Welcome back! You're in for a sweet treat this week, so I hope you didn't eat too much candy over the holiday weekend ;-) Don't worry, it's ok to indulge a little, right? And who could resist the sweet treats this girl comes up with. Meet Joanna, the baker behind the Etsy shop aptly named, Baked by Joanna.
A baker at heart, Joanna has found the best way to express herself to be through her oven. Now, her virtual bakery is her creative outlet. Learn more about her below, and see first-hand what she's cooking up in her Dessert Lab.
What inspires you?
Luckily for me, I feel as though I have always been the creative type. My mom was just as creative and perhaps that was where it all began. She is a terrific cook and loves to create anything from crocheted blankets to jazzing up plain, old shirts. Growing up I participated in theater, the symphony, art exhibits and tons of other stuff just to always keep busy, and I loved it. I even worked in a bakery for a little while several years ago in Texas; nothing too big, but I had a great time and always loved having a finished product that people enjoyed looking at and eating. With all the creative and fun things I’ve done, it’s molded my craft into what it is today. I can find inspiration in everything, even imperfections…those are the best!
Where do you call home? Are you from there originally?
I would say that home for me, right now, is Tempe, AZ. With the support of all my friends here, how can I not feel like this is home? To top it off, I have the encouragement of my husband Ben and the love of my dog Halo to complete my family. Their support has meant the world to me and keeps me going. Originally, I am from Beaumont, TX.
Name something unique to where you live.
The Phoenix Suns are located here! I absolutely love this team and even have a Christmas tree that I put together, and handmade most of the decorations, every year. They are so exciting to watch and though they are not the same team today as they were when I first watched them, they are the team that made me love basketball.
Share an interesting fact about yourself.
When I was little, I wanted to grow up and be an ice cream woman. I know, not so glamorous, but when you are 5 years old, it sounds great!
If you had to describe yourself in a word, what would that word be?
What made you decide to open up shop?
I have a dream of opening up a bakery one day, by 30 I hope, and thought this would be a great way to get an idea of what it feels like to own one. Plus, I love the Etsy idea of selling all things handmade. It is important to me that we support the arts, local entrepreneurs and anything that allows us to express ourselves, so Etsy was a no-brainer when choosing a place to open a virtual bakery.
Who taught you to bake and when?
I actually taught myself. Growing up, we weren’t allowed any sweets really unless it was a special occasion and even then, it was store bought. I truly began baking probably about five years ago when I first started working in a bakery. With all the ingredients and tools at my disposal, I learned to primarily decorate baked goods while doing some baking on the side.
Name your favorite thing about selling handmade.
I can make my products reflect what I envision them to be. The best part, I suppose, is sharing my art with others so they can enjoy them.
Do you have a day job or sell on Etsy full-time?
Well, like many, I still have a day job (marketing). I also go to school part-time. One day, I hope that I will be able to just focus on my baking and treats.
Give us a little glimpse into what a typical day in your life looks like.
7:30am Wake up and get ready for work.
8:30am-5pm Work my day job.
5pm-7pm Workout at the gym.
7pm-11pm A mixture of completing school work, making/eating dinner, bakery/Etsy stuff and then getting cleaned up for bed.
I am a busy bee.
Share with us a favorite Etsy purchase or shop.
I have really been eyeing this store on Etsy called Oktak. They sell framed pouches, like clutches almost, that are way too cute. They use very unique fabrics that I think completes their product line. I will be buying one in the near future!
List a few of your most favorite pastimes.
That’s easy! Baking, spending time with my husband & dog and hanging out with my girls. Also, I love every Christmas when a few of my girlfriends and I get together to mass produce tons of baked treats for gifts…great times and memories.
Read any good books lately?
With school, I spend more time reading textbooks lately than books for fun. My favorite, though, is The Notebook. I loved it! In the future, I would like to read the Twilight series, so many people rave about it.
What is your most prized possession?
I would have to say that I would never be able to live without my cell phone. I know it’s materialistic, but it’s true. I use it as a PDA, to check the internet, make and receive calls and tons of other things. It keeps my life in order. I am lost whenever I forget it at home.
What are three of your favorite foods?
I love sushi, soft cheddar & jalapeño pretzels (with a side of cheese, of course) and all Vietnamese foods.
What would you like to learn to do?
I’ve never been rock climbing and would love to learn how to do that. (The rock climbing gym does not count; although, it is a lot of fun!)
What are you listening to right now?
The television is on, so of course, I am listening to the football game. Go Cardinals!
Name one place you must visit in your lifetime and why.
I would love to go to Greece. I never really had a reason why other than I think it would have great hiking and lots of cool architecture to see.
Joanna, thank you for stopping by to share with us. It was a pleasure getting to know you better. Best of luck with your new shop!
Don't forget to stop by Joanna's blog to stay up-to-date!
Time for a Giveaway!
This week's lucky winner will receive a dozen of Joanna's scrumptious cupcake lollipops! Sweet!!
All you have to do is comment on this post and tell us what your favorite sweet is. Please leave your name and Etsy username or email address along with your answer.
*Important note: This giveaway is open to residents of the US only.
For extra entries you can:
Tweet this giveaway: 2 additional entries
Follow my blog and/or Joanna's Blog: 5 additional entries
Blog about this interview/contest: 7 additional entries
Purchase from Baked by Joanna : 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, November 8th at 11:59 pm EST. Winner will be chosen by traditional drawing and will be announced Monday, November 9th.