2018 has been the most exciting year yet!
For some reference, 2011 was the year that I started baking on my own for the first time. I wouldn't even really call it baking because I used box mix and most of the students in my dorm building (Volunteers uKnighted) helped bake for our Cupcakes for a Cure events. However, I won't discount my efforts (I did bake tons of cupcakes). Luckily, my roommates at the time were awesome about my baking on a weekly and sometimes daily basis.
Here's a picture of one of our first pop-ups:
It's safe to say we've come a long way from where we started! Side note: Cupcakes for a Cure changed its name from Cupcakes for Cancer to Cupcakes for a Cure in 2014.
Cupcakes for a Cure is what really inspired me to pursue baking and philanthropy. I never knew that it would take form the way that it did but sometimes you just have to follow the momentum you have and it'll take you to places you didn't think you could go. I recently heard that lack of momentum (like trying to move a parked car) makes moving forward incredibly difficult. It's pretty true. It's a lot easier to move something if it's in motion instead of standing idle. I had no idea that I even liked to bake until I just started doing it to raise money for cancer. Turns out I really like it and I never get tired of baking! It's actually a huge stress reliever for me. When I get home from the commercial kitchen or if I have a day of "rest", I'll just bake up something fun that's different from the complex macaron making that I'm so used to these days. One of my favorite cookbooks of all time is Magnolia Table. My goal for 2019 is to bake everything in Joanna's cookbook :)
The best part about baking is by far the social impact that we can make in the community. The real treat is getting to support pediatric cancer patients and their families by helping to improve their overall quality of life.
It's hard to pinpoint when Nicole Macaron actually started. In college, I started Made with Love macarons at Cornell with a friend from college. My business partner, Albert, was an Applied Engineering and Physics major at Cornell (literally the hardest major there!) and taught me how to make macarons from a scientific perspective. He taught me how to use mathematical equations to bake. It was so different from using measuring cups and spoons like I was used to. I give Albert complete credit for teaching me how to bake macarons using math formulas! Made with Love started in 2015 and we did really well!
This was our logo:
We decided to close the business when we got so busy with orders that first semester. It came to a point where we had to either dedicate our time to the business or our diplomas, so we decided to prioritize graduating over baking.
Flashing back to 2018, we are so grateful for the amazing support that we have gotten as we made it through our first year under the Nicole Macaron brand. There were amazing highs and serious lows! Owning a business is truly a roller coaster. Thinking back on the year, I've come to realize that if we can make it through this year, we can make it through anything. We started in September of 2017 in my tiny little NYC apartment on the Upper West Side.
I truly believe that if you can make it in NYC you can make it anywhere. I'm so glad that I don't have to ride subways and taxis to deliver macarons around the city (thanks FedEx!). We've come a long way from dorm rooms to small NYC kitchens to now operating out of a commercial kitchen!
In January of 2018, we started out the year with a super fun partnership with Hapa Tribe. We shot a youtube video on how to make macarons. Here's the link. We had so much fun during the photo shoot (maybe a little too much). What I love about Hapa Tribe and the ladies behind it (Leah and Resa) is how supportive and encouraging they are as friends. They're a genuine example of what true friendship should be like :)
Some events that were particularly fun in New York City were Lemon NYC and CEN.
Lemon NYC was a fundraiser for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. I was so grateful to have been a guest chef at their event. Participating as a guest chef was such a rewarding experience for all the hard work that went into preparing for the event.
CEN was the Cornell Entrepreneurship Summit. There were some amazing speakers such as Jennifer Hyman with Rent the Runway and Liza Landsman from Jet.com. It was amazing that we were able to be a part of such a huge event for the entrepreneurship community.
Huge thanks to my parents who came to NYC and help with setup (I could not have set up the prize wheel without them!):
Our favorite event of this year was definitely Silobration in Waco, Texas. Chip and Jo have created a magical version of Disney for adults. I could spend every day wandering through Magnolia. It literally feels like home the moment you walk up Webster into the beautiful space that they've created. It was inspiring to see the physical result of years and years of hard work from Chip and Jo. Joanna is truly my inspiration as I build this macaron business each and every day. Chip and Jo show that through dreaming and hard work, you really can accomplish whatever you set your mind to. We are so grateful to have been able to participate in Silobration this year 💕
and Johnny Swim loved our macarons!
And a few more 2018 highlights:
Junior League of Tampa's Holiday Gift Market:
We got into leading Cookie Decorating Parties!
We also got into corporate orders (like with Kendra Scott), YAY!
Doing my first macaron tower for my best friend's wedding:
Being my best friend's maid of honor:
Getting to make macarons as gifts for my sister's baby shower:
and best of all my biggest 2018 highlight was becoming an aunt!
Hoping you had a great 2018 and that you have an even better 2019. At Nicole Macaron, we are confident in knowing that the best is yet to come 💕