Monday, September 21, 2009

Hall of Fame {Baby Muffalatta}

Welcome back! You're in store for another sweet treat this week!

I am so happy to introduce you to Stephanie, my beautiful sister behind Etsy shop Baby Muffalatta.

I have Stephanie to thank for ever getting started on Etsy! She is the one that introduced me to the site, and encouraged me to open my shop. The rest is history, and here we are!

There is an eleven year age gap between my sister and me. I remember, as a child, that it seemed like such a huge difference. Although, as I've gotten older, the gap seems to be closing (my sister, my mom, and I, often get mistaken for three sisters *hehe*). When I was ten, my sister joined the Air Force and moved to Texas. Then after several years back in North Carolina, she now lives in Tennessee. Even though we have often been apart, I have always looked up to her. She has never failed to be an inspiration to me. I am so grateful for her and blessed to have her in my life.

Read on to learn more about Stephanie, her yummy shop, and discover her passion in all that she does.

What inspires you?
My animals, my husband, daughter, my sister, nature, my grandmother Mildred Smith Nelson (German Moravian), my grandfather Clyde Shreeve Nelson (Swedish), both of whom were awesome bakers. My Grandfather baked for a bakery. My close friends, my dreams for the future, my political views, animal welfare activism, Etsy Artists, my Mom Frances' awesome food growing up, my step-father Mallory's awesome food and Upside Down Cake growing up and his wonderful garden (me shelling buckets of peas)!!!! My Grandparents Edith and Roland DeMers, so many things.....of course, the dreams of others in our Society, the needs of others around the world......

Where do you call home? Are you from there originally?
I call North Carolina home. I am from Union Cross, an area near Wallburg, Kernersville, and Winston-Salem. When my grandmother's ancestors moved to Wallburg from Germany in the middle 1700's, it was called Abbott's Creek. It is about 10 minutes from Old Salem, the second original Moravian settlement in the United States. For the past 5 years, I have lived in Columbia, Tennessee with my husband, daughter, and our animals. I love it here but it is not home.
Name something unique to where you live.
I absolutely love the Duck River!!! We love to canoe it! It is one of the most bio-diverse rivers in the United States and is home to an endangered species called the Pearl-lipped Mussel, which has an absolutely beautiful shell!!!

Share an interesting fact about yourself.
I have webbed feet!!!!!! Just kidding..... Well, I can't really think of anything out of the ordinary or interesting. Oh, okay. I was in the military as a young adult!!!!! I was a United States Air Force Medic!!!!!!!

If you had to describe yourself in a word, what would that word be?

What made you decide to open up shop?
Well actually, I was looking up resources on how to open my own internet store back in 2006 and came across The Black Apple on the search engine "Google". It said Etsy, hand-made goods in the Google Search and I clicked on it. The Black Apple was the first person I ever favorited, I think!!!!! I love her artwork!!!!!
The name Baby Muffalatta is so cute! How did you come up with it?
I had a little muffin hat for my daughter when she was a toddler. It looked like "Blueberry Muffin's" hat from "Strawberry Shortcake". I automatically thought of it. I love to name stuff after the thoughts of my daughter.

Why vegan?
Well, I believe in believing 100 % in your product. You must use it to sell it. This is what I eat and many people I know personally love it. The ingredients I buy make a political statement about me - who I am and what I believe in. Rather, how I wish my values and beliefs to be remembered. Also, it is much more healthy. I didn't really understand this perspective until a few years ago. It was a slow evolution. My sister also gave me this awesome book Skinny Bitch which highlights things about foods I didn't know before or did not believe as 100 % fact. Thank you Lory!!!! I love you!!!!

Name your favorite thing about selling handmade.
Nothing really beats being able to homeschool my daughter and be there for her. To support her and give her more options in life. I'm just so appreciative of this opportunity to take things day by day with her.
Do you have a day job or sell on Etsy full-time?
Wow, well there's a long answer to that little question!!! I have no day job right now. I sell on Etsy full-time. My mind is always brewing with things to do. I try to take things day by day. Right now, I am planning on taking a metal smithing class. My other shop, Moon Garden Studio, was my first shop. I did a few metal smithing projects, but have found teaching myself how to transform the sculptural ideas in my mind to metal difficult. I put that on hold a while back. I love sculpture. Clay and metal are my favorite mediums. My third favorite medium is food and the process of food preparation and cooking.

