I am an advertising and publishing professional who has worked for ad agencies, design firms, non-profits, as a publications specialist in a Pentagon information services office, and most recently as the production editor for a military-affiliated technical journal.
But what I love most is baking and chocolate. And writing about it.
I have a bachelor’s degree in English and theater from Mary Baldwin College, and a master’s degree in publishing from George Washington University. I have completed a professional certificate program in pastry at L’Academie de Cuisine. I’ve also studied chocolate and sugar confections at The French Pastry School in Chicago, and I’ve taken professional courses in chocolate at Callebaut Academy (also in Chicago).
I must confess that I am a reluctant blogger. I have no interest in blogging and tweeting every meal I eat, every cookie I bake, and every restaurant I visit. This trend is both ubiquitous and boring. I am neither a Facebook nor a Twitter junkie, and I do not spend much time texting.
But I love both food (especially baking and chocolate) and writing. Instead of a blog, I consider this a space for my personal food musings. If you follow my blog, you won’t get daily or weekly updates. (You most likely don’t care what I eat for lunch every day, and for good reason. It’s not all that exciting.) However, I put a lot of care and love into what I write, even if I’m not as prolific as the average “food blogger”. I sometimes spend three weeks writing one blog entry, and I make no apologies for it. I’ve spent my entire career writing, editing, designing, and printing for other people, on their (sometimes impossible) deadlines and specifications. This space is mine — my sanctuary. Far from the madding crowd that comprises the advertising and publishing profession.
Additionally, if I put my name on anything published — online or in print — then I’m going to agonize over it. That’s who I am, both professionally and personally. Dashing off a blog entry every other day, accompanied by 25 daily tweets and five Facebook entries, simply does not harmonize with a lifelong career of punctilious perfection to every detail.
So, why Comps and Croissants?
A comp is an advertising and publishing term that refers to a rough creative concept which is traditionally mounted on double black board for presentation. It also refers to a prototype that is often sent to a printer or other vendor as a reference to demonstrate how the final published or finished product is supposed to look. Producing comps is how I have spent the majority of my professional days (and late nights and weekends).
However, I am in the process of starting a new phase in my life. I am starting a chocolate business called Ollie Mae’s Bodacious Bonbons and Sweet Treats. My blossoming business is named after my maternal grandmother, Ollie Mae, a woman who truly knew the relationship between food and love.
Comps and Chocolate is not as alliterative as Comps and Croissants, so I took creative license. (And, frankly, I can make a damn good croissant.) Starting my own part-time business is certainly not easy, but it’s slowly and painfully coming together, and I hope one day to be able to support myself and my dogs by making and selling extraordinary chocolate.
And writing about it.