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Friday, October 23, 2009

Interview with Laura of A Dozen Eggs

Aren't those cookies gorgeous? They are made by Laura, a new swap hostess, who owns a cookie (and other sweet treats) business called adozeneggs.com. And can I just say, in my eyes, she is a celebrity because she previously worked as a Kitchen Assistant at Cook's Illustrated magazine/America's Test Kitchen! American's Test Kitchen/Cook's Country are among my husband and I's favorite tv shows!! So let's meet this cooking baker/swap hostess!

SwapDex: Tell us a bit about you

Laura: I've just turned 40, live in the middle of nowhere in VT, married with 2 cats and a dog.
I lived in MA my whole life. I grew up on Cape Cod, moved to Boston as soon as I graduated from HS and lived in the city until April of 2007. I started out in retail at the age of 14 and was a General Manager of several retail stores. My last retail position was a HR Manager at Filene's Basement in Downtown Boston. From there I went to Culinary School at Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in Cambridge, MA. While in school I was a Kitchen Assistant at Cook's Illustrated magazine (also, America's Test Kitchen) and a Private Chef for a family in Brookline, MA. I worked as a Pastry Assistant at Hamersley's Bistro in Boston for 6 months, then started my business A Dozen Eggs.
I used to make greeting cards as a hobby, but haven't done that in a while. My craft is my iced sugar cookies, but I like to make things with paper.

SD: How long have you been swapping? How did you first learn about swapping, and what made you decide to start? Do you remember your first one?

L: I've been swapping for just about 1 year. My first swap was a Fall swap last year.
I learned about swaps while reading blogs and looking at the beautiful pictures. I started swapping because it just looked like a fun and great creative outlet for me. (beyond cookie designing) I also thought it was a great learning experience in making the most of the monetary budget. Finally, it's great to get to know other bloggers. I'm still in touch with most of my partners either through blogging or Facebook.

SD: What is your range of swapping? Do you stick to swaps hosted by people you know or are you likely to swap with anyone, anytime?

L: I have only joined 5 swaps and generally stick with blogs I know, or blogs that I am at least familiar with. Not necessarily blogs that I faithfully read.

SD: Do you swap with any organized groups like yahoo groups, flickr, groups on swap-bot, other message boards, etc? Why or why not?

L: I don't swap with organized groups. I swap with fellow bloggers. Most of the bloggers that I swap with and know are crafty in some way. A lot of them sew or cook. I don't sew, but I cook and love paper arts. I was a little hesitant to join a swap as I had never done one before, but once I did the first one, I was confident in my ability to assemble a great package.
I guess I don't swap with organized groups because I never have and I didn't really know that they existed!

SD: What's your favorite swap you've ever been in or hosted?

L: I can't really say which swap was my favorite, I've really enjoyed the 5 that I've participated in (except the one where I didn't get a package!!) I really like "preppy" or food related swaps.

SD: What do you do to make your packages special?

L: I love to go crazy with the gift wrapping in my swap packages. I have huge collection of pretty papers and ribbons. I also love to personalize things like music cd's with a particular theme, or recipe cards. I also ALWAYS include a box of our A Dozen Eggs iced sugar cookies!

SD: Do you have a good story about hosting or participating in a swap?

L: I have to say that I am always super impressed by the packages that I receive. Sometimes they seem like a magic box with loads of cool stuff. I have a lot of useful things that I've received in swaps that I never would have thought to buy myself, but I use all the time! My first swap included pretty autumn striped nesting bowls that we use almost every day. A holiday swap that I did last year included an acrylic tumbler with "jingle juice" inscribed on it, my husband and I fight over this cup.

SD: What do you think is the most challenging part of hosting a swap? Any advice for someone who is thinking about hosting a swap?

L: I'm in the midst of hosting my first swap right now and so far the most challenging part was partnering people and ensuring that everyone gets in touch with each other. As far as partnering goes, it just took a very long time to type everything in and make sure I got all the blog and email addresses correct. So far everyone is in touch and we should have 100% compliance.

SD: Any exciting plans for the near future? Swaps, projects, new products?

L: If the Fall Foodie Swap goes well, I do have a Holiday Swap theme in mind and will post the sign up and details in late November. We will be rolling out our Fall cookie designs and flavors in the next two weeks as well as new fall cupcake flavors.

SD: Awesome! Thanks so much for letting us get to know you, Laura! Happy swapping!

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