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The Art of Milk and Cookies

September 13, 2013

Milk Jar Cookies, Zooey Magazine

Recently, we had the enormous pleasure of getting a taste of Milk Jar Cookies. Cookies. As in pastries you grew up eating with cups of milk before you sleep. From the very first bite, we immediately fell in love and can’t stop thinking of the deliciousness of each flavor. They’re not your typical cookies! So we sat down with Courtney who runs and owns the store in Los Angeles, and asked her all about her love for cookies!

Milk Jar Cookies, Zooey Magazine

What made you want to open up a cookie shop?

I’ve always loved baking, and specifically baking cookies. When we were kids, my sister and I would make cookies all the time (mainly to eat the dough, if I’m being honest), and when I was in my teens, I came up with my own recipe. As I perfected it over time, it became very popular with friends, family, and eventually co-workers. After several instances of people mistaking them for “bakery” cookies, I realized I might have created something special. In 2005, I began experimenting with a variety of flavors and started an online business. I loved the thought that, with each of the deliveries I made, someone’s day got a little bit brighter, and the end goal quickly became to go brick and mortar. I wanted a shop where I could host these people and provide a place to enjoy a cookie and a glass of milk.

Milk Jar Cookies, Zooey Magazine

It’s hard to find cookies of the size of which you produce. It’s very different, which makes it even better. How did you come up with the ideas for your cookies – size, flavors, etc?

I get inspiration for different flavors from a variety of places. Some have been inspired by friends and family, and others by my own favorite desserts/snacks. I feel like cookie flavors sometimes aren’t very unique, so I thought it would be neat to offer some decadent, inventive choices, as well as the classics. Experimenting in the kitchen is fun for me, so if I think of something, I go for it. It’s not always a homerun, but sometimes it works out. For instance, I remember when I thought of the banana split, I was on an “ice cream” flavor kick and thought there must be a way to bring that classic dessert to cookie form. As I was making it, the thought crossed my mind that it was either going to be a disaster or delicious. It’s turned out to be one of our most popular flavors.

I played around with a few different sizes of cookies, but ultimately, I wanted a customer to be completely satisfied with one cookie and a glass of milk. People don’t always treat themselves, so when they do, they should get their money’s worth and really enjoy the experience.

Milk Jar Cookies, Zooey Magazine

The store has a wonderful vintage flare. One would think they’re in Portland, versus Los Angeles! Who came up with the detailing and store design?

Thank you so much! Maybe Milk Jar Portland is in our future… I’ve had this vision for the shop for many years, and it was so fun to make it a reality. I wanted it to look and feel like home and be very pretty, but with just enough rustic touches that it wasn’t girly. From picking out the wallpaper and paint colors to finding local people to make the chandeliers and tables, every detail was important to me. My husband and I love working with our hands and being crafty, so we had a blast doing a lot of the work ourselves, too. A couple of my favorite projects we did together were refinishing the antique doors and making the storefront sign. My family got in on the fun and hunted down some of our little tchotchkes on the shelves, which was really special. I can honestly say that it is everything I ever imagined, and more.

Milk Jar Cookies, Zooey Magazine

Since your launch, how has the response been from customers?

The response has been incredibly humbling! We feel so lucky to have been received so kindly by Los Angeles and beyond. We absolutely love our customers and have had so much fun getting to know them. It’s a privilege to serve them, as they have a lot of choices when it comes to sweets. The Miracle Mile neighborhood, in particular, is overwhelmingly supportive and vocal about how glad they are to have us here. We couldn’t be more grateful for the very loyal following we’ve gained already and are looking forward to continuing our growth.

Milk Jar Cookies, Zooey Magazine

Where do you see yourself in the next 5, 10 years?

In the next five years, I’d love to open 2 or 3 more locations and serve people of other areas. In 10 years, another two or three on top of that wouldn’t be so bad. There are several cities across the country that I, personally, adore and feel Milk Jar would thrive. At the moment, we’re nurturing this first shop, but we’ve got our sights set on growth, that’s for sure!

Milk Jar Cookies, Zooey Magazine

Milk Jar Cookies, Zooey Magazine

Milk Jar Cookies, Zooey Magazine

Milk Jar Cookies, Zooey Magazine

Milk Jar Cookies is located at: 5466 Wilshire Boulevard. Los Angeles, California 90036. We promise you’ll love it as much as we do!

Photographed by Ashley Maxwell Photography

Madhouse Collection

August 29, 2013

Zooey Magazine, Floral

Zooey Magazine, Crafts

Zooey Magazine, Crafts

Zooey Magazine, Crafts

Back in the day, we used to pull out plastic cups and white paper plates for our guest to use when we host parties. Now, with the creative minds of this generation…there has been an incredible revolution in the art of dinnerware. Madhouse brings the most beautiful, elegant designs to items that we often use. It’s crazy to see how far we’ve come with the dinnerware design…and we are obsessed with what we found here.

We spotted Madhouse on Instagram and knew their collections were something we had to have. We chose the Lemonwood Collection, and couldn’t be happier. They even have designer paper plates on top of their Melamine ones! And their utensils are designed to look like tree branches. Again, we are obsessed.

Feel free to serve bowls of confetti. We did. Really, we did.

And in case you’re wondering, the above photos were shot with the prettiest wrapping paper from Target. Isn’t it just gorgeous? It’s a watercolor floral print that we wished was available as wallpaper!

For more, visit Madhouse‘s website! Promise you’ll love them!

Twig Creative’s Wooden Camera

August 29, 2013

Twig Camera, Wooden Camera

We saw this wooden camera toy from Twig Creative on Anthropologie.com (run by Steve and Michelle) the other day, and we knew we had to have it. Even though it’s a toy for kids, we can surely imagine it on our bookshelves in our office! We picked out the African Zebrawood one, but Twig Creative has the camera in other colors too that we adore.

The inspiration
“Our happy, curly-haired little girl is one of the main inspirations for our shop and the products we make. We knew she would love playing with the newest technology, like all kids do; but we also wanted her to grow up playing with toys that encourage imagination, creativity, and that helped her develop her fine motor skills.”

Their background
“While Steve was going to school studying design, he worked as a carpenter. Beginning Twig was a natural step after graduation. The merger into wooden toys began because most traditional wooden toys are designed to look too crafty or old-fashioned. We wanted to make sure our products were different, contemporary and trendy. In fact, most of our toys are inspired by modern gadgets.”

The response
“One of the most rewarding parts of owning a small, handmade business is the feedback from buyers and supporters. They always seem to appreciate quality and craftsmanship. We also love seeing parents post photos of their little children with our product. Most of the parents appreciate the design and they say their children appreciate the product itself. It’s a win-win.”

The goal
“This last year has been quite exciting for us and we only hope to increase that excitement. We plan to expand our line and continue collaborating with various businesses and handmade artists.”

And it turns out, Twig Creative is also a master at making furniture too (for our mini people), but it’s okay adults…we’ll make it work for all of us. Check back on our site soon, because we’ll show you how we’re going to display this wooden camera as decor!

Photographed by Roneil Chavez

A Letter from Fred

August 26, 2013

This summer, Green Shoe Studio in Peoria, Illinois launched an online singer/songwriter contest to work interactively with the talent in their community. Through the contest, they received a unique submission: a manila envelope containing a hand-written letter from a 96-year-old man, Fred Stobaugh, detailing his wonderful life spent with his recently departed wife, Lorraine. The envelope included lyrics for a love song written about Lorraine entitled “Sweet Lorraine,” with Fred explaining that he did not consider himself a musician.

Although the submission did not meet the criteria for the contest, Green Shoe Studio decided to turn Fred’s lyrics into a song by creating original music for “Sweet Lorraine” and recording it in the studio with professional singers… all for free.

As Jake Colgan, producer of Green Shoe Studio says, the recording studio’s mission is “to change the community, one dream at a time.” The song that the studio created, “Oh Sweet Lorraine,” is a beautiful tribute to the 75 years Fred and Lorraine spent together. Thanks to Green Shoe Studio, Fred’s enduring love for Lorraine lives on eternally through song.

If you cried, don’t worry. We did too.

Written by Eunice Han