Across the pond . . .
. . . artisans are busy trumping us. I’ve been drooling a lot over the wares at Soane, which I discovered in the latest House + Garden UK whilst convalescing with my iPad. You’ve simply got to go read the article about their craftmanship, the “commander” (that cool tool they’re wielding), and the dying art of making fine wicker pieces (among a grillion other fabulous things). If you’re in a lazy mood, just peruse the below from my must-have list.
Does a man like this rilllly need introduction? Doesn’t his reputation for crafting heartbreakingly-good confections precede him? I agree, but wait till you read how down-home cool he is, too.
A few quick sentences about you, your business, your inherent you-ness:
JB: I founded a company, Sweeteeth, where I hand-make chocolates of various forms and infusions. I put a spin on the traditional fancy confections by utilizing local produce and stretching our idea of “sweet”. I’m based out of Charleston and do what I can to fight the never ending battle against humidity!
When people ask where you’re from, how do you answer?
JB: I always say I’m from a “small town in Alabama”.
Your best friend is coming to visit Charleston for the first time. Where would you take him/her to:
JB: EVO or Nirlep. As a vegetarian, it’s hard to eat in Charleston some times. EVO is always delicious and easy to love and Nirlep has held close to my heart (and belly) since I first moved here. Excellent families, excellent food.
JB: Tattooed Moose or Closed for Business maybe. I don’t really drink but I love to just be at these two places for hours at a time. The look’s great inside and the folks that work there make it even better.
JB: I can’t say I’m much of a beach person. The Irish only get one kind of tan, a burn, so I stick to the more shady parts. I always like to wander around the old plantations and stroll around the city at night. I love ghost tours!
JB: I would take them to James Quinton’s house, eat cake and ice cream and play dominoes.
Your ideal Saturday afternoon is spent . . . . fill in the blanks.
JB: Getting up early and making pancakes for the fam. Heading to the farmers market and then cruising over to Robot Candy for a bag ‘o’ sweets. Eating candy all the way to the car with Liam and Lauren, then watching a movie until we all doze off on the couch. Mmmmmm, good times.
What’s just one thing that sets you apart from your peers? Don’t be bashful!
JB: Well being a dad for the past two years and a biz owner for the last 4+ is the biggest separator I think. Other than that, I’m pretty heavily tattooed with a bit of a sailor’s mouth I can’t seem to neutralize. I’m also a vegetarian which I think might put me at the most odds with my group. Always makes for good dinner conversation, as in, I get made fun of for the duration.
What’s one (fun/weird/crazy) thing we wouldn’t know about you?
JB: I’ve always wanted to be 30, I love biscuits and gravy more than any food, when I was young I had 8 baby opossums, my dad was a truck driver and gave me the CB handle “Dipstick”, I run long trails to the blackest of metals. (pick one I guess.)
Hollywood calls and they’re going to make a movie of your life. What’s your opening musical score (or the top hit on the soundtrack?)
JB: That’s easy. Mississippi Queen by Mountain.
No day-in-the-life-of-you is complete without . . . (fill in the blank).
JB: Spongebob with Liam while we eat cereal. Dropping him off at school. Trail run. Chocolate. Several phone calls to my old friend, Daniel. Lots and lots of coffee.
What’s the most rewarding thing about your business?
JB: I wish I could say that owning your own biz gives you the reward of showing up to work in a sweatsuit every day. Sadly, I never take advantage in that way. To me the biggest reward is time. My time, for the most part, is mine. Being able to assemble my work week at my convenience gives me the opportunity to focus on things that are important to those who live an intersecting life to mine. I can be completely available to my young sir, Liam. Also, my wife, Lauren, is a teacher who is constantly working and juggling things on top of things. I’m able to pick up the slack around the house and take care of small things here and there that would end up being an inconvenience to her. When your kid is happy and your lady is happy, life is gravy. Also, I’m a runner so it always helps to be able to squeeze runs in in the middle of the day when I need to blow off some steam or just let loose. So yeah, out of all life’s pleasures, time is the most valuable to me. By giving me my time, this crazy candy business is fully rewarding.