Share with us a favorite Etsy purchase or shop.
Well, there are many favorite Etsy shops let me tell you!!!!!! I love my Jibby and Juna necklaces!!!!! I love her textures and mixed media pendants so much!!!!!
I also love my Maggie J's necklaces!!!!!!!! She is a North Carolina artist with a store in Cullowhee. My latest purchase is from Lisa's Lovlies. It is a Fossilized Sand Dollar in a sterling silver bezel. I love it so much! I'm actually wearing it in the picture you have here!!!

List a few of your most favorite pastimes.
Watching educational television programming of course!!!!!! I love nature and history shows!!!!!!
I cook, of course!!!!!!! I have recently been looking into my own organic farming and food preservation!!!!!!! I absolutely love playing tennis with my husband and daughter. I adore spending time sleeping with my dogs and cats!!!!!! We all also love to watch movies together!!!!!!
Read any good books lately?
Not really darling!!!!!! I haven't read a book in a very long time!!!!!! I actually love to read books though!!!!!! My favorites are probably Edgar Allan Poe and historical autobiographies, especially slave narratives, such as Olaudah Equiano. I have a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Psychology with coursework in Native North Americans and Cultural Anthropology, so you see where I'm going with this. I subscribe to Mother Jones Magazine, The Utne Reader and if I subscribed to all the journals and magazines I had interests in, I would never do anything else!!!!!!

What is your most prized possession?
My wedding ring.

What are three of your favorite foods?
Tofu, especially the faux-chicken-fried tofu you buy in the prepared service area at Whole Foods. It's like chicken nuggets!!!!!! I used to hate vegetables. My second favorite food is probaby cremini or baby portabella mushrooms. My third????? Hmmmmm????
Right now, believe it or not, my third I have to say is the Bob's Red Mill brand Vegi Soup Mix. It's a bag of lentils, beans, and small whole-grain alphabet pasta. The bag is like, $4.50. It will feed our hungry family of three humans and three dogs for about 4 days, no kidding!!!!!! It is almost like a "Stone Soup"!!!!!!! I just found it!!!!!!! You can add any kind of broth, mushroom, vegetable, or just water. It takes a little over one hour to cook. I throw whatever in it!!!!!!! Last night, I put in about a cup of old dry wheat corkscrew pasta, about 1 cup of leftover jasmine rice, looked in the freezer- threw in some frozen corn, some frozen black-eyed peas and LOTS of roasted garlic!!!!!!!! Salt, pepper, a dash of Garam Masala, some ground coriander (Alex insisted so just a dash, I didn't want this to taste like an East Indian dish), and VOILA!!!!!! It was AMAZING!!!!!!!
What would you like to learn to do?
Metalsmithing and Pottery most definitely!

What are you listening to right now?
Well, I am eclectic in my musical tastes. I grew up dancing to Soul Train in the late 70's thru the 80's.My grandmother said I danced as a baby holding onto the dresser and stomping my feet to my mom's record player!!!!!!
Music and dancing is in my blood. My husband of 9 years has really introduced me so much musically. Right now, I am listening to LUX and I also just discovered Lady Gaga! I love her song Love Game! It's a little wild 'n crazy for me as a mother, but my daughter and husband don't know! I guess when they read this they will, though!!!!!!

Name one place you must visit in your lifetime and why.
This is a hard one!!!!!! I'd like to visit many places!!!!!! Probably Hawaii!!!!! I have this idea in my mind of tropical flowers, waterfalls, lagoons......
I always wanted to go to a luau and eat the pork (pig) cooked in a pit with banana leafs on top- the whole smoking pit thing!!!!!! Now that I am a vegetarian, it doesn't really work!!!!!!!! : ) I think I would love a home in Hawaii and could find tons of vegan fare that would suite me just fine!!!!!!

Stephanie, thank you for participating in my Hall of Fame series and sharing with my readers. Keep up the good work. I love you!!
Time for a Giveaway!
One lucky winner will get a DOZEN MUFFINS from Stephanie's shop! The winner will get to choose two muffin flavors, and will get six of each.

Flavors to choose from are:
I Love You Chewey: Double Chocolate Cherry Chocolate Chip
Oh My Gosh Give Me One: Sweet Potato Vegan Chocolate Chip
Vegan Apple Walnut Cinnamon with Brown Sugar Top
Groovy Blueberry with Agave Nectar
Popping Over Deelish Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Chunk
Kiss Yo Mama Lemon Cream Poppy Seed

I don't know about you, but my mouth is watering! :}

To enter, heart Baby Muffalatta and leave a comment on this post with your name and email address or Etsy username.

