To Top

Conversations with Laura Scalone

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Scalone.

Laura, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Elle Jay at Home started in 2015 as a way to track kitchen experiments and recipes I made up so my mother-in-law and husband could make them again later. For a couple of years, it was a way for me to share recipes and personal updates with my family.

In November of 2019, I was laid off and decided to take blogging more seriously. The pandemic kicked in a few months later and with everyone stress-baking, