38. How To Use Creative Collaborations to Form Partnerships
Being the total foodie that I am, I sought out this guest because I was drawn to the amazing food photography on her Instagram feed. The photos all lead to WinniE’s Bakery, based in Colombia, Maryland, where creator and chef, Elise Smith, provides patrons with treats steeped in familial tradition with a unique flare that only she can provide.
Elise’s love for baking was shaped as a child by watching and helping her grandmother in the kitchen. That love soon turned into passion after an innocent batch of expresso brownies, intended as a pick-me-up for a college final, ignited a fire in Elise that quite frankly isn’t turning down anytime soon. Elise shares how she started her business, how to engage in creative collaborative projects, and how to approach almost anyone as an introvert, plus a host of other fun tidbits.
- Born and raised in Columbia, Maryland
- Her maternal grandmother had a bakery which ended up influencing her
- Her mom had a diabetic supply business growing up and the entire family pitched in to help
- In 2010, while trying to stay awake to study, she decided to make expresso brownies and shared them with her classmates; they loved them!
- Elise attended two community colleges but ultimately decided to attend Gallaudet University
- After she started baking again she couldn’t stop
- She started developing recipes and ended up with 7 recipe books; she say one-half to three-fourths of the recipes ended up being really good
- Worked with her parents to get her LLC, trademarks, and all the other things you need in order to start a business
- Started networking with creatives within the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) and was able to get her first styled/collaborative shoot
- Her initial collaboration led to other collaborations with photographers, designers, and people with event spaces
- We discuss the importance of food styling
- Tips for partnering and collaborating with people:
- Write down what you know about styled shoots
- Do your research
- Find the people that emulate the branding that you want to have yourself
- Review comments and find out what other people they’ve worked with
- Don’t be afraid to reach out
- Be open to these type of opportunities when they come to you
- “The goal of a styled shoot is to create an opportunity for the best representation of your work for whatever arena it may be” – Elise Smith
- Pitching tips for introverts:
- Come ready
- Do your research
- Remind yourself they are people to
- Be honest
- Elise tells a story about how she met the editor of Baltimore Bride at an event which led to them doing a piece on her
- Elise keeps track of everything using a variety of tools: a planner, Square, and Docracy
- Elise discusses running a business while dealing with myasthenia gravis (MG)
- Her advice to those dealing with MG or something similar: “Find it in yourself to know that you’re worth your dreams” and find your tribe
- Gallaudet University
- Rochester University
- Vigilante Coffee
- Pulp and Grind
- Megan Elizabeth Photography
- Silver Orchard Creative
- Amanda Frederickson
- Baltimore Bride Magazine
- Rising Tide Society
- Google Calendar
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