CHIC FêTE BLOG
Follow along as we share our love for our vendors and fun party inspiration for your next Chic Fete! We will also share our fav DIYs to inspire you to get creative and craft with us.
Hey, Party People!
I'm happy to be back and writing about one of our favourite persons and talented marshmallow maker, Carly, of Marsh&Mallow!
I remember when I first heard of marshmallows as the new "in" dessert treat. I was like "Really? They're white, fluffy...I can get them from the grocery store right? What's the big deal?". Tsk, tsk. They are a BIG deal. Marshmallows have quickly become one of the most sought after party desserts. They have been transformed into sleek little rectangular shapes, infused with unique flavours and a chewy soft texture. Local vendor, Marsh&Mallow, has this gourmet dessert down to an art form.
I first tried one of Carly's marshmallows when I won one of her Instagram contests and my immediate thought was, 'OMG, where have you been all my life!?!' I was instantly hooked. Since then, I have been lucky enough to try more of Marsh&Mallow and have discovered my ultimate favourite flavour ... Salted Caramel. The salted caramel marshmallow is like winning the lottery in your mouth. That's right, I didn't stutter. And the goodness doesn't end there folks! Marsh&Mallow has a whole collection of delicious marshmallows to quench your tastebuds. Don't be surprised if you find some berry seeds in your marshmallows. Carly uses the finest ingredients, creating many of her sweet treats from fresh and organic produce. So, technically, since its like biting into a strawberry, I can count it as a fruit serving right???
We were lucky to have Marsh&Mallow be one of our vendors at our styled shoot for our official launch of our petite seats and rentals. They made the perfect addition to our sweets table, and as long as we still have taste buds in our mouths they will continue to be a staple at our events.
GETTING TO KNOW CARLY
I recently had a chance to catch up with Carly and here are a few things she had to say about her sweet company.
Iliana: How did you get started in the marshmallow making business?
Carly: Many years ago I came across a recipe for homemade marshmallows and though my first attempt was an epic failure, I was hooked. Through trial and error, I eventually ditched the recipe and developed my own technique and recipe. Having a full time corporate career, I needed a creative outlet, which naturally led me to pursue my love of creating sweet treats and turning it into a side venture. This is how Marsh&Mallow was born.
I: Where do you get your flavour inspirations from?
C: I get my inspiration from local, and organic in-season ingredients. Summer's sweet berries make for the perfect strawberry marshmallows, or enjoy a cool summer breeze with the fresh, hand squeezed lime juice Margaritaville. The holidays inspire a batch of mint chocolate marshmallows which are rolled in cocoa powder, drizzled with premium dark chocolate, and finished with a sprinkling of crushed candy cane. None of my marshmallows contain artificial flavors, so they are named for the ingredients they contain. My marshmallows contain 100% fruit puree, premium chocolate, natural ingredients and flavoring. Only the best quality ingredients are used.
I: What is the hardest part of running your business?
C: The hardest part in running my own business is continuing to push myself and believing in myself. I am my own worst critic. Of course, there have been set backs, but I try to turn the negative into a positive and rather use it as a learning experience. Luckily, I have a fantastic support system behind me, so when the going gets tough they know to just cheer a little louder.
I: What is the best part?
C: The best part is all the amazing feedback I have been receiving. Being able to create a product that I truly believe in, that I know is damn good, and having customers keep coming back for more.
I: Where do you see Marsh&Mallow in 5 years?
C: I see Marsh&Mallow having a store front right here in Vancouver, where I will continue to create superior handmade marshmallows. I don’t have any interest in being stuck behind a desk running a business; I want to continue to be the woman behind the brand; creating these delectable treats and seeing all the happy faces of those enjoying them.
I: What is the best piece of advise someone has given you in regards to starting your own business?
C: There are always going to be haters, but to realize the fact that you have haters very well means that you are actually on your way to success. After all, others are taking the time to think about you, and being positive or negative, it still means you are making an impact. That is something to draw strength from.
NOW FOR THE SERIOUS STUFF
I: What is your guilty pleasure?
C: Curling up in bed on a Saturday night and binge watching Netflix.
I: Who is your celebrity crush?
C: That’s an easy one, Tom Hardy! *swoon*
(For the record, I would like to make it known that Tom Hardy is also my celebrity crush)
Finish the sentence:
I can’t live without my…
C: ...lazy Sunday mornings, snuggling with my kids in our bed and watching cartoons.
If I had a dollar for every time I...
C: ...had someone ask me when I will be opening up a store, my 5 year plan would happen much, much sooner.
