Interview with Melly Eats World, Toronto Based Macaron & Baking Artist

If you were to take my phone and have a little scroll through my Instagram stream, the common themes are colourful hair, enamel pins, indie fashion & beauty brands and food. Not just any food though,  it’s mainly cute baked goods. I’d say I’m 99% more likely to follow someone if their stream is dedicated to any variation of food with faces drawn in to be honest too. Macarons are always a hit! One of my favourite foodie Instagram accounts to follow is Melly Eats World. I’ve grabbed a few minutes with this Toronto based hobbyist baker, to find out more about her creative project and passion. Unlike many other Instagram influencers, Melly does not have a blog, a YouTube and does not use any other social media other than Instagram, which makes her all the more intriguing since she’s amassed over 112k followers on the platform since starting her profile back in 2016.

Another surprising fact about Melly is that she does not currently have any business related to her incredible baking skills, right now this is purely a post-work passion project to a totally unrelated day job and there’s something that can be learnt from that. Not all creative projects require an immediate financial outcome to make them worthwhile. Sometimes, it’s best to follow your heart and create what you love, regardless of whether or not that passion may one day pay the bills.

I was really surprised to read that you haven’t set up a bakery business yet because it takes too long to make each macaron to make it viable. Can you tell us more?

Yes, making character macarons is an incredibly time consuming process.  It involves piping the shapes with different sized piping tips and perfecting the shapes with the help of toothpicks.  Depending on the complexity of the design, two dozen of character macarons can take 6-10 hours from scratch to finish.  Unfortunately, this makes them not financially viable unless I charge $10 per macaron!  I can probably simplify the designs and fuss less about the details, but being a (reluctant) perfectionist, it’s really hard for me to forego quality for quantity.  I would love one today to open a baking studio where I can focus more on teaching than selling.

How do you think creating for passion over money changes the creative dynamic?

When I was younger, I believed the saying “Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.”  Now that I’m older (and hopefully a touch wiser), I recognize the fact that you can love something you do for a living, but still think it feels like work.  As you are already aware, I have a full-time job and only bake during my downtime.  Baking relaxes me.  However, if I am to bake for a living, I will need to increase my production rate and find more cost-effective way of making my baked goods.  It will definitely take away some of the fun, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  I think it’s all about finding the right balance.

What was your reaction once your creations started going viral? Did you expect to grow your following so fast?

I’m not sure if “viral” is the right word, perhaps something smaller scale like “bacterial”.  I’m not big on social media and as you may have noticed, other than posting on Instagram, I don’t have other social media accounts nor a website.  I had zero expectations when I started posting on Instagram and was very surprised and grateful for all of the support that I have received.

Tell us a little about your day job and how you fit in your macaron making around work.

I’m a securities law clerk working in a mutual fund company.  I guess the only thing that my day job and my “night job” have in common is the requirement for attention to detail!  I bake during weekends and work nights if I manage to get home early from work.

Are there any plans or dreams to make baking a full time job?

Yes, it is always on the back of my head.  Just need to figure out a business model that is sustainable.

Do you have a favourite design you’ve made?

So hard to pick – they are all my babies!

What tips would you share with a newbie baker who wanted to get noticed?

I would advise them to not focus so much on getting “noticed”.  Social media is a funny thing and not necessarily a fair reflection of a person’s actual talent.  Do what you love and if people love it, great, if they don’t, that’s okay too.

You have stunning photography, do you use any specialist kit or settings to capture your work?

Thank you very much!  Though to be honest, I know very little about photography.  I use either my cell phone (Samsung Note 4/Note 8) or camera (Sony ILCE-5100) to capture the images.  As for the food styling, I use whatever I can find in my house…I collect a lot of random things!

What tips would you share with creators looking to grow their following on Instagram?

I’m truly ill-equipped to provide tips on this subject since I know very little about social media (I only learnt how to post stories on Instagram last month)!  If I have to hazard a guess, I would say having original contents is fairly important.  I’ve seen food bloggers posting the exact same dish over and over again – it gets fairly redundant.

If you’d like to find out more about Melly, you can follow her on Instagram @mellyeatsworld. If you think of something or someone who you think should be featured on CMK, you can get in touch via @JayneKitsch on Twitter or Instagram or use the contact page of this site.

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