Living the cake life isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes real gumption, a can-do attitude and endless dedication to the craft. No one pursues it harder than Jennifer Stafford, founder of The Sweet Life Apparel and expert in everything delicious.
Jenn started her graphic tee and sweater clothing line when she was on maternity leave with her second child, a daughter named Harper. Harper was different than her first child—clingy and a total mommy’s girl. Who could complain though? There’s nothing better than the feeling of your baby or toddler’s arms around your neck. Jenn simply couldn’t imagine leaving her to return to work.
So she decided to see if she could stay home with her children while pursuing her passion. That led her to cake... Well, cake and fashion.
Since she was a little girl, Jenn had sketched clothing designs, red carpet gowns and the like. But she wondered, “Am I ready for the full-time mom boss life?” Taking the plunge is never easy and she admits there have definitely been bumps in the road—gaining the confidence to start and run your business doesn’t come overnight, and neither does success.
But with a little persistence, Jenn’s created a company with children’s, women’s and men’s lines. Now she gets to live the cake life full-time, at home with her family and revelling in all the sugary goodness.
In the spirit of her business and living your best life, Jenn’s sharing five ways you can incorporate cake into your everyday. ?
1. Bake cake with your kids
Jennifer Stafford: I think bringing your children into the kitchen with you is so important and rewarding! I usually make extra cookies for them to decorate, or give them extra fondant to play with like PlayDoh.
I was raised on quality home cooking and we rarely ate out. We knew the work that was involved in grocery shopping, preparing meals and feeding the family. I love teaching my kids about the same things.
Plus, I think that being able to create something as delicious as cake with just a few common ingredients is pure childhood magic!
2. Wear clothing about cake
Jennifer: Here at The Sweet Life I often say, “Have your cake and wear it, too!” I create designs around dessert because every day should be celebrated, and you can't celebrate without cake.
And really, why NOT wear clothing about cake?
3. Make cake a part of your branding
Jennifer: I didn't set out to make cake a part of the brand—it has happened rather organically over the last two years. I really don't discriminate between desserts though; delicious is as delicious does. I am also a big fan of cookies and donuts and... Well, the list goes on.
I often spell CAKE in all capital letters, because it's more than just chocolate or vanilla. Here it has become a lifestyle. I hope that when you think of CAKE you think of the Sweet Life, that you appreciate this Sweet Life and enjoy every single day of it!
4. Talk about cake with your friends
Jennifer: I've had so much support from the local baking community. I often hear from them that they love wearing their CAKE shirts when they bake, or deliver cakes, it has become an unofficial uniform of cake makers the world over!
I've always enjoyed following baking blogs and since starting this company I've had so many of them reach out. It's been very inspiring and heartwarming.
Being tagged in pictures of customers rockin' their CAKE while eating or serving CAKE is such a treat for me!
5. Eat something sweet
Jennifer: I'm certainly not looking to encourage unhealthy eating habits—everything in moderation, of course! But I think being reminded to treat yourself by throwing out the rules sometimes never hurts. Why not eat cake for breakfast?
Want more from Jenn? She shares her answers to five Motherly questions. These are good ones!
How do you make your mornings run smoothly?
Jennifer: I get up and get myself ready to start the day before the kids so that when the kids wake up I can focus on them. I'm a night owl and often stay up late, laying out outfits, packing lunches and readying everything I need for the next day, maybe even with a checklist if necessary. I do whatever I can the night before to make my life easier in the mornings, since I know that mornings are often chaotic.
The lifehack or tip that has changed my life. . .
Jennifer: Having a cheat day! And I don't mean spending the day eating cake! I mean allowing myself to enjoy a day of not working on projects. After all, I wanted to create a business from home that would allow me the flexibility to spend more time with my children and drop everything for a sunny day. So, once in a while, that's just what I do.
What superpower have you discovered as a mom?
Jennifer: The ability to adjust my expectations. I work from home with two small children 24/7, so unpredictable results may (and often) occur. I've also learned to work in 10-minute intervals throughout the day!
This quote inspires me. . .
‘You can be ANYTHING, but you can’t be EVERYTHING’.David Allen
Jennifer: It's so easy to become overwhelmed with being “perfect” and being everything to everyone when you're a mom. I think being honest with myself about what I can do and what I can take on without compromising my family has been very beneficial to my stress levels. It also gets rid of those nagging feelings of inadequacy when staring at everyone's 'highlight reel' in those perfect Instagram squares.
To me Motherly means…
Jennifer: Putting someone else's needs above your own. It's spending 90% of the day worrying about your children instead of yourself; it's learning to live with your heart outside of your body.