Friday, January 8, 2010

{Featured Artist: whimsy and spice}

Here at
Gussy has a lot to say we love to look at all things beautiful.
winter accessories, tasty treats to sink our teeth into, beautiful stories about creating something new.

Today marks week #8 of my series on featured Etsy artists. It is my goal to introduce some drool-worthy eye-candy. Over the next few months I'll be showcasing hand-selected Etsy artists that offer products that I think will appeal to you, my readers :)

Please join me in welcoming Jenna and Mark at whimsy and spice


What inspires you? People inspire me - watching people dream up goals and plans, and then successfully see them through - that is very inspiring.

Where do you call home? Are you from there originally?
Brooklyn is our home and we've been here for 10 years. I grew up in NYC so I am from here originally, although I grew up in Queens. I've lived in Manhattan and Brooklyn as well during my college and grad school days, but I've also lived in the Pacific Northwest for some time. I think it's good to live away from "home" for a little while to gain some perspective. I was ready to leave NY, but also really ready to come back when it was time.

Name something unique to where you live. I live across the street from a reconstructed 17th century Dutch stone farm house that was once used as a clubhouse to the old Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1800s. It is now a museum and acts as an anchor to many events in the park in our Brooklyn neighborhood.

Share an interesting fact about yourself. I used to work as an elf in Macy's Santaland.

How did you come up with whimsyandspice? And just who is Jenna?
Mark, who is my husband, worked as a pastry chef here in NYC for over 10 years. He had wanted to leave the restaurant industry for awhile and an opportunity came two years ago when he was laid-off from a new job. We decided to start the business while he looked for another job, but things took off right away so the job search has been on permanent hold. I'm Jenna and I do all the photography, design and branding of our products. I'm also the one blogging, talking to customers and on twitter. Between the two of us, we handle all aspects of the business ourselves. We make a complete team.

Name your favorite thing about selling handmade. There's a really great artisan, hand-made food movement here in Brooklyn and we're really proud and happy to be part of this special circle. I like that our company is a small, family-owned business where every cookie is rolled, cut and packaged by us and I can only hope that our customers appreciate the effort that goes into every package too.

Do you have a day job or sell on Etsy full-time? Whimsy & Spice is Mark's full time job. I still work as a freelance graphic designer, though I hope one day to slowly transition out of that and grow our brand. Etsy is one of only a few online outlets where we sell our products, but it is where we started selling first and we still do a significant amount of business from our Etsy shop.

Give us a little glimpse into what a typical day in your life looks like.
We have 2 kids, ages 3 and 5, so their schedule gives us structure to an otherwise unstructured work schedule. After we drop off the older one to Kindergarten, Mark will often go into the kitchen to start baking. Depending on what work projects I'm working on, I'll either start designing or answering emails from customers. Mark and I will trade-off on watching our 3-year-old when our sitter isn't here. We start working again when the kids are put to bed, often late into the night.

What are three of your favorite foods? Sushi, oysters, chocolate.

What would you like to learn to do?
Learn another instrument. I play (or used to play) the piano, but I would love to learn another instrument.

What are you listening to right now?
PJ Harvey

Name one place you must visit in your lifetime and why.
I'd love to go to Japan and just eat.

Please check back Friday, January 15 for another Featured Artist post!


Meg said...

Okay, that just made me really hungry!
I hope that your evening got better and I pray that you have a wonderful, inspiring, productive, happy, relaxing Gussy Day! You always insire me to achive my goals every morning when I read your blog posts, it truly makes my whole day a little better!

Lindsay - Paint Me A Picture said...


Jacky said...

Yummy! I agree with her--chocolate is definitely one of my favorite foods. ;)

Valerie said...

Yummo! I may have to sample some to their Etsy site!

Bernice said...

All that food looks absolutely delicious. And beautiful. Really calls out to the foodie in me :)