Sweet & Wild: Meet Carly Longshaw
Carly Longshaw is the owner of the Kitchener-based home business, Wilderly Bakery. In only a year and a half since its inception, Wilderly has amassed a massive 16,000+ followers on Instagram, and has caught the eye of major influencers in the baking world for Carly’s innovative designs, beautiful instructional videos and mind-blowing attention to detail. Carly has been named as our first-ever Mother of Influence, for obvious reasons!
The first part of this interview was published in the Fall 2018 issue of The Holistic Parent.
6. Can you tell me a bit about some of your favourite commissions?
Definitely a recent favourite were the body positivity slogans for the networking event hosted by The Holistic Parent. Watercolour is my favourite style, and the messages on the cookies, such as “I don’t need fixing” and “I am enough” really resonated with my audience. Another favourite was a set inspired by the children's book Guess How Much I Love You, made for a friend’s baby shower, which is my most liked photo on Instagram and I’ve since recreated for another client!
7. Any tips for someone in a similar situation in terms of building a business?
I’d say first and foremost, cultivate a support network from within the industry. Surrounding yourself with people who can relate to the struggles, be able to offer advice in real time, and cheer on your successes as if they were their own is invaluable. I’m so lucky to have found that in my cookie friends and my business wouldn’t be here today without them. Also, learn to set boundaries for yourself. Be OK with saying no, because it’s not possible to say yes to everything. And lastly, and most importantly, be kind to yourself. Starting something from nothing is an incredible and demanding task and can take everything you have in you to keep pushing. Try to replenish yourself in whatever ways you can, because as I always have to remind myself that I can’t pour from an empty cup.
8. What’s been the most challenging part of what you do?
Absolutely it’s the endless pursuit of that ever-elusive work-life balance. It’s a constant battle of priorities between kids, family, friends, orders, content creation, social media, and me time. I always tell myself if I can just hang on until next fall when my daughter goes to school, I'll be able to work during daytime hours and spend fun evenings and weekends with my family again. If a missed social event here or microwave popcorn for dinner there comes with the territory, they are sacrifices I’m willing to make, in order to create something I’m proud of.
9. Coffee, tea or wine?
Tea and rosé all day!
10. Night owl or early bird?
Lately, both. I typically pull one all-nighter a week to get all of my weekend orders out the door. If you told me in university that I’d be pulling more all-nighters in my adult life than I ever did as a student, I never would have believed you, but that’s my reality with two full time jobs!
11. Favourite thing about being a mom?
I love how excited they get about the little things — it’s actually so forgiving. Sometimes dinner will be cheese and crackers and one of them will say, “This is the best supper!” Or we will make a blanket fort in the living room to keep them away from the cookies drying in the dining room, and what was mom's diversion tactic will become mom’s super fun cool blanket fortress. They can have an innocent way of making me feel like I succeeded even in the moments where I felt like I was failing them and a lot of times — that’s what gets me through the day.
12. Hardest thing?
I love running my own business so I can be at home with them, but sometimes I have to remind myself to multitask less. Sure it’s easy to answer messages and inquiries when I’m with my kids, and I feel so much lighter knocking a few things off of my to-do list, but productive time for me is not really quality time for them, so I could always do a little more putting down the phone and living in the moment while they’re still young.
13. What do you love about the region?
I love the old area of Kitchener we live in, right on the Spurline trail for exploring and we have a community garden down the road as well. It’s a nice, clean, safe, inclusive place to raise our kids in.
14. Favourite place to eat in KW?
As a major poutine lover, so Smoke’s Poutinerie is a favourite stop. Our favourite family restaurant is Harvest Moon in St. Jacob’s — and we love visiting my sisters who work there!
15. Favourite thing to do with the kids in the area?
We’re big fans of Waterloo Park, animals, splash pad, playground, duck pond — really, what’s not to love for a couple of wild kids!