Today we’d like to introduce you to Alayne Abrahams.
Alayne, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
From a young age, I was always inquisitive and curious about food. I loved the idea of creating something from my own imagination and by my own hands, beginning with croutons made in the Arizona sun leading to full Thanksgiving feasts made for those I loved, once I was grown. I learned that when stomachs were full, hearts were as well. There was love in every dish I made and warm appreciation I received that lifted my soul.
As life moved ahead, this curiosity continued to inspire me and I was eager to learn about people and places far outside of my surroundings. I yearned to know more. I had a great respect for authentic traditions and diverse cultural perspectives, and wanted to create a blend between both what felt nostalgic and what could evolve from all we are lucky enough to have available to us today. My passions led to a reverence for knowledge and all things creative- design, architecture, fashion, cooking and travel.
At home, my heart compelled me to cook for those closest to me but additional interests led me on a different career path. Fashion was my choice and I dedicated the next 28 years to delivering the best in service and sales as an executive in the contemporary luxe and luxury fashion industry. Throughout, I had the honor and privilege to make lifetime friendships and contribute to some of the most revered fashion houses from Paris to Milan. I was inspired every day by the hard work and heart displayed from all levels- stock to CEO. I held a deep respect and awe of the business leaders and creative visionaries, true artists and craftsman in their own right, bringing their ideas to life.
While my career brought many rewards and a great sense of accomplishment, a longing remained, as I was always following someone else’s path. The idea of success took on new meaning and had evolved to become more personal, more about giving and connecting than the accomplishment itself. My deepest desire was to build my own story, following my heart and culinary passion, to become as skilled at my craft as those I had come to respect. With years of forethought, but truly a leap of faith, I enrolled in a Baking and Pastry Arts program at New School of Cooking in Culver City, to round out my knowledge and bring Flower and Water to life.
My hope remains simple. To bring joy to others by sharing delicious and beautiful food, deliver an authentic and memorable experience to make lasting personal connections.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Easy is not the word I would use to describe it! Flower and Water began very recently and much faster than planned. I finished my Baking and Pastry Arts program in June 2018 and was working shortly after. Just getting set up with all of the required permits and licenses was an exercise in patience and learning along the way. You are at the mercy of others, often receiving conflicting information and nearly always playing the waiting game. Once licensed, I reached my first major hurdle….learning to produce out of an 80 square foot kitchen in a 600 square foot apartment. Finding places for all that was needed, from equipment to packaging, has continued to create obstacles, but I am up for the challenge and have been able to make it work. I have learned that everything is about trial and error, creative thinking and prioritizing. Oh, and taking a few deep breaths every now and then…
Additionally, working solo brought about its own level of challenge. I had always worked with a collaborative team of people and had managed businesses through both my own hands but also in partnership with many others. I missed this camaraderie and have found that I needed to find this in other outlets. I also missed the extra hands! There is much to be done from shopping, baking, cleaning, deliveries, sourcing, packaging, labels, printing, and the list goes on.
I have learned that a high level of planning is necessary and an even higher degree of flexibility.
Allowing setbacks to be only a momentary pause will help with one’s sanity as well. You cannot allow the last minute request, a broken refrigerator, or delays out of your control undo you. It has been important to set boundaries, create policies, and to not overextend myself to maintain momentum. While I have always prided myself on my work ethic and my ability to “make things happen”, I have also had to accept that I am only one person and must be realistic about what I can manage to sustain for the long road ahead.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Flower and Water – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Flower and Water begins with heart and a desire to make a great product and deliver a memorable experience. We are a cottage bakery specializing in handcrafted pastry, baked goods, and small batch jams and granolas. We are inspired by our passion for amazing taste and attention to the smallest, but what we consider, the most significant details.
I believe what sets us apart are our ideals and what we value. Quality and sincerity are the cornerstones of everything we do. We respect the artisan, small production and being true to oneself. We do not try to be everything to everybody but rather selective in what we do. We are beautifully simple, not showy, believing less is often more.
We remain humbled by nature and what it offers, respecting traditional, old-world methods, but exploring where new ideas in a contemporary day and age may bring something spectacular and unimagined. We seek out and celebrate inspiration from around the globe while maintaining our commitment to use local and sustainable ingredients, wherever possible, to both support our community and provide our clients the best California has to offer.
As a brand new business, we believe that the best is yet to come. Our hearts will be full of pride when we are able to bring joy to others and build a loyalty to be passed down through generations.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am a wealth of ideas, and so there will always be big plans! We began as a wholesale business with the goal of supporting cafes, markets, and other businesses. We have also worked within our neighborhood, and are hoping to build increased Flower and Water fans! For the next chapter, we look forward to launching our company website and e-commerce platform in early 2019.
We will offer a range of baked goods, small batch jams, and granolas as well as gifts to share, sold and shipped direct to consumer. For the future, we hope to collaborate with other artisans to celebrate the many talents in the marketplace and be able to offer additional items, in partnership with our own. Additionally, we plan to develop charitable partnership/s as a longer term goal. We believe wholeheartedly, that it is important to support others and give back.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @flowerandwaterbakery
- Website (to launch February 2019): www.flowerandwaterbakery.com