We were excited to come across another mother / daughter team sharing a passion about the many aspects of health including of course wholesome food, lifestyle, exercise, relationships and balance.
We are very happy to introduce these talented ladies, Lexi and Beth of Crowded Kitchen (@crowded_kitchen on Instagram) to you. We’re confident you will agree their creations are both stunning and inspiring!
#01 We were excited to find you two talented ladies on instagram. As another mother/daughter team focusing on food there are more than a few parallels. Can you tell us what motivated you to begin your blog and Instagram?
Lexi ran cross country and track in high school, and I was her coach. I quickly realized as a coach, that healthy nutrition was a really important part of being a successful student athlete. Lexi competed in cross country and track in college, and as a freshman she ended up having a lot of digestive issues. She was diagnosed with several food sensitivities that it turns out I also share. Between her Junior and Senior years in college, she decided she wanted to start an Instagram to share her new healthier lifestyle and how it helped her as an athlete. I didn’t even know what Instagram was when she started it, but a few months later, when she went to study abroad, I began to do a lot more of the recipe creation, photography and posting. I have also taken several online culinary courses through Plantlab Academy which has really helped me learn more about cooking techniques and plating concepts.
We decided that since Lexi wasn’t running competitively anymore, and I had also stopped coaching after 9 years, that it didn’t really reflect who were were. We realized that we are representative of the modern family in that we have several food allergies and sensitivities to deal with as well as different dietary preferences. It can be super complicated preparing meals to meet everyone’s dietary needs, and we felt changing our focus a little would allow us to better reflect what really goes on in our kitchen on a daily basis.
It is really fun to plan and create dishes together. We also love to use our cooking and photography skills to volunteer for different organizations. Starting this Fall, we will be volunteering to teach healthy cooking classes to individuals who are fighting cancer. at Gilda’s Club of Metro Detroit. We also enjoy donating our time as photographers to several area charities.
It can be challenging when perhaps you each have a different vision for the same end product. I think as the business has grown that dividing up responsibilities can sometimes not be as smooth as we would like it to be. We also are trying to take more breaks and to enjoy just spending time together. It can get pretty overwhelming at times, and it is important to not make your relationship all about work.
I, Beth, create most of our recipes and do a lot of the recipe testing as well. Lexi does all of the blog posts and almost all of the daily social media posts. She also takes most of the photos as well, and depending on the day, we often style the shoots together.
That is a good question. I think when Lexi moved back home last August, that we started to realize we could actually make it into a viable business. Once we were able to actually work together instead of being 1,000 miles apart, it really allowed us to develop our business strategies a lot more effectively. Before that, I would make things and then FaceTime her to discuss styling so it was quite challenging. We are definitely much more efficient together.
We are talking about starting to teach some food photography and styling classes and perhaps even some plant based cooking classes. We recently just started a travel page as well, but we need to be better about making sure that we post on it more regularly.
I think being true to yourself is really important. You need to decide who you want to be, the direction you want to go, set goals, and then be as consistent as possible. Try to think about the story you want to tell. Ask yourself how will you use your account, photos, and captions to convey your story with your followers. It is also important to be patient. It takes time to grow an account, and you will undoubtedly make mistakes, have setbacks, and experience frustrations along the way. Finally, once you find your style and message, remember to still be open to growth and change when it is necessary.