WeeStructed Interview Jess Filippi
AND SO IT continues. the NEW CHAPTER IN THE BOOK OF WEESTRUCTED, AND YOU’RE INCLUDED. HERE ARE THE STORIES OF MOMS LIKE YOU, AS TOLD BY ONE OF OUR FAVORITES, MARISSA ELLIS. THIS WEEK’S ‘WEE WING IT’ INTERVIEW IS WITH jess filippi. TAKE A SEAT, MAKE A CUP OF COFFEE IN YOUR “MOTHERHOOD WINGING IT” MUG, AND DIVE INTO jess’ Daily life of raising two tiny humans while being the ultimate #momboss! ENJOy!
Marissa: Hi Jess! How’s it going?
Jess: Okay! Putting Disney Channel on and hoping for the best! Haha!
Marissa: Okay, great! So why don’t we get started by you telling me a little bit about yourself and your family.
Jess: Okay! I’m a typical mom boss, I think! I have two boys, Logan is four and Wesley is one, and Hello Sweetie Pies is my full time job. I used to work in the film industry, but the hours were long and grueling, and I hardly ever saw Logan. Plus we spent a small fortune in day care. When I was seven months pregnant with Wes, I finished my last show and figured that I’d step away for a bit. It was really hard, but I haven’t looked back. I love having my own business
M: That’s so awesome! Can you tell me how your business got started, and what that all looks like now?
J: I’ve always loved baking, but when Ritchie and I got engaged, I started planning an epic DIY wedding and I wanted a huge dessert bar with every dessert you can imagine…and I wanted to make it all. Everyone said I was CRAZY, but baking is cathartic to me, so it actually helped a lot in the stressful week leading up to the wedding. My main focus was chocolate chip cookies and pie. I spent 8 months testing different recipes for both! Everyone loved the blueberry pie at our wedding, so much that a few years later, I entered it in a pie contest and it came in third place. That’s when people really started to tell me that I should have a business. But it’s a lot easier said then done! I didn’t know anything about cottage food, so I started doing a lot of research and it turned out that a law had been passed in California that allowed you to sell baked goods from your home kitchen. It had only been in effect for six months when I applied for my permit.
I still work out of my kitchen now, but we are looking for commercial space. We’ve completely outgrown what we have here!
M: I can only imagine! You sell at Disneyland, right?
J: Yes, we are a little all over the place! When we started we were all local, we only did deliveries and a pop up event occasionally. It’s been almost two years and we just started shipping in January of this year. That’s also when we started offering Disney Days. I’d done a few markets in San Diego and Orange County so I had a lot of people asking to buy my stuff without the delivery charge. So many SoCal moms are pass holders and we had JUST bought our annual passes. It seemed like the perfect place to meet people! Then I thought…I bet I could make these Mickey shaped…
M: Genius! That’s so awesome, and what great exposure. I’m so impressed with this whole operation and your growth. It takes a lot to take a leap of faith, but it looks like you did it beautifully! Do the boys like to help bake?
J: Logan isn’t super interested in the baking, but he loves to wake up early and sneak into the kitchen while Ritchie is packaging. So many days, I’ve been up until the wee hours on a baking marathon and my husband will wake up early and package them all before work. He and Logan have so many morning conversations about Star Wars and anything Disney related!
We like to say Wes was born with pie in his veins. He LOVES food. All food. I think he’ll be my little foodie. Hopefully he’ll grow up to be a chef or something so he can make us all dinner!
M: Now wouldn’t that be nice? What a cool bonding experience though (both the chatting and the eating) J So basically what I’m hearing is you live in a state of Winging It. Late nights, early morning, and lots of schedules to manage!
J: Yes! Logan started Pre-K this year! I love his school, but doing that carpool schlep every morning and afternoon with a one-year-old’s nap schedule to manage is quite the beast! I’m definitely Winging It
M: All while building your empire! So what’s going on in your Winging It picture?
J: Oh, just typical me…trying to get something done during awake hours and failing!! I get a few minutes here and there, but especially with Wes, it’s not much. He’s into EVERYTHING! I’ll try to give him toys to play with in the kitchen and the next minute, he’s under the sink or something.
M: “Awake hours” – I love it. And I feel your pain, mom time is so limited! How do you find a good balance of being mom and being momboss?
J: Oh my gosh, it’s so hard. Most days I feel like I don’t. But I just have to remember that we’re our own harshest critics. Logan will remember being at Disneyland three times a month rather than the time I asked him to watch TV so I could get one more batch of pie pops done. At least that’s what I hope! We do get to spend a lot of quality time together as a family. Even at events, Ritchie is working the booth and I’m typically walking around and networking with both kids in tow.
M: That sounds like a balance to me! I agree that we’re our own worst critics. We’re all guilty of it. But it really sounds like you’re killing it, mama!
J: I’m trying! It’s so hard. We moved out here 11 years ago, clear across the country from any family or friends. We’ve got a great little community out here, but help can be hard to find. I’ve been relying heavily on my mom since she retired in May. She’s flown out twice during event weekends to watch the kids. And my mother in law is coming for one in December! Our family has been so supportive, I just wish they were closer!
I should add that we have AMAZING friends that will drop everything to help Ritchie sell pie. That’s been super helpful too.
M: That’s so awesome. I can totally relate to that feeling. We’re about 1,000 miles away from our family too; it’s SO hard. But it sounds like you have a village of supporters and an awesome husband
J: Yes, Ritchie is completely my partner in this business as much as he is in this marriage. He’s so supportive, it’s incredible. I don’t know how I got that lucky!!
M: I just got the goosebumps; way to go Ritchie!
J: Ha! I probably don’t tell him that enough!
M: Well now it’s on the Internet, so it’s the most official shout out you could ever give him J What would you say is the greatest lesson you guys have learned since becoming parents?
J: That’s a hard one! It’s just all so much harder than we’d ever imagined, but so worth it. I always think with every age or milestone that things will get a little easier, but then it brings it’s own set of new challenges. At the end of the day though, as long as I get to lie in that Lightening McQueen bed and talk about Disneyland, or sit in the rocking chair with my usually too busy for me baby, it’s just so totally worth it.
M: Isn’t that the truth?! Being a mama can be so hard, but it’s the most rewarding thing in the world.
J: Yes! And you have twins! That’s double the reward!!
M: And double the grey hairs ... Trying to enjoy my last two weeks or so of it being just the four of us!
J: Gosh, I remember that. I felt so guilty for taking “only child” away from Logan. I didn’t know how I could love anything more than him. It’s interesting how every mom goes through that, huh?
M: Yes! And I feel like it’s a little different because I’ve always had to split my time and attention, but I just keep thinking that they have no idea what’s coming and it makes me sad! Cue emotional pregnant tears.
J: Yes, the hormones make it 100 times worse!!
M: That’s no joke. I probably need to just eat some pie pops and let the tears flow.
J: HAHA! I got you! Anytime!! They are perfect for preggo cravings
M: Now that’s a whole new level of mom support. I’m sure they are. My mouth was watering earlier looking at your website. Would love to blame the pregnancy for that but….
Well, thank you so much for giving me a little peek into your world. How’s the Disney watching going?
J: Great! Baby is still down too, so I’m golden.
M: Oh man, then I’ll let you go! You need to capitalize on this time Thanks again!
CHECK OUT MORE OF MY WORDS AND A FEW FROM MY PAL, AND CREATIVE BABE (OF WEESTRUCTED) AMY ON OUR INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT: @MOTHERHOODWINGINGIT
AND DON’T FORGET TO HASHTAG HOW YOU ‘WING IT’ WITH #WEEWINGIT
MARISSA ELLIS IS A WIFE, MOTHER OF TWO (SOON TO BE THREE), AND ALL AROUND AWESOME HUMAN BEING. SHE RESIDES IN DENVER, COLORADO.