your dreams fast enough to make a career out of them?
After realizing she wasn’t cut out for the daily grind of cubicle life, Sandra Holl decided to buckle down and follow her heart by attending culinary school. At that time, she knew she wanted to be her own boss and make the food she wanted to make. Seeing the opportunities at Chicago’s Green City Market, Sandra decided that opening her own booth would be a low-risk way of starting a business. There she and her husband, Mathieu, used it as a venue to test out their rustic, French pastries and built a name for themselves. Eventually, a brick and mortar space was next step. In 2010, Floriole Café and Bakery’s doors opened in Chicago’s quaint Lincoln Park neighborhood.
When I asked Sandra what the most rewarding part of her job was, she replied,
“I love that I have a family business. I work with my husband and can bring my daughter to work with me. She sees how hard I work and is so proud of her mama. She often tells customers, “This is my mom’s bakery.””
There is no greater feeling than to bring creativity and light to the world through the smile a chocolate hazelnut cookie can yield, while inspiring your own daughter and nudging her along to the discovery that she too can do the same with a little elbow grease and determination.
Here are a few tips from Sandra for anyone striving towards a similar path:
1. Find a chef you admire and work with her or him. Absorb as much of their knowledge as you can, then move on and learn more.
2. Perfect the basics before you get creative. No one really wants a wasabi curry cupcake but everyone wants a perfect slice of peach pie.
3. Everything breaks. Learn how to fix things yourself.
4. Know that you will work seven days a week. Even when you are off, you will run errands for the business, answer calls and emails and when the security alarm goes off in the middle of the night, you will go make sure that it was only a false alarm.
Sandra is wearing: Carhartt Women’s Minot Shirt, 1889 Slim Double-Front Denim Dungaree, & Rapid City Utility Work Apron.
This is a thank you to all the moms out there. Since the day we took our first step, we wanted to be more like you. They say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, and it’s true. We follow you around like a shadow, copying your every move, and even your words. Mothers possess a strength unlike anyone else: tough and compassionate, protective and encouraging, capable and confident. Who wouldn’t want to be like you?
If you’re thankful for your mom and hope to be just like her, share this. Let her know she’s the original role model.
Natalie worked as a bike messenger for 6 years as she went to grad school for architectural design. She wanted to combine her love of design, the world of cycling, and respect for the environment into a business and way of life. With its bike-friendly nature, Portland seemed like a great place to start Sweetpea Bicycles, owned and operated by Natalie and her husband, Austin. Out of a desire to help women experience the joy of cycling, she strives to make bikes that perfectly fit a woman’s body. As a mother of two, there’s no doubt her enthusiasm will be passed down to her children.
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, it’s a great time to take a step back and appreciate the ambitions and passions your own mom instilled in you. Don’t forget to tell Mom that you love and appreciate her.
Take a look at Natalie’s work wear here: Carhartt Women’s Minot Shirt, 1889 Slim Double-Front Denim Dungaree, & Short Sleeve Signature T-Shirt.
A leader is someone who steps up when they see a need that hasn’t been met. Andrea Eckert, Detroit artist who taught us about solar screen printing, is doing just that. She bought an old building on Motor City’s well-known Michigan Avenue and is in the process of gutting and refurbishing it into a studio and exhibition center for the surrounding area. Not too far from a few popular digs like Slows and Astro Coffee, this much needed community space will continue to add to the movement to revitalize downtown Detroit. Holding House will be an environment for all creative faculties, a place where multigenerational participants will engage, design, produce, and learn.
Andrea wears many hats. She’s an artist, a mother, a wife, a leader in her community, a groundbreaker who seizes opportunities to better the quality of life, and she’s a blast to be around. I think women often feel the need to multitask and fill as many roles as life demands. What’s cool is when those roles overlap in a beneficial way to urge creativity, bring people together, and breath a new life into the makers’ spirit. Stay tuned as Andrea continues to make progress on Holding House. We’ll keep you updated.
Check out what Andrea’s work gear. The last thing you want to worry about is stains or hurting your clothes when you’re on a nitty gritty job site. Get something sturdy, like the Canvas Dungaree. It’s mostly cotton with a bit of spandex, so it’s built tough and you can still move around easily. If you’re really going to be doing some heavy lifting, Carhartt Force is exactly what you need. It’s fabric is sweat wicking, stain repellent, and fights odors. When you need to keep warm, try the Clarksburg Sweatshirt. It’s comfy, durable, and slightly fitted. You may be working, but you’ll still look good. And don’t forget the gloves. We can all use an extra pair of gloves lying around.