For extra entries you can:
Tweet this giveaway: 2 additional entries
Follow my blog: 5 additional entries
Blog about this interview/contest: 7 additional entries
Purchase from Baby Muffalatta: 10 additional entries

(Please include this info, if applicable, with your comment for additional entries. You do not need to leave separate comments for additional entries. Important: Don't forget to include your name and contact info!)

Contest ends Sunday, September 27th at 11:59 pm EST. Winner will be chosen by traditional drawing and will be announced Monday, September 28th.


Stephanie Nelson Castaneda-Clark said...

Lory, you are an awesome sister!!!!!!
Thank you so much for this awesome interview
and write-up! Your kind words I'll always
remember!!! You were such a special baby and
you are the most wonderful sister!!!! You do such
a great job with all your endeavors!!!
I miss you very much!!!
Love you baby!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Yum! These look great! My husband is eating mostly vegan foods these days. I'd probably choose the Vegan Apple Walnut Cinnamon with Brown Sugar Top and Kiss Yo Mama Lemon Cream Poppy Seed. Thanks!

Aik said...

OMG, my mouth is watering! These look DELI.CI.OUS! I hearted her shop. (bloomingblossom)



Aik said...

I tweeted.

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Aik said...

I'm a follower. +5

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Aik said...

I blogged. +7

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

What a yummy giveaway my fingers are crossed I would love to win. I hearted you on etsy. Thanks for the great giveaway.Helen

Rachel said...

YAY!!! Going vegan is one of the best things I've ever done! I love to see people selling vegan food - not only are you doing something you love, you are spreading the word that eating vegan is yummy and super cool!

By the way - love hearing "You Are My Sunshine"!


Rachel said...

Forgot to add that I'm following you now! ;)

JJ said...

Shop is added to favorites! I am excited to be entered as we have some allergies in our family and are always looking for food that we can eat and is crazy good!...

Anonymous said...

I(rahzh) want to win :) I am following you as rahzh (with my Google account).

And I tweeted

Kimberly said...

I (kfsonshine) hearted babymuffalatta!

kimberly.yates at gmail dot com

sarsosari said...

They all sounds sooo yummy!! Thanks :)

I follow :)


JuliaA said...

hearted as juliaa on etsy

JuliaA said...

hearted as knitoramaa. i have two shops!

JuliaA said...

oops, sorry, i'm sleepy and didn't see the thing about how separate entries aren't needed! i was mesmerized by deliciousness possibilities. :D

blogged--you're first on the list!

Abigail said...

Hearted as

abigail.lee {at}

Stephanie Nelson Castaneda-Clark said...

Thank you all for all the wonderful comments!!!! And it's only Tuesday!!!!!!!!! Thank you Lory!!!!!!!

Lost Mitten said...

I hearted you! I'm a vegan and I love your shop! :)

etsy user name = lostmitten

thank you! :)

Michele P. said...

I hearted you my etsy name is micaela6955 best way to contact is via email micaela6955 at msn dot com, my next door neighbor is really into Vegan cooking and I have tried a few things, very yummy!

Michele P. said...

Just became a blog follower +5

micaela6955 at msn dot com

throuthehaze said...

hearted as Throuthehaze

+5 follower

throuthehaze at gmail dot com

kelly g. said...

Oh, what a sweet interview! I hearted you on etsy; my username is easyvegan and my email addy is easyvegan [at]

sarah said...

oh wow! i'd love to enter. i'm always on the lookout for good vegan muffins!

fertawert AT yahoo DOT com

Anonymous said...

That necklace looks so great on you!!! I would love to be entered in the contest. I hearted you!

denise said...

Ahh! These look delicious! I hearted your shop, go vegan!

etsy name: qwaszx024

denise said...

I follow
qwaszx024 at gmail dot com

balanced. said...

Hearted! :)


Tylerpants said...

What a yummy shop! I hearted Baby Muffalatta!

Etsy username: mexyplex

Tylerpants said...

I'm a follower. 5x entries

trixpixel said...

I've hearted her shop!

username: littlemissbee

trixpixel said...

I follow your blog! 5X

lea: trixpixel[at]

Stephanie Nelson Castaneda-Clark said...

Thank you everyone for such a great response!!!!!! Lory's blog is absolutely awesome!!!!!! Thank you for this opportunity! I can't wait to see who wins!!! Thank you Lory for choosing me as your Hall of Fame shop for this past week!!!! This has been so much fun!!!!!