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Nature Manipulated (NM) creates visual, wearable and practical art that reflects upon nature and all of its elements. At NM, we believe that everything is a part of nature, some things are just "nature manipulated."

NM specializes in one-of-a-kind handcrafted jewelry, handmade greeting cards, nature photography and other unique accessories.

To read more about who's behind NM, please click here.
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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Jenni Makes Fake Food and People Buy It

I used to work for two bakeries that were quite famous for their cupcakes, Magnolia and Buttercup Bake Shop, both in New York City. I've iced many cupcakes in that time, some of which are now visible in the bakery's cookbooks and on Buttercup's walls. If you knew me, you would think that I could tell a real cupcake apart from a fake one. That is not true though. I'm not that good. Jenni Bowman's cupcakes tricked me. When I found her shop on Etsy, I wondered, how does one ship fresh and beautiful cupcakes without them getting destroyed? As I read the description of Jenni's shop and treats, I found out they were fake. Yes, Jenni fooled me.

Now, after having eaten some mighty delicious cupcakes in my life, you would think that I would not want a fake one. That is not true either. I want one of Jenni's cupcakes. I can only imagine that if they were real, they would taste incredibly good.

Amazed by my own interest in her faux food, I decided to ask Jenni a few questions about her craft....

Here they go...

Q. How would you describe your shop?
A. JenniBOriginals is a shop full of faux food - they're the best desserts you'll never eat! Faux food is used for decoration, party favors, picture holders, and just plain fun!

Q. How long have you been making faux food?
A. I have been making faux food for just under a year.

Q. How did get into this line of work/hobby?
A. It's a funny story how I got started making faux food. I actually wanted to sell my vintage cake plate creations in a store near my home and the shop owner told me she needed something to display on the plates so people would get a good idea of what they could use them for. So I decided to try my hand at some faux food creations.

Q. Who buys faux food? For what occasion or purpose?
A. People buy my faux food for all sorts of purposes - photography, trade show displays, shop displays, party favors and place card holders, product displays and just for home decor.

Q. I heard you were on the Martha Stuart sow. Is that true? Can you tell us a little more about it.
A. I was on the Martha Stewart show last December. It was truly an adventure! One of the producers contacted me through Etsy and asked me to send in a demo tape and some product samples. After a couple of months I found myself on in NYC on the set of the Martha Stewart Show, on live national television, visiting with the domestic goddess herself! It was fantastic for my business, but definitely scary! I actually host my own local television craft show.

Q. Which is your favorite piece? Why?
A. It's hard to pick a favorite piece from my collection - I really do love them all so much. I try not to sell anything that I wouldn't buy for myself and truthfully, it makes me slightly sad when I have to part with my creations! My studio is full of things that aren't listed in my online shop because I like them too much. Maybe I'll eventually get over that.

Q. What are some of your favorite Etsy shops or items?
A. birdzNbeez
edessee designs

Q. Since joining Etsy in July 2007, you have sold 262 items. How do you attract people to your shop?
A. I have to attribute many of my sales to the Martha Stewart Show. I do wish I had more sales (don't we all?), but I do have a full-time job outside of Etsy and haven't promoted much since I don't think I could keep up with much more. But I do like to try to list items every day and get involved in the forums as much as I can. I want to try some new forms of advertising in the future and have some magazine advertisements in the works.

Q. Is there any advice you would like to offer other Etsy sellers?
A. My advice to other sellers would just be to believe in your product and more importantly, believe in yourself. Being on the Martha Stewart Show and enjoying some of the opportunities that have come of that have truly shown me that I can do anything I can dream. "If you can dream it, you can achieve it." and "Believe in yourself and everything is possible." are some of my two favorite quotes!

Q. Are your items available anywhere other than etsy?
A. Currently, the only place to buy my items online is through Etsy. Other than that, I have some brick and mortar shops that sell my items in Utah and here in Virginia.

Business Details:

Name: Jenni Bowman

Business/Shop Name: Jenni B Originals

Location: Charlottesville, Virginia

Website URL: www.jenniboriginals.com

Etsy URL: jenniboriginals.etsy.com

Blog URL: jenniboriginals.blogspot.com

Have a SWEET day!


Princess Caitlin said...

what a great interview! I've stumbled across her work a few times just browsing Etsy, and it makes me hungry for sweets every time.

-CaitiJo from etsy

Karma by Morgan said...

great feature! I was actually just in NYC visiting and my friends took me to a magnolia's bakery.

BabyLyons said...

I haven't seen her yet! I thought they were real until I read your post! They look so yummy, I want a cupcake now, lol :) Great interview!

Sew Bettie said...

Those look so delicious - I can see how you were fooled.

Paper Girl Productions said...

Awesome interview! I've seen her shop before and am a cupcake addict that I too, would want a faux cupcake!

Anonymous said...

great feature! I too was fooled until I began reading. My very first thought was, "how the heck can you ship cupcakes?"

I will be visiting Jenni.

Jenni, WOW. Martha? Sorry to have missed that one. Have your feet hit the floor yet?

storybeader said...

great interview, and what a story!

PeWee said...

Beautiful faux food!! Wow!

industrialpoppy said...

I loved this interview-her products are so beautiful!

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