FROM BEGINNING TO BRAND W/ EMMA HATCHER
*photo credit: Luke Fullalove
The execution of this interview series may seem easy to some - just find an entrepreneur and interview them. Well, yes and no. To some, it could be that simple, but to me, I try really hard to find the right fit for this blog. I aim to seek out inspiring, passionate and relatable people who have a burning desire to achieve something - or to make a difference. People who have worked countless late nights, made sacrifices along the way but who have, in turn, felt the real fulfilment of pursuing their passion.
Someone who very much fits the bill is this month's special guest, Emma Hatcher; author, fellow blogger (and cake enthusiast), absolute foodie and all round very lovely lady. She's one of those people that you just know would make a great best friend - and not just because she'd bring cake.
photo credit: Malou Burger
About 10 years ago, after suffering from horrible stomach pains and never-ending bloating, Emma was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and wheat intolerance. When her dietician at the time suggested following a Low FODMAP Diet, it was a real light-bulb moment. The diet didn’t only decrease her symptoms, but she says it completely changed her life.
With very little out there in terms of accessible recipes, Emma took it upon herself to educate and inspire as many people as she could via her blog She Can't Eat What?! Not only was it a platform for her to share her - bloody delicious - recipes, but also for her to raise awareness of the benefits of a Low FODMAP Diet. A huge misconception about 'diets' of any kind are that they are limiting, but Emma proves that food can still taste - and look - delicious without compromise.
After the huge success of her blog, Emma went on to write her own cookbook, which was published by Hodder & Stoughton last January. And let's just say, when The Telegraph & The Evening Standard deem it one of the best in its category, you know you're onto a winner. It provides delicious free-from recipes and empowering, fun, intelligent content for those with food intolerances. And don't even get me started on the serious drool-worthy imagery. The cookbook celebrates ingredients and good food whilst offering tips and tricks for looking after your gut in today's stress-filled, modern lifestyle. Something we could all do with, right?!
Over to Emma...
1. What was your first ever business idea and did it come to fruition?
If we’re going way back – probably dealing scented gel pens and tiny animal erasers at school! I’d like to think I was good, but I was probably great at enjoying my own supply.
2. Do you have any unexpected sources of inspiration?
I think inspiration can be found anywhere and everywhere. I’m trying to stop having my headphones in all the time, so I can be better at taking in my surroundings.
3. What has been your most satisfying moment in your career thus far?
Receiving messages from readers saying my cookbook has changed their lives. Whether that’s a mother who has been struggling to know what to feed her son who’s on the diet or somebody who has been suffering with a sensitive gut for years and has finally found relief. It doesn’t get much better than that.
4. What would you tell your teenage self if you could go back in time?
You can’t please everyone. Stop worrying about what other people think and go out and have a good time!
5. Excluding yours, what business, organisation or entrepreneur do you admire the most?
Oh there’s so many. In the blog/food community right now I’m loving Molly Yeh, Flora Shedden, Alison Roman, Aine Carlin and Claire Ptak.
6. What did you learn from the worst boss you ever had?
Always treat others as you’d like to be treated. Bad days are allowed and apologies can be accepted, but just because you might be higher up in the work food chain, doesn’t give you any right to be an a**hole. We’re all people.
7. When you're having a stressful day, what's your ultimate comfort food?
Cake. Carrot, vanilla, rose or lemon and I’m yours.
8. Is there anything you wish you had known before you pursued your passion?
That success doesn’t happen overnight and there will be so much you don’t know how to do in the beginning. But that’s OK - there’s lots of people out there who do know and can help!
9. When things become overwhelming, what do you do to unwind?
Go for a walk around the common with my boyfriend. I jump up and down a bit, stretch my arms out wide and take in lots of deep breaths.
10. Name one song that makes you feel super pumped and motivated.
I question anybody who doesn’t feel alive when an Earth, Wind & Fire belter comes on the radio.
11. Are there any missed opportunities that you wish you had leveraged?
Oh, lots. Hindsight is a wonderful thing! I just always try and make sure I learn from them for next time.
12. If you could give one piece of advice to someone chasing their passion, what would it be?
You do you, girlfriiiend. Stop comparing yourself to others and their success. There’s space for you both.
13. How would your perfect day end?
Dinner and drinks in a pub garden with friends. Music, sunshine and maybe a boogie.
14. Have you had to make any sacrifices in your personal life in order to become a successful entrepreneur?
Writing my cookbook whilst working full time meant I had to say goodbye to a social life for 6 months, which was really hard. When I was able to have one again I was so excited – it was hard to find the balance the other way and keep getting work done! I’m lucky that I love what I do though, so it does help make the sacrifices worth it.
15. If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
Making a difference and contributing, in my own small way, to this mad thing that is living on planet Earth.
When you speak to Emma, or you even just look at her social channels, you can just see that passion radiating through, which is so infectious. I can safely say that her hard work has paid off because she certainly makes me wanna grab my apron and get rustling up something delicious in the kitchen.
A massive, massive thank you to Emma for wanting to be involved in this series and stay tuned for next months entrepreneur!