Sugar & Stamp is a brand of custom, personalized cookie boxes, baked in small batches and delivered to their recipients. It's a project I drafted and built from scratch in order to explore how to connect people in tangible, meaningful ways. And, when I think of avenues to the human heart, what better vehicle than a home-baked cookie? Easy to make, simple to ship, and much tastier than a text message or Snapchat.
Smashing together my love of baking and my skills in design and illustration, I created a product offering, developed a brand, and formed the business. In early 2015, I opened the virtual doors of my online cookie box shop. From there, I spent the next two years tweaking, baking, managing orders, drawing, and shipping. Redesigning the website to make navigating and ordering easier for customers. Hosting tables at pop-up events. And, best of all, creating hundreds of care-packed cookie boxes for happy senders and recipients all over the country.
Throughout the process, I got a lot of hands-on experience with starting and promoting a business, particularly in food. I was also able to meet a lot of talented individuals and companies in the food industry — many of whom, even after suspending the cookie box offerings to focus on other projects, I still keep in touch with as friends and clients.
In a nutshell, I love food, and I love working with the food industry. If I can build upon the skills and lessons I learned in starting my own food brand, I'll be happy.
Harvest Collaborative is an agency that designs better experiences for food companies. It was created by three women with backgrounds in business, industrial design, and food strategy, all wanting to create a nimbler, more BS-proof way to work. In our first year of forming, we've helped clients brainstorm innovative food offerings, think strategically about kids' menus, and walk through important design basics to improve menu communication. We've also worked on launching product offerings: a weekly food industry newsletter with a friendly vibe, and business strategy-oriented thought starters with a long-term vision to grow a network of collaborators.
As a partner, creative strategist, and nick-named "brand philosopher" at Harvest, I've been at the heart of creating, clarifying, and communicating the brand and its vision from the ground up. My responsibilities have included designing the brand and all digital and print assets, creating presentation materials internally and for clients, researching food trends, generating regular content such as blog posts and newsletters, and managing or contributing to company social media accounts.
Original logo ideation, done in watercolor to create a warm, personable feel.
Original blog content and illustrations.
The Crumb is a weekly newsletter capturing and digesting news from across the food industry. A product I developed as creative strategist at Harvest Collaborative, it's been one of my biggest achievements at the company to own this project, craft its design, and develop its content and voice.
Creating each Crumb issue involves thorough research, curation, and interpretation. I then write the summaries, extracting valuable business insights when applicable. To make things more fun (rather than some dry, industry-standard newsletters available elsewhere), I whip up an accompanying illustration drawn from each week's content. I then blast an email version out to subscribers, post across the company's social media, and copy to the company's website.
Owning this project has taken plenty of diligence, but in exchange, I've gotten to keep up with movements in the food industry and hone my written and visual content creation skills.
As the creative lead at Harvest Collaborative, one of my responsibilities is to craft visual design elements. When preparing for this two-day food & technology innovation session with SeaWorld, I developed a visual identity to create a unified feel across the whole event. From there, I applied that identity across a variety of assets: email blasts, printed boards, branded notebooks, worksheets, postcards, and physical stickers and stamps.
At the end of the session, the participants walked away with hundreds of great ideas, as well as a big list of fleshed-out, actionable concepts. All thoroughly prepped for, clearly documented, and cohesive.
Customized notebooks stamped with session logo.
Wandering Goose Postcards
The Wandering Goose is a quaint little restaurant, tucked away in a corner of the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. For such an unassuming place, they attract a large and loyal following of patrons, thanks to their indulgent, deeply satisfying selection of breakfast and brunch staples. Namely, and most famously, massive Southern-style biscuits.
I collaborated with The Wandering Goose to translate their heartwarming, rustic feel into a line of illustrated postcards celebrating their most popular biscuits. The owner's vision was rooted in classic cookbook illustrations, with a hint of storybook. The artistic direction of the cards reflects my favorite mode of hand-drawn, vibrantly-painted illustrations while pulling in decorative details that align with the restaurant's brand scheme.
Original reference photography. All photos are my own.
Sweet Lo's Ice Cream Postcards
Sweet Lo's believes in making ice cream the all-natural, old-fashioned way. They don't add stabilizers, and they create all the mix-ins from scratch — even strawberry shortcake and lemon bars! So when Lauren wanted to do a collaboration to promote her company's Kickstarter, I made these illustrations with as much care and craft as she pours into her ice cream.
The series of five illustrated, hand-lettered designs highlights some of Sweet Lo's most popular flavors. These were shared on social media throughout her (successful) crowdfunding campaign, then printed as postcards to distribute at events.
Original hand-inked drawing.
Cleaned and digitally painted.
Drive Thru Boba
Drive Thru Boba might be one of the most popular bubble tea spots in the Seattle area, but they remain a small mom-and-pop operation. I worked with them to create an illustrated t-shirt design for their team members. It features some of their classic items, plus a few special treats that they make and release in limited batches.
The design was sketched first on paper, then vectorized to create a flat and easily screen-printable design.
Food52 Ode to Red Bean
I had the immense pleasure of writing and illustrating an original article for Food52, highlighting one of the most nostalgic flavor memories from my childhood: a grilled sandwich, or toastie, filled with sweet, red adzuki bean paste. The accompanying illustrations are a playful take on the simple magic of these treats I enjoyed as a kid.
As Food52 strives to broaden the diversity of the content offered on its site, I was thrilled to represent the point of view of a second-generation Taiwanese-American finding her own path.
Slant'd is a new publication celebrating Asian American culture and the "bad asians" who bend and break the rules to influence society. For their inaugural print magazine, I had the honor of writing and illustrating a post about a Taiwanese street food classic: salt and pepper chicken. Drawing from research and experience, I connected the Western origins of the fried chicken snack to its Asian iteration, then back to the States where it continues to undergo new innovations.
Original hand-inked line drawings.
Digitally cleaned and painted.
These mouthwatering illustrations were made in collaboration with Yumpling, a food truck based in New York City. After working with the owner to create hand-drawn versions of their menu offerings, I also created a new menu layout incorporating the illustrations along with the Yumpling logo and social media info.
Illustrations hand-drawn, then painted in Photoshop. Menu layout created in Illustrator.