Heather Forsythe is one of my favorite local photogs- and also one of the kindest, most genuine gals I know. The kind that makes you feel almost guilty- like she’s so sunny, you walk away going- ‘how nice is she? am i the meanest person ever?’ but not in a nauseating way . . . she’s the real deal. AND- she has precious children you want to squeeze/kidnap and humongous artistic talent to boot.
A passionate and dynamic professional, Heather creates images that are elegant and timeless. Born in Tennessee, she has been proud to call Charleston her home for the past eight years. “I love the traditions that surround weddings. I love the ephemeral quality of the day, and that is where my photography comes in. I love being able to capture the moments, the emotions, and the atmosphere of a day that passes so quickly, yet is remembered for so long.” Heather’s unobtrusive, documentary approach to photography lends itself to creating naturally candid and unique photos. For more scoop, read on!
If you could shoot a wedding anywhere in the world, where would it be?
HF: India! I love love LOVE Hindu wedding ceremonies. I love everything from the rich colors to the amazingly detailed wedding ceremony to the celebrations that proceed and follow. A true Hindu wedding is celebrated over several days of amazing food, drink and merriment! I would love the experience of traveling to India to witness and capture all of this in this rich an amazing country. A week in an ashram to follow would be much appreciated as well.
What’s the one thing you wish you could say outright to every bride, but you feel like you can’t, out of decorum + propriety?
HF: Be on time! It sounds so simple but it’s exhaustingly not. My normal request is something along the lines of “Now, we want to really try to stick to a schedule because if you’re 40 minutes late slipping into your dress then we’re going to have a hard time getting the images you want without feeling stressed about time.” Translated, without the ‘decorum + propriety’ this would be: “LISTEN: If you’re 40 minutes late slipping in your dress, you’re forfeiting far more than whatever you did in those original 40 minutes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a bride stressing out over the fact that she’s running behind. You’ve just spent over a year planning this day. There’s a whole team of professionals that are poised and ready for you on this day. Every family member and guest knows where and when to be there for you. Do yourself the honor of being there on time too! All that planning was done so that the day would be seamless and stress-free – so that you could soak up every ephemeral moment of it. So tell every mother, mother in law, every bridesmaid and groomsman that you, and they, will be ready at the church on time and that is final! A set of images taken in 5 minutes of what was originally planned to be 30 minutes of shooting just won’t be as good as the set of images could have been. That’s not to say I haven’t created some of my favorite images in stolen moments in a rushed day, but I always wonder how much better the images could have been had we had that whole 30 minutes after the ceremony we planned for.
What’s your take on the controversial “First Peek”, where the bride and groom
see each other before the ceremony?
HF: I’m pretty traditional through and through. I truly love all the traditions that surround a wedding and I love the idea of church doors swinging open with a groom standing at the alter looking down the aisle at his fiance’-transformed-to-bride standing in the doorway on the arm of her father. I love it… That being said, I must admit doing a “first peak” always makes my day a bit easier and I’m always so excited about the possibilities the ‘first peak’ offers. But, I never suggest it to brides and grooms when meeting. If it is something they bring up, I’m game, especially in the case of an evening wedding where there would be no opportunity to shoot the bride and groom in natural light.
Three words (or a phrase) that epitomize your style: fill in the blanks.
HF: Sincere, unscripted and cheerful.
One of your top favorite images from 2010?
HF: This was a fun year and I had the pleasure of working with some incredible people so choosing one is hard! But, I’d have to say my bridal portrait session with bride, Perry, was one of my favorites. There is one particular shot of her from early on in the shoot where she’s just glowing and blissfully looking outside the frame of the photograph. It’s a naturally candid moment in a preposterously perfect setting! Gotta love Charleston!
Best store (online or not) for great reception finds?
HF: Confetti Effects
I’m crazy for confetti! Granted, it has to be late enough in the evening and the party has to have a certain amount of liveliness, but when set off at the right time, not only are the photos just so animated, but I love seeing the kid come out in everyone on the dance floor. It’s irristable not to throw your hands in the air and jump up and down – so fun!
No wedding is complete without . . .
HF: A little bit of drama. Know that and prepare yourself for it. So that when Aunt May sprains her ankle on the dance floor or when the best man passes out at the altar, you’re ready to take it all in stride. Or, perhaps, when you arrive at your reception, to find the fire department frantically extinguishing your candlabras and tealights because of a major gasoline spill from the station next door, be ready to pose with the guys.