We first met Laura at the FAD Market (Fashion + Art + Design) in Brooklyn, NY along with her friend Diana Egnatz [See Diana's interview here]. In speaking with the two women, we quickly grew to admire their positive energy and confidence. These women are learning to balance everything in life: fun and ambition, self love and professional drive. Like the Yummiewear community that my sister and I learn from every day, these women each have stories that we wanted to document and share. Laura is part of our 10 Questions with Yummiewear Project - check out the homepage for more profiles!
On a summer afternoon in August, we met up with Laura and Diana for an interview at Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn, NY. We can't wait for you to get to know her!
Her favorite cheat treats are Mexican candy, babka, cookie dough, Nerds and Starburst jelly beans. This Brooklynite and media specialist is looking to shake up the food industry with a “meaty” idea.
Martina: We all know the saying “ you are what you eat.” If that’s true, which one of your “cheat day” foods would you want to be, and why?
Laura: Babka, because I'm so cinnamon-spicy.
M: If you were stranded on an island and you could bring just one cheat food with you, which would it be?
L: My Mexican candy!
M: What is the best junk food experience you ever had?
L: There's this perfect funnel cake at Six Flags on the West Coast where I was living at the time. My tradition was to always get funnel cake there, and one day when we were leaving Six Flags, it just so happened that I had the most perfect one. There was no line because we went on a Wednesday. The guy had just changed the oil and he had also just made fresh batter. It was just the most ultimate funnel cake I've ever tasted. I will never have a funnel cake again because I just don't ever want to ruin that experience and memory in my head.
“It was just the most ultimate funnel cake I've ever tasted. I will never have a funnel cake again because I just don't ever want to ruin that experience and memory in my head.”
M: Did you ever have a meal that you looked forward to beforehand, but it turned out to be a total bust?
L: Yes, at David Chang’s Momofuku Ko. At that time, I was really into going to tastings. It was also right around the time that Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast, so to give the restaurant the benefit of the doubt, my experience there may have been a result of a lack of proper ingredients. But it wasn’t just about the food - it had a lot to do with the ambiance. They didn't have any music. They didn’t allow us to take any pictures. And they were really strict about us showing up on time.
Basically, my feelings about that meal were more about everything leading up to the food experience, so once we finally got our meal, it made it kind of disappointing.
M: What is a goal that you have that you would like to achieve in the next two years?
L: I’m just starting to venture into the food industry, which I have always had a passion for. I’m in the very early stages of taking the steps for my business idea to become a reality, but it’s very daunting. I’m taking it slow while still keeping the day job that I really really love. I hope it takes off, or at least I hope that I get to a good place with it in the next two years.
M: How do you stay focused on your goals? (i.e. Do you have a daily routine, or does someone support you?)
L: My support comes from the amazing Diana Egnatz, of Hotspoons Preserves. I met Diana just a few months ago. I have been so impressed and inspired by her focus, her intellect and her courage to really make what she wants to do a reality - especially given how young she is. I feel like even though I am much older than her, I can still learn a lot from her. She’s the person that has really encouraged me to make my food project a reality, and I am just really, really happy that she is in my life.
M: How do you stay mentally and physically happy?
L: Exercise is definitely part of staying happy. I think it’s important to take care of your body, because it helps you mentally. The older that I get, the more I realize that my time and energy are finite, so the people I keep close to me that I want to spend time with are specific.
When I was younger I just wanted to be friends with everyone, and as I got older I started not to care who likes me and who doesn’t. It became more about - is this person right for me? Whether it’s a friendship or a familial relationship or a romantic partnership, if someone is in my life it’s because I want them to be there.
The older that I get, the more I realize that my time and energy are finite so the people I keep close to me or that I want to spend time with are specific.
M: Social media creates an environment where many women feel pressure and self doubt. How do you manage your self perspective in relation to the media?
L: I am very anti-social media. I personally don’t participate in Facebook or Instagram. I know how much I would be affected by it. For example, I would be sensitive to seeing others seemingly “having that amazing life.” I would feel like I should be having the same experience. I think that just adds extra pressure to how I should be as a person even outside social media.
I’m at a place where I am trying to only add things to my life that’ll lift me up, versus take me down. I think that social media can be helpful for many things, but it also has a negative and dark side to it. I will go on social media if my friend says that she’s posted pictures from her vacation, but I'll definitely unsubscribe to all of the notifications. I go on social media when I have a purpose, and I avoid that extra pressure.
I’m in a place in my life now where I am trying to only add things to my life that’ll lift me up versus take me down.
M: What is one thing that you love about yourself and your body?
L: I really love my hair. I think it’s so amazing because I can do anything with it. It’s got the perfect beach waves.
M: If you could design your own Yummiewear shirt what would you want on it? Go crazy!
L: A Kouign-amann. It’s this Breton pastry from the French region of Brittany. Kouign-amann literally means in Celtic language - “butter cake.” It is my favorite dessert ever. It’s almost like a croissant that’s caramelized because it has a lot of sugar in it. The pastry has an overflowing top and a muffin bottom, kind of like a popover. It’s just so good. Dominique Ansel introduced me to this pastry, and that’s why I love his shop so much. I absolutely love it. I would want it on a t-shirt so I could always be with it.