Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Meet Brooke from the Sucre Shop!

I discovered Brooke's adorable wood patterned spoons and forks when I was working on a Shavuot ice cream party post last May.  I knew her pastel colored stripped wood spoons would be the perfect accompaniment to my children's ice cream party.

Since then, Brooke's shop (Sucre Shop) has become an advertiser on Design Megillah and I plan on using her beautiful products for the many upcoming parties and simchas our family has planned! I always love to hear success stories and I thought you would, too--here is my interview with Brooke...
DM: Your products are so pretty and also so unique. How did you get the idea to do this and how did you get started?
Thank you! About the time I started printing on ice cream spoons, I had two reasons for crafting: I wanted to make things for my kids, and I wanted to blog about my crafts. As soon as I started designing ice cream spoons I was totally hooked. The pictures were so much fun, and I was putting original content on my blog. The possibilities for themes and colors are endless- and I still think that is exciting! Before I had anyone else working with me it was just me thinking "I want to make stripes, what's the best way to make stripes?" and then a month later thinking the same thing about dots, and then a month later deciding to put the dots and stripes together on one utensil. The process was fun to me, I was pushing myself to design new things. From the very beginning my kids and their friends loved the spoons, so I knew I was on to something.
That was just over a year ago, and now we sell to over 50 stores Internationally, and have been in some great magazines like Martha Stewart Living, People and Food & Wine. But in the end, it still comes down to the same thing I started out doing, making new designs, and creating something fun to use for my kids, and other people's now too.

DM: What training (college, other?) do you have?
I went to Tulane for college and feel like 4 years in New Orleans had such a huge influence on who I am and my design style. I love vintage, and french architecture, and good food, and those are things that are in my life everyday. 
I'm not a trained designer or graphic artist, it's just something I'm passionate about and have done a lot of research in.  I've moved through different mediums, starting with paper crafts in high school and bookbinding, then textiles and sewing, and on to printing. I love being able to integrate different mediums and create something new. Hopefully I can keep doing that! 
 
DM: How do you juggle being a mom and running the Sucre Shop?
It is not easy, I just do the best I can. My son, Nash, is 5 and in kindergarten, and my daughter, Margot, is 4 and is in pre-school. Some days I just don't want to drop them off! But they go to great, nurturing schools and they have teachers and friends who care about them. As for me, I have a great work space and great employees I love to be around, and a wonderfully supportive family. If any of those pieces were missing it would be a lot harder.
DM: How does being Jewish play into your business and being a parent?
I love the opportunity that I have now to put more Judaica into people's lives! We made some forks that said "have a sweet New Year" and we've done things for Bar Mitzvah's and Jewish weddings, and now of course Hanukkah. There is such a limited selection of Jewish products out there, and it makes me feel great that I can give another tableware/party option. 
It is nice that most Target stores have a Hanukkah section, but it doesn't make all my Hanukkah decorating dreams come true. I am definitely going to concentrate on developing more options for Jewish events. My kids both go to Jewish schools, so I am not worried that they will feel "left out" during the holiday season, but I still want to do everything I can to make their Hanukkah more fun.  

DM: What is your proudest moment?
I don't think I have one. I am flooded with things to be proud of these days, whether it's an email from a major magazine about my products, or a conference at my kids schools, I feel like I am floating pretty regularly. We all have ups and downs, but really appreciating the little but amazing things every day keeps me happy.
DM: Any tips for other young moms trying to juggle motherhood and starting a business?
Don't be afraid to take the next step. Whether it is getting a lease on a much-needed work space, or deciding to put your child in extra care. Nothing has to be permanent. A lease can be 6 months, and you can always change your kids plans if it isn't working out. It's hard to make a leap, but without giving your business the chance it deserves, you may not see it grow, and that could be harder.
Also, I use every service available to make things easier. Payroll, shipping, mail pick-up, supply delivery, you name it. Moms are busy, we don't have time to do chores at home and work too. Make it easier for yourself when you can! Your husband and kids will appreciate it if you're not a ball of stress every night.
I think the bottom line is if you feel like what your doing makes you a better person, and makes you happy, it will be good for your family too.
DM: Thank you Brooke, for taking the time to talk with me and telling my readers about your awesome shop!
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