Today, I want to kick-off our Chic Fête Featured Vendor Series with one of my favourite bakers. If you haven't heard of Cookievonster before, you've been missing out.
Cookievonster is a local treasure run by Evon. I first found Evon three years ago when I was planning my daughter's 2nd birthday. I stumbled upon her website and was instantly floored by her cookie designs. I reached out to her and asked if she could make me a cookie of my little girl as a superhero. Silly question! Of course she could; Evon can do anything. She quickly returned my email with a sketch of the "Super Isla" cookie she designed. I was impressed and wondered how she would replicate the sketch into a cookie. The final product was even better than I had anticipated, and I knew then and there that this lady was:
a) a cookie enchantress
b) fantastically gifted
c) my new obsession
d) all of the above
D. Definitely, D.
Fast forward 3 years later, when Jacky and I signed on to create our Chic Fête vendor table for the Vancity Business Babes's #mompreneurpanel we only had one person in mind. We were chomping at the bit to ask Cookievonster to design our cookies, so we literally broke out into a happy dance when she said "YES!".
Cue MC Hammer, "na na na na, na na, na, You Can't Touch This...". Don't judge. If you've seen her cookies, you'd be busting a move too.
We asked her to design our cookies based on our "CHIC FêTE" logo, an inspiration board and explained our new business venture, renting children's chiavari chairs, which are exclusively available in Vancouver through us. Needless to say, we were amazed by how perfectly she captured our vision. They looked amazing on our vendor table, and everybody loved them. Something you have to know about Cookievonster cookies is that looking like a piece of beautiful art just isn't enough, every single one tastes even better than it looks. AH-MAZING!!!
GETTING TO KNOW EVON
I was able to ask this busy baker a few questions for this post. Her answers were both honest and hilarious! This lady has a knockout personality, just see for yourself ...
Iliana: What is your favourite thing about baking?
Evon: It's very therapeutic. It's what "fun" is to me. I'm creating something new, and when I'm successful I'm like, "YAY!!". It's the best thing ever.
I: In your opinion, what is the hardest thing about baking?
E: No sleep. Seriously, all bakers will tell you the same thing. "Lack of sleep".
I: How long have you had your business?
E: According to Facebook, it started in 2009. Seriously, I can't really remember exactly, but my Facebook page says Cookievonster was born in 2009. (laughs)
I: Where do you see your business in 4 years?
E: If my arms don't fall off, I wouldn't mind having a shop. (laughs) Making it a business where I can be successful and maintain the high standard and quality of my work. I like my cookies to be personalized to every client. I don't mass produce and have clients pick out from a catalogue. I like clients who want cookies designed just for them. Sometimes, I'm asked to replicate cookies and unless it's a cartoon character, I won't do it. I like each cookie to be unique in its own way, so it is a one-of-a-kind piece for each person.
I: What made you start baking?
E: It started off as Christmas presents. I didn't know what to give people for Christmas so I baked them cookies. They would request them the following year and that's how Cookievonster was born.
IF: How did you come up with the name Cookievonster?
C: My husband came up with it. I grew up with Sesame Street and I always liked Cookie Monster.
I: Do you have any advise for future bakers?
E: I would say "do it because you love it". Don't do it because you think you'll make a million bucks. You really do it for the love of baking. If I'm having a bad day my cakes look sad. I hate them and they hate me back. I hate you, I hate you!
Now, for the serious stuff...
I: Who is your celebrity crush?
E: There's so many. Which one do you want? (laughs). Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
I: What is your guilty pleasure?
E: My guilty pleasure is eating junk food on the couch and watching Game of Thrones marathons.
I: Finish the sentence: "I can't live without my..."
E: ...giant mixer, his name is "Winston". Oh wait a minute, that's my little mixer. My giant mixer's name is "Churchill".
I: Finish the sentence: "If I had a quarter for every time I..."
E: ...say "I want to QUIT, I'd have a million bucks!". I said it again just today. (laughs).
I: Any last words?
E: I can be cheesy and say, "If not for Cookievonster, I wouldn't have met anyone in Vancouver". That's really my favourite thing about Cookievonster. Is that so cheesy? I feel like I'm wishing for world peace. (laughs)
In conclusion, Evon is a masterful cookie designer and a chic fete is not complete without the cookievonster touch. Her eye for design + ability to create such stunning cookies sets her apart. We highly recommend her to all our clients and can't wait to work with her again.
Can't get enough of Evon? (I know we can't!). See more of Evon's creations at Cookievonster!
Stay tuned for more on Chic Fête's Featured Vendor Series.
XO - ili
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