Constant state of creativity
Photo by Carolyn Fong
Could there be a better accompaniment to a confectionary company than a blog about food?
Five years ago, Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Whimsy & Spice began selling brownies, cookies and marshmallows at the Brooklyn Flea Market. Sweetfineday.com provided the perfect digital complement. And it’s been one sweet ride for both endeavors since then.
Customers can now purchase Whimsy & Spice products online and in specialty shops. And Sweetfineday.com has evolved into a popular repository of news about Whimsy & Spice, the author’s musings on life and a collection of eye-catching photos.
Pastry chef Mark Sopchak and his wife, Jenna Park, run Whimsy & Spice, but Sweetfineday.com is Park’s baby. It details her experiences while growing up (she was born in South Korea) and their impact on how she raises the couple’s two grade-school daughters, Claudine and Mia.
Undergrad degrees in fine art from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and in music from The Evergreen State College, capped off by a master’s in interactive telecommunications from New York University, are among the factors that contribute to Park’s roles as art director and “food entrepreneur.” Out of all her current experiences, though, perhaps the one she’s most recognized for is Sweetfineday.com. At least for now.
“I’ve spent as much as six to eight hours on a single post,” Park explains in an email. “I do have a propensity to write long, rambling blog posts.” Judging from the discussions and comments on her blog, her lengthy observations are well-received.
Park is certainly not “desk-bound.”
“Every day is a little bit different depending on the freelance work and deadlines that I have on my plate,” she reveals. “Since I work from home and our business is very much entangled with our lives, the boundaries between work and life are blurred. The one thing that is consistent and governs our lives is our kids’ schedules – walking them to school, picking them up. Within those hours I work, and I continue working after the kids are in bed, too. .... Each day is a juggling act from fulfilling orders, to meeting deadlines to managing the kids’ after school activities and homework. …”
Three years ago, Park unveiled her documentary photo series, “The Mixed Race Project.”
“The first three families that I launched the project with were friends of mine who I had asked and who graciously volunteered, but every family after that were people who contacted me directly. … I didn’t actively solicit families to participate – they came to me, mostly through word of mouth and through the blog.”
Park is fond of turning her lens not only on people but landscapes (particularly the Pacific Northwest and New York City) and – of course – Whimsy & Spice products. However, it takes a great deal of effort to coax her from behind her Canon 5D Mark II and her iPhone.
“I’m not really comfortable in front of a camera,” says the inveterate photographer. “(And) I don’t understand the selfie obsession.”