Do something special with people you love the most. It's simple advice that most of us forget to take. But for Jacqui Saldana, the woman behind the Baby Boy Bakery blog and Baby Boy Bakery Kids, they are words of wisdom she takes to heart. And part of the reason she created My First Year: A baby journal and My Little Years: A toddler journal dedicated to important moments.
Though she started her blog six years ago with the intention of making friends, it has turned into so much more, including being a way to deal with the loss of her three-year-old son, Ryan. It's been a long, often hard journey, but the Jacqui always puts on strong foot in front of the other and is now happy mama to daughter Mila.
We chatted with the mom and entrepreneur about blogging, next steps, and where she finds joy in the day-to-day.
Read our interview below.
Your honesty and sharing your story has helped so many people. How has it helped you?
Writing and sharing my life, how I deal with grief and the joys found after suffering a great loss have helped me cope immensely. Ever since I was little I have been known to expel my thoughts and emotions to anyone who will listen, because in doing so it helped me process what I was feeling. I wear my heart on my sleeve so to speak. When someones asks “How are you?” I soon rattle off exactly how I am in that moment in time. I guess it could be viewed as a blessing or curse. Being so emotional and open with my thoughts have gotten me into some weird relationships and also heartache. But it has also allowed me to help others close to me and people all over the world. I’m damn proud of my life and what has become of it, sharing it is all I know how to do. I am so blessed it has been a light and hope for others.
When you started the blog did you know anything about the influencer/blog world? What about your background made it a no-brainer?
No, I started my blog nearly six years ago with the only intention of making friends. I was craving conversation with other like minded moms as I was the only one in my friend group who had a child. I felt lonely and turned to the only thing I knew how to do well, talk. I started out sharing recipes and all my motherhood mishaps. I began sharing our daily happenings on social media and as the years went by life happened. As life started to truly unfold I just continued to share. My back-ground is in human development. That was my major in college. I studied humans from birth up until death and I am not really sure if it prepared me for owning my own business and being a social influencer. I think becoming a mother has prepared me more for everything I do now. Upon becoming a mother life took on this new ultra vibrant look. I was birthed into a stronger more resilient woman. Being a mother and business owner is forever under construction if you will. Constantly being worked on, re-built. But it truly is the most rewarding. I am not sure how long this will last, but I work hard everyday and I’ll keep creating and sharing until I join my son up in Heaven!
Where was the learning curve? Something you really had to learn?
I think with owning your own business and running your own space on the internet is a constant give and take. There is never a moment when I take a step back and think “Oh, now I get it!” Meaning I’m always learning and always baffled at how quickly things change. I know I’ll mess up. I know I’ll say “Yes” too often and feel like I am drowning. But what I try to remind myself is that most likely many of us feel like that. I think what I have been forced to learn is that I need to go at my own pace, create things that make sense to me and products I am passionate about. I need to share what I feel and not worry about a picturesque Instagram feed. If I remember all that then I can’t go wrong.
Why did you decide the first book should be a baby journal and not say, a cookbook?
To be frank I was pregnant and couldn’t find a baby book that fit my needs. I wanted a journal that I could freely write in when I wanted about what I wanted. I wanted something more chic with minimal design. So, I created one! [Ed note: The above mentioned My Little Years.] I remember getting home from the hospital after my daughter was born and the sample copy got delivered just as we were unbuckling her from the car seat. I was high off hormones but I cried such happy tears! I think my time will come when a cookbook that also shares my story will come. I reached out to a publishing company once last year about my cookbook idea and it got denied. I’d be lying if I said that didn’t rattle me and make me scared. With that said, if you know of a good publishing company that would be interested in me let me know! ;)
How did you make the decision to work with Inked Brands?
Inked Brands approached me at a conference with one sentence, “We can make whatever you come up with!” In a few short months I told my husband about this random cooking kit idea I had and we flew to the Inked office and pitched it to them. We then sat together for days brainstorming what this all would look like and Baby Boy Bakery Kids was born. Essentially, I wanted to create products that would bring families together and enhance memory keeping. I wanted to drive home the fact that families need to spend time tougher and capture this time with their children while they have it. All the products I create for my brand Baby Boy Bakery Kids come from my heart and are fueled by my passion for parenthood. A portion of my Baby Boy Bakery Kids proceeds benefit various child based charities each month. It is important for me to give back because as mother I believe in the betterment of not just my own children but ALL children. Inked Brands has allowed me to focus on content creation, design and giving back. Working with Inked Brands in bringing Baby Boy Bakery Kids to life is something I am quite proud of. Our partnership has allowed me to dream up things that make a difference in the lives of families and children all around the world.
How do you hope to continue to grow your blog and community?
I hope to continue what I am doing. I hope to bring new eyes to my brand and my story while inspiring them to live intently. I’d also love to collaborate with other women business owners. When women help other women out magic happens! My dream is to make Baby Boy Bakery Kids a household name wherein both parents and children thrive with my products and make lasting memories.
I think this online world is ever growing, ever changing. I am doing my best to keep it all moving and grooving with things that are important to me. I can only hope that myself and what I am doing resonates with others and inspires them.
What’s coming up next?
I have some very exciting things coming out this Summer and later this Fall! Think activity placemats for your children, a fun apron collab and the coolest gift box for the children who enjoy time in the kitchen! Plus the third installment to my memory journal collection and a coloring book that takes children around the world! I couldn’t be more proud and excited about what is coming up, it has been the best year yet for Baby Boy Bakery Kids. I love my #BBBKids so much and I am thrilled we are growing so quickly!
What’s something you do every day to find joy?
I find joy when spending time with my daughter, we read a lot of books and she is slowly but surely finding interest in helping me cook. My therapy though is writing my thoughts and emotions. I use my blog as a safe place where I can share my deepest thoughts and my motherhood experiences. Posting on my blog brings me such joy as it has brought me together with such incredible people. I adore my online community. I also take SoulCycle classes regularly and sip on a nightly glass of chilled white wine or rosé after my daughter heads to bed!
Arianna Schioldager is Editor-in-Chief at Create & Cultivate. You can follow her @ariannawrotethis.