Tell us a little bit about yourself, your work, and where we can find you?
I’m Joy. People probably know me best through my work as Joy the Baker. As Joy the Baker, I work as a baker, cookbook author, and food photographer. I work a lot on the internet developing recipes and sharing them with people so they can get into their own kitchens and get inspired like I do.
I work out of The Bakehouse, where I test recipes and take a lot of food photos. Almost every weekend, I open my doors and invite people in for baking and food workshops.Where were you in life ten years ago, and did you ever see yourself where you are now?
Ten years ago, I was one year into writing my blog Joy the Baker. I was working at two restaurants day and night and coming home to work on my blog after work.
I was just starting to build a language around food, how I felt about it, and how I felt making it for people. I wouldn’t have imagined that I would be here at this point in my life and career. I didn’t even know it was possible.Where do you derive strength? What gives you the fortitude to keep going when the going gets tough?
I get a lot of strength from feeling like I am of service to people and feeling like I have something to share that can inspire them. That’s what I think about it when I don’t want to test a recipe again or don’t want to write on the internet.
I think - this might be someone’s next birthday cake that they’re making for their grandmother, so go do it and make it good so that other people can too.
What is one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced, and how did you overcome that challenge?
There are so many little challenges every day just to get through life. Being self-employed in a creative world, in a world where my livelihood depends on my ability create things that people like, is challenging. I’ve found that it's especially challenging when I reach personal bumps in the road – going through a breakup or frazzled from moving. Maintaining a creative space can be challenging because I’m not always feeling it.
What is an early or favorite scent memory you have? What comes to mind when you imagine your favorite scent?
Naturally all my favorite early scent memories are based in the kitchen and food derived. My dad is a big pie baker. When I was a kid, I remember the smell of his peach cobbler, his brownies, and most of all, his sweet potato pie.
It has cinnamon and coriander in it. When I make that pie, it's the most grounding scent I have. It feels like my family is close, and it just has a warmth in it that gets inside me.
Self-care: What is one non-negotiable self-care ritual that you try to regularly attend to?
Gosh, a lot of them. My yoga practice is a big part of my self care. It’s everything. It’s just a place for me to make space in my mind for the next thing.
I take a lot of baths, and I think of travel as self-care. I have to get going at least once a month. Travel also helps me make space for the next right thing. I just got back from Israel, and I got to eat and meet some incredible home cooks there. Next, I’m going to California to go camping.
Nature: We take great inspiration from travel & nature. What is the most inspiring natural place you've ever been to and why?
I get a lot of inspiration from going home, ironically. My home is California. Something about when I land and walk on the ground in California, it just feels like home for me.
I also love that it has so many different landscapes. I love Big Sur, I love the Northern California beaches like Stinson Beach, and I also love how beautifully productive the land is there. I love the wine vineyards and how Central California produces so much food. I find it really inspiring.
What is your favorite Smoke product?
The Full Moon Rose Oil. I love it. I keep a bottle on my night stand. It’s just feels like such a treat. I like to rub it on my chest before I go to sleep.
And finally: What’s your greatest hope for the future?
That’s such a big question. Probably something to do with nourishment, that’s always what I’m trying to do, nourish everyone I come into contact with. That's my biggest hope: for everyone to find the nourishment they need.