Meshing Motherhood And Business With Sweet Laurel
P H O T O G R A P H Y : Grey & Elle
Santa Monica, CA | April 2017
Were you nervous to have a baby and fit it into everything else you had going on?
Very much so. I had no idea what it was going to be like, obviously. Nico is my first baby. I’ve always seen Sweet Laurel as my first baby, and it takes that much time to run a business. In a way, I was like – maybe I will be prepared because I know how much Sweet Laurel took from my life. Maybe Nico will be the same. Honestly, it was really interesting because I do feel like Sweet Laurel prepared me to get ready for motherhood because I had something that was taking most of my time – like 95% of it – and so I knew that my life could still go on even though I had something that was so big involved in my life everyday, all day. Nico is very similar. He takes all my time. But it’s so much fun.
I know that I have nuggets of time when I can do work, and that’s when I really go for it. As he gets older it’s going to change: he’ll sleep longer and have a nap time that is very set, so I'll be able to get stuff done during that time…
Did you change your responsibilities in the business to prepare for motherhood?
Oh yeah. Big time. I hired a kitchen manager to do all my kitchen management that I was doing before. So instead of me going into the kitchen every day and baking up a storm, I trained someone – it took me months and months to do it – but I trained someone to run the production side of things.
I worked until my water broke. Literally. I was bouncing on my yoga ball doing pre-maternity leave emails…and my water broke. I thought it was kind of funny. I was texting my business partner at the time, and I was like ‘BTW, I think my water just broke.’
My business partner took over for three weeks when I was out; she handled my emails and everything. And so, she sort of knew that was her cue.
Sweet Laurel is now in a really amazing place where I have stuff running on it’s own. And I’m still very much involved from a management scenario. But the actual time of me baking has gotten to be more manageable. I was really grateful I got pregnant because a lot of things got a lot more organized about the business. It started to be able to run on its own, which is great.
Nico made us get the cookbook done faster than we would have otherwise. It's made me be more efficient and more on time. It’s amazing. For a lot of women, being pregnant forces them to take better care of their body. I didn’t have to change my diet at all when I got pregnant. I wasn’t really eating or drinking anything that you can’t when pregnant.
[Becoming a mother has] caused me to realize, even more so [than I did before], how important community is. There is this whole mom tribe that has been so fun. I’ve met so many cool women just walking Nico around. I started a Mar Vista / Venice moms group. The first meeting there were already ten people, and it’s people I met in six weeks – people I met at the Farmer’s Market or at the coffee shop. It’s been really great for my relationship with my husband, too. We’ve been able to see the beauty of life and how people have been doing this for centuries. It’s really not that hard. It’s scary at first. But this is what people have been doing for centuries.
Having Nico was a beautiful addition to Sweet Laurel because he was the mark that I was healed. I had been going through this five-year journey to be healthy enough to function without additional hormones. I was doing a lot of things to get my body systems functioning again, and my thyroid and my digestive system had fallen into place, but the one thing that hadn’t really gotten better yet was my reproductive system. I hadn’t had a period in four years.
I saw that my pregnancy, and the ability for my body to sustain a life, was, first of all, empowering, and second of all, a mark that my body was healed. I think it’s a beautiful sign for my customers, followers, and friends that this really does work. The Sweet Laurel method of eating clean, reducing stress, doing things for you and for your health, and eating good food is important and it’s also healing.
What has been the most unexpected element of motherhood?
I didn’t think that my arms would be so sore. And by arms I mean arms and hands. From nursing, you are constantly holding this head. My hands, wrists, and arms really hurt. As a baker, I use my hands, arms, and thumbs a lot, so I thought my muscles would be good to go. But when you hold a baby all the time and feed him like 20 times a day, it’s a lot.
When can we get our hands on your cookbook?
The Sweet Laurel cookbook is coming out Spring 2018. It’s based on the idea of wholesome, beautiful food that is easy to make and approachable. The entire book is focused on five core ingredients: almond flour, coconut oil, organic eggs, 100% maple syrup or dates, and Himalayan sea salt.
Laurel's Snickerdoodle Recipe
These are DELICIOUS - not at all crispy and flaky and crumbling like your grandmother's may be. These taste more like molasses cookies to me. The perfect amount of chewy and so yummy.
Laurel's Birth Story
One of the most honest, and raw retellings of birth that I've ever read. So, so beautiful.