Make sure to follow Molly Batchik on Instagram.
I met Molly through a few of my former co-workers, and she has that aura of the chill, independent, stylish friend who always brings the wine, honesty, and great conversation. She gives off a sense of realness that is rare to find, and her passion for empowering young women is contagious. We chatted about what it's like to be in a primarily male workplace (coming from a career in tech, I could talk for days about that), and it was so refreshing to bond with another professional and business owner who understood. Molly is a kind soul who is making a real difference in the world by empowering young women along her way to stardom.
- Becky VandenBout, Owner of Joon + Co. -
Allow us to introduce Ms. Molly Batchik, food stylist, writer, recipe creator, and role model for young women around the world. As a freelance food stylist, Batchik is diving head first into a career that many people don't even realize exists.
Those images in food and cooking magazines are styled by somebody who not only understands what it takes to create the food or drink, but somebody who is skilled in making that particular food or drink look so enticing that it makes your mouth water. That person is called a food stylist.
Batchik takes her own and her clients' recipes, puts them in a cohesive setting, and styles it to look its most tasty. Think fresh bread, fancy cheese, farm-fresh veggies, and anything else her clients need to look not only photographically perfect, but also delicious.
Batchik hasn't always been a food stylist though. Her past is comprised of careers in hospitality, writing, photography, and marketing, so she's definitely a Jill of all trades when it comes to the creative food and beverage industry.
Its been a year and a half since I started working as a food stylist. In college I studied writing and through my first years out, I worked hosting and waiting tables to make ends meet. For few years after I handled the social media of a coffee shop. In that role, I learned a lot about composition, camera angles, lighting, and color by a lot of trial and error.
My first day on set styling was a total accident. A friend who worked as a stylist had a last minute opening and knew that I worked in food and media, so when she asked, I agreed to help out. It was totally a right-place-at-the-right-time kind of thing. The precision involved in making the flawless, yet accessible, perfectly curled strip of bacon for a shot was so gratifying! I was hooked! I came home that night, slimy from handling bacon all day, and had never felt so fulfilled by a day of work. Afterwards, I took every job I could find styling everything from chocolate milk to fall gourds.
While a career food stylist sounds like an amazing job, there are hardships and hurdles that Batchik has had to face along the way. Freelancing is a type of business ownership that is very unique in many ways. While it usually doesn't require the type of risky investment that brick and mortar or retail businesses do, it requires a perfect combination of personal and professional branding that is so tough to perfect. You are the brand and your talents and skills are your tools.
I quickly learned that working as a freelancer, I have to be willing to drop everything last minute to work. Often it's the day before and I'll get a call asking me to drive across state for a few days of shooting. I often have to put my personal life aside, hunker down, and work. Days on set can be long, sometimes 18 hours or so with shopping afterwards for fresh ingredients the next day's shoot. I'm lucky to have fantastic friends and family that get it, don't take it personally when I cancel things last minute, and are willing to chip in and take my sweet pup out for walks when I have long days.
There are times in every boss babe's life when the emotions, burdens, and expectations can feel like the weight of the world upon your shoulders, and in those times, the dark, lonely, terrifyingly difficult times, true boss babes prevail, but not alone. A support system of true believers is vital, and a distance - as far as can be - from the doubters, the haters, the complainers is just as important. Dreamers are just that - dreamers. The same goes for the do-ers. True boss babes make it a point to be both, and without having complete and utter faith in yourself, it's an impossible feat.
Having faith in oneself and putting in the work is clearly a credential for achieving true #bossbabe status, but something that Batchik is also very passionate about helps to project someone from the role of aspiring boss babe to badass boss babe, and that is female empowerment.
Before I was a food stylist, I worked for an organization that taught self defense, discussed consent, and addressed the toxic culture towards women to female-identifying middle school students. We are taught from a young age to tear down other women instead of building them up, but it makes it so much harder for us to have success that way. I've carried that spirit into my own work and my interactions with my friends daughters, my younger sister, and the young women in my life. We are better working together and empowering each other to be strong, brave, and true to our convictions.
Angela Duckworth, the author of Grit, elaborates on the subject, saying, " Whether we realize it or not, the culture in which we live, and with which we identify, powerfully shapes just about every aspect of our being." When you surround yourself with likeminded powerhouse boss babes, you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish.
I would love to work writing and styling for a publication like Bon Appetit or Food and Wine Magazine. In college, I studied writing and I still freelance with a publishing company as a side hustle. Combining my love of food, styling, and writing would be a dream!
Batchik is no stranger to success, as her work has been published in several leading industry media and publications, but everyone's story starts somewhere, and any boss babe out there remembers the feeling of that first sale, the first publication, the first contract signed.
The first time I saw one of my ads on a billboard, I almost crashed my car! I happened to be in the car with both of my parents and I just started yelling "HOLY S#%! I DID THAT!" it was really incredible to experience that with them, they have been so supportive of me starting this career that they had never heard of before and I didn't go to school for. I've had clients work in Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple, Better Homes and Gardens, and Family Circle. Its an awesome surprise to be flipping through and say "Hey! I made that!"
When asked what gets her out of bed in the morning, Batchik had a rather unique response: "Usually the bread I have fermenting in the fridge overnight waiting to be baked gets me out of bed in the morning! Most mornings I wake up early to make myself fresh sourdough bread and coffee and write before I get into work-mode." These are serious #morninggoals because dayum lady, most women are just trying to roll themselves out of bed at all, much less bake fresh bread. Can we all come stay at your place? #notjoking
With a self-described style of, "very functional and classic," and "hard-working chic," Batchik can usually be found wearing all black (can't see food stains or spills), comfy on-her-feet-all-day shoes, topped off with a messy, but out of her face, bun. Not only her clothing choices, but her lifestyle choices align so well with Joon + Co.'s that she was a very natural fit for our boss babe campaign.
Like Joon + Co, a huge part of my values as a consumer is the environmental impact of my choices. In my industry, like fashion, it is just as important to know where your product is coming from and what impact it has on the earth, the producers, and the community. I'm an avid home gardener, farmers market frequenter, and CSA shareholder. Eating locally, organically, and seasonally is the cornerstone of how I nourish myself and what recipes I share on my blog.
Batchik made us laugh when chatting about some of her favorite pieces in the Joon + Co. collection, saying, "When I wear a jumpsuit, I feel like a superhero." She goes on to say, "The Jumpsuits in the Joon + Co. collection have a fantastic throwback feel with a can-do attitude." From empowering women to helping the homeless, the clothes sold at Joon + Co. do their bit of good in the world, and the Boss Babe campaign is meant to highlight both the pieces doing good and the women doing good by their careers and lifestyles. Batchik says, "Its great to see real ladies working hard and looking good while doing it," and we couldn't agree more.
Make sure to head over to Molly's brand new website: mollybatchik.com and to show her some instalove: @mollybat