Local Love: Becca & Betsy of Whisk + Brush {and their Kickstarter Campaign!}

Local Love Whisk and Brush feature

Local Love Whisk and Brush

The first thing I ate devoured from Whisk + Brush was a pumpkin cinnamon roll at a B:Hive Holiday Pop-Up Shop last year, and it was the best cinnamon roll I’ve ever had. And I’m not a big pumpkin fan either. I went back for a second only minutes later and they were sold out. They were that good. Major props to baker babes Becca & Betsy. I’m excited to have them on the blog today not only because they make amazing food and share recipes on their blog, but also because they’ve got a Kickstarter underway for a doughnut truck. And tomorrow’s your last day to back it!

whisk and brush throwing doughnuts

Sami: Tell us all about the Doughnut Food Trailer!
Becca & Betsy: We’re renovating a 1975 camper into the Whisk + Brush food trailer so we can bring a delicious menu to the streets of Bridgeport, CT and beyond! Enter Dixie, our Doughnut Diva. She’s strong, cute, and totally thrilled to soon be pumping out an extensive slew of doughnuts, both sweet and savory. Our goal is to hit $12,000. If you’d like to help, pledge here!


{ recipe: alleluia jalapeño pretzel }

Sami: How did Whisk + Brush come about?
Becca: It was fate. We started out as coworkers in the financial industry. One day, I had an idea for a food blog and shared it with Betsy. Within 2 months it was up and running and I was offered a catering gig (I never planned on venturing into catering). I kept bringing Betsy on to help with events. We had this effortless, fun flow of working together. Without much talk regarding roles and duties, we both naturally settled into our positions and from there it hasn’t stopped. And since undergoing the newest venture of a Doughnut Food Trailer, our working bond has become even stronger and more fantastic.


{ recipe: mango caprese salad }

Sami: How did you acquire your culinary skills?

B&B: We both learned from our mothers. Although our backgrounds and childhoods differ in so many ways, our mothers are very similar. Strong, independent woman who know how love with fierce, yet gentle love. We both grew up helping in the kitchen and eating dinners as a family.

Sami: When you’re not whipping up your own amazing food, where do you eat?
B&B: We love supporting the locals. Our faves are Harborview Market, Walrus + Carpenter, Source Coffeehouse, Au Vucchella, Leisha’s Bakeria, Timothy’s Ice Cream… the list goes on. 


{ recipe: buttermilk cinnamon rolls }

Sami: What’s your catch phrase?
B&B: “Whose idea was this?!” We tend to shout this at each other in the midst of catering, frying up doughnuts, rushing around the kitchen. It usually gets said when we’re both hustling, under a time crunch, and trying to multi-task like crazy. It always makes us laugh because we know the only persons to blame for our craziness is US!


{ recipe: pea + plum falafels }

Sami: What feeds (pun intended) your creative energy?
Becca: For me, I’m most creative when my plate is full (no pun intended). I try to stay busy with focused, challenging work because it keeps me firing on all cylinders. The key is finding a way to stay organized with the creativity. There have been so many times that Betsy and I have been in the thick of a catering job or working at the farmers market, and I have a million ideas come to me, but we forget to write them down. 


{ recipe: chicken tortilla soup }

Sami: How do you combat creative block?
Becca: My creative blocks occur when I’m in a slump. Whether that’s due to exhaustion or maybe a lighter schedule or those oh-so awful funks when you question your choices, I hit walls when I’m flirting with laziness. I find that putting time aside to cook something for myself without any kind of agenda, project, or documentation in mind ends up rejuvenating my soul.


{ recipe: it’s a new day smoothie }

What do you love most about being entrepreneurs?
B&B: Doing it together. Betsy always says, “Being an entrepreneur is like jumping off a cliff and building a plane on the way down.” If we didn’t have each other, we’d be flat on our faces, but together… we’re starting to see the plane (or the doughnut truck) take shape. And that’s really exciting.


{ recipe: spicy chicken + doughnut }

If you could give your fellow entrepreneurs one piece of advice, what would it be?
B&B: Say yes to EVERYTHING. We headed into this venture thinking about what our ideal situation/work/clients would look like… and things were slow. We were being picky and weren’t taking chances and challenging ourselves, thus our growth was minimal. While taking a course through Women’s Business Development Center, Becca was told “Say yes to everything. And keep saying yes for longer than you think you have to.” The reality is, when you’re starting off, no one knows who you are or what you’re capable of. And while you may know what your time and talent is worth, others don’t yet. So, say yes to everything. We have taken on some really awesome work and we’ve also had many crap jobs that paid us pennies and left us questioning our decision, but so many rippling effects and opportunities have come from taking those risks. We’re wiser, better, and more confident because of those experiences. And while we still say yes to most of what comes our way, we are better equipped for handling every facet of the job. 

{ recipe: whiskey face punch }

Sami: What do you do to relax? 
Becca: Wine. Sweat pants. Couch.
Betsy: See above. This is why we’re good friends.

Sami: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?
Becca: Thailand. The culture and country have always fascinated me and I have such little know-how when it come to the cuisine… although, I definitely know how to eat it.
Betsy: Australia. Only because I’m obsessed with kangaroos.


{ recipe: chunky monkey quesadilla }

Sami: If you could invite 3 people (alive or dead) over for a picnic, who would you invite?
Becca: My Grandma, Kris Delmhorst (my favorite musician) and John Steinbeck (my favorite author). I figure, my grandma can help me cook while Kris serenades us and Steinbeck provides conversation.
Betsy: My Grandma, Joe Vilane (the dance choreographer), Celia Cruz (my favorite salsa performer).

Betsy — please put me on your picnic invite list so I can finally learn how to dance. ;) Check out Becca & Betsy’s delicious recipes on the Whisk + Brush blog, and support their Kickstarter campaign to help them bring their Doughnut Food Trailer dream to life! Tomorrow’s the last day to pledge.

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This Saturday: Bridgeport Arts Fest

Bridgeport Arts Fest July 11 2015 sq

Bridgeport Arts Fest July 11 2015

Join me this Saturday, July 11 at the McLevy Green for the Bridgeport Arts Fest! I am so excited for this event because I’ll be surrounded by lots of friends and fellow creative entrepreneurs — BBA Bracelets, Cinder + Salt, Flotsam & Whimsey, Glitter & Bold, Hartford Prints!, Kate Stephen Jewelry, Rayne Home Decor, Refabed Chic, RZP Art and so SO many more crazy talented CT artists. See the full artist lineup here. See you there?

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Monarch Workshop + Free Printables

Monarch Workshop feature via @poorandpretty

Monarch Workshop 2015 via @poorandpretty

I took the day yesterday to let the weekend’s events settle over me, and I’m still coming down from the incredible high that was Monarch Workshop. There were so many wonderful, inspiring, creative women all in one room — it felt like home. It was home. Finally! I don’t have to travel to New York, San Francisco, or some other distance to find my kindred sisters.

Photo Booth - Monarch Workshop via @poorandpretty

It was two days of crafting, learning, yoga, networking, photo booth-ing (I’m with Melissa of the Haven Collective & Vintanthromodern Vintage and Bethany of Twenty Something Plus above), delicious food by Whisk + Brush, and lots and lots of hugs in Bananaland, Bridgeport. It was crazy cool women like Michelle Bablo who said “fuck this job” time and time again until she finally created her own kick-ass business as a “professional magic maker, gold fringe enthusiast & designer of colorful parties.”

Dream Team Q+A Panel - Monarch Workshop via @poorandpretty

And Katharine Marino of YogaKat Fitness, who is probably the most loving, calm person I have ever met. She taught us to love our bodies, shake out negativity, and be present. She had us all pick out little wisdom cards and think about how we can apply them to our lives. Mine said “do what’s simple,” which is kind of perfect because I overanalyze and overcomplicate everything.

Do What's Simple - Monarch Workshop via @poorandpretty

There was Nutritionist Debra Wolf who played us hilarious clips from Portlandia and showed us how to love our bodies from the inside out with healthy eating (and also: we consume far too much sugar).

Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom - Monarch Workshop via @poorandpretty

And crafter and textile guru Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom who left me with my greatest takeaway: own your path.

Monarch - Own Your Path doodle via @poorandpretty

Because my initial jot-down of this quote really doesn’t do justice to how much it resonated within me, I had to fancy it up a bit. I’ve designed it into two different printables/computer wallpapers:

Monarch-Own-Your-Path-wallpaper-1-via-@poorandpretty

Monarch-Own-Your-Path-wallpaper-2-via-@poorandpretty

Right click and save either image above to use it as a desktop wallpaper. You can also download higher resolution files to print and frame: download butterfly printable | download dots printable | download everything | these are large files and may take a while to download. :)

Photo Booth 2 - Monarch Workshop via @poorandpretty

I am so grateful to Jessica of The Confetti Bar and Latanya of Sprinkles & Booze for introducing me to this crowd of incredible creators. I’ve never felt so understood and accepted. I will be seeing a lot more of them that’s for sure! I’ve already begun to take what I’ve learned and work on myself and my future as a kick-ass entrepreneur.

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Be Inspired & Empowered at Monarch Workshop

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I have been hoping for something like Monarch Workshop to come to Connecticut for a long time. I live in a small state, sandwiched between big artistic hubs like Boston and New York, which constantly host cool creative networking/inspiration boot camp type events. Finally, we have one too. And until tomorrow at 3pm EST, you can grab Early Bird tickets for just $150. Regular ticket price is $225, so that’s a pretty sweet deal!

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Monarch is a two-day event (March 21 & 22) for women entrepreneurs, dreamers, creators, movers, and shakers. Whether you’re an already-established kickass small business owner or a creative lady looking for inspiration and kindred spirits, you’ll be right at home at Monarch.

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There will be crafting and DIY-ing with Latanya Barrett of Sprinkles & Booze and Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom

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Yummy treats from Whisk + Brush and confetti from The Confetti Bar

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Yoga lessons, branding and marketing tips, photography sessions, and so so much more. Get the lowdown here, and stalk the speakers here.

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I have serious love for founders Jessica Huizenga and Madeline Rhodes for putting together such an incredible event. Is March really two months away?!

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It’s all going down March 21st & 22nd at B:Hive Bridgeport, the coolest co-working space in the state.

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What are you waiting for?! Spots are limited so grab your Early Bird Tickets now! And I’ll see you there. (I may even contribute some goodies to the swag bags!) ♥

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Upcoming Holiday Events

Craft Fair Events feature image

I’ve now got an event going on every Saturday until Christmas! I hope to see your face at one of them! But if you can’t say hello and shop in-person, you can grab all of my products in my Etsy shop.

Park City Pop-Up blog

Saturday, November 15: 11am – 3pm: Park City Pop-Up! 
B:Hive Bridgeport
285 Fairfield Ave
Bridgeport, CT 06604
Get details & directions here.

Canton Holiday Craft Fair FB Event

Saturday, November 22: 10am – 4pm: Canton Holiday Craft Fair
Canton High School Gymnasium
76 Simonds Ave
Canton, CT 06019
Raffle proceeds and vendor fees benefit the Canton Dollars for Scholars Fund.
Get details & directions here.

Celebrate Shelton_blog

Celebrate Shelton Downtown Handmade Market
Conti Building
415 Howe Ave
Shelton, CT 06484

Dates:
Black Friday, November 28: 6pm – 9pm
Small Business Saturday, November 29: 10am – 5pm
Saturday, December 6: 10am – 3pm
Saturday, December 13: 10am – 3pm
Saturday, December 20: 10am – 3pm
Get details & directions here.

NoRa First Thursday blog

Thursday, December 4: 6pm – 10pm: NoRA’s First Thursday
NoRA Cupcake Company
700 Main St
Middletown, CT 06457
Get details & directions here.

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