Today we’d like to introduce you to Brandi Hansen.
Brandi, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
It all started after a long and trying career in corporate America (9 years that felt like an eternity), I quit my job to be more present at home with my husband and five children. I faced, what then, seemed like an impossible choice – stay a career woman and travel farther and work more hours to advance or quit entirely. See, for me, at the time there wasn’t a happy medium. I wasn’t happy in my location or position and I couldn’t afford a demotion to be home more because the cost of an in-home nanny is a big one. I couldn’t possibly stretch myself anymore. You know, they say “I’ll give 150%!”, well, that is impossible, we as human beings are 100%. We cannot be more than we than that, what we can give is all of it and more of is our time. Which is absolutely exhausting. And at the end of 2011, I realized that time was too precious to waste away on a feeling like a hamster in a running wheel or utterly expendable. BTW, I worked for Wells Fargo, if that helps paint the picture better.
Let’s get back to the who’s, what’s, and the how’s…
After leaving a well-paid position, that creepy haunting feeling set in, I am a stay at home mom now and I have no idea what I am doing! Much respect to ALL MOMS AND DADS killing it in the parenting department on the daily, both working or SAH’s! I really struggled to get my bearings. And financially, we were swimming in uncharted waters. I needed to make some extra money to help out and have some spending cash. I mean, the hubby doesn’t need to know about ALL of my target purchases, ammmiright?!?!? Hah. So, after already having a love for photography, and dabbling in a little, I started a small photography business. Mostly capturing families. This got us through all the way to 2017.
An idea was hatched…
In March of 2016, I and some of my best gal pals headed to a photography convention in Las Vegas. I hardly went to any classes because I just wasn’t feeling it. I was lost in my own head about what I was really passionate about. On one of the last nights, we all sat around drinking wine and loud talking. Discussing what we want to change in our businesses, how we were going succeed, and what we wanted years down the road. When it came to me, all of the sudden I was talking food. Like, the music instantly stops and someone drops their glass kind of conversation turnover. That’s when I realized what I wanna be when I finally grow up. (Still a work in progress) I wanted to be a food photographer and food influencer. I wanted to change the way people think about food, make food fun for all ages, and get back to the way eating should be. Eat the way our ancestors ate. Like Viking’s, put the kill over open flames and gnaw through it like it’s your last meal! Ok, that last part was a little dramatic, I really mean more canning and preserving, growing, raising and sustainability.
So, it came to pass, Radish Mama was born…
After over a years thoughts and mull over, I finally put my dreams into action. Last summer I spent a week in Ireland and a week in Amsterdam with friends, cooking, photography mom and pop food shops, exploring amazing farmers markets, and drinking wine like it was water. With the push and support of my best friends and family, Radish Mama was created. Radish – because I have a vegetable garden and also I am kinda/sorta Rad. And Mama- because that’s what my kids call me.
A foodie Mama, Photography – Food – Lifestyle blog. I launched live on Facebook and cried at how many friends and supporters I already had. AND who already saw that this is a place I fit perfectly.
I have been feeding people since I can remember. They clearly remembered that too. Now, I focus on creating a farm to table recipes. urban farming, micro homesteading, and living sustainably. I’m a bit quirky too, you’ll see me singing in my IG stories, drinking whiskey or wine, and just trying to live my best life. Cause that’s all we can do really, is try every day. Some days, we are lucky enough to try a little less.
The Patio Feast
This fall, I will be launching The Patio Feast, a new pop up farm to table dinner. All locally sourced with 200 miles, and each location will be a surprise. If hosted, a host can be as involved as they want and well as the guests. I am so excited about this one. It’s almost like I’m having another child… so can someone throw me a sprinkle?? Tha’s a thing right?!?
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
For me, the journey has been really consistent. I do think that coming from a background in running a business, I did have some advantages, but the key is to just put in the work. If you fail to plan, you’ll plan to fail. Make every part of your business a process. Find the processes that work for you and hone those. It may start rocky, but with time, calculation, and self-reflection, you will grow. Oh, and don’t forget who you are and why you started. I think if you aren’t passionate about something, you will see it in your work. So, find ways to engage in that passion. An example to women who are just starting out and feel like they may be deflating, remember the why and jot down a fresh set of ideas. If you can’t think of any, ask people that know you. You’ll find something in those bits of nothing that will reignite your flame.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Radish Mama & The Patio Feast – what should we know?
Oh, those are really deep thoughts since I covered a lot of it in the first question, I’ll try and be brief. I barter photography for food credit and payment. I offer restaurants a variety of packages for menus, websites, and social media. But I particularly love the behind the scenes stuff. Get me in the back and let me watch you tear up the kitchen, that’s my sweet spot as a photographer. I once said, “Every kitchen has their story, and every story has an author”.
I feel that I am most know for always cooking something different. Often, we will go an entire month without repeating a dinner meal.
I don’t know that I am really that much different from other foodie mama’s like myself. But I can tell you some things about who I am and how I set the course for my brand… I don’t care about the likes, the follows, or being overly curated. If I want to share something completely unrelated to food or photography – I absolutely do. I want to be heard and not just seen. (<– you see what I did there? the ole “seen and not heard”) I am building a brand, but its identity is me. I am still changing and evolving, and so will my brand, look, and feel. And there will be times I am completely MIA because I have nothing to say, and no reason to say nonsense. I will likely not even reference it, I don’t think we need to explain our social media absence to people, no matter how loyal. If I need to be more present in the NOW, I absolutely will be. (That is confidence, not arrogance.)
Finding a mentor and building a network are often cited in studies as a major factor impacting one’s success. Do you have any advice or lessons to share regarding finding a mentor or networking in general?
Reach out no matter how small you might feel stacked up to your peers or idols. Remember the worst thing they can say is “no”. And that’s really not so bad. There is a crap ton of free knowledge out there for the taking. So, go on girl – TAKE IT! YouTube University Alumni right here! If you struggle with finding a mentor, save up and find a workshop, they’ll change your life. They can be pricey, but you will not only walk away with a better business tragedy or set of skills, you will make new great networking contacts, who may also turn into mentors later down the road. Invest your time into your passion, and you’ll more than likely need to invest your money in your dreams to bring them to fruition. You can do it. I promise, and you can always reach out to me. If I don’t have any advice, I guarantee to try to make you laugh.
- $400 Lifestyle kitchen photography session
- $250 WWFF Small Business Package
- $45 The Patio Feast 5 Course Meal Ticket
- Website: http://radishmama.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/radish_mama/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/radishmama/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/radish_mama
https://www.theindigostudio.co/ All pictures are from Amanda Brooks of The Indigo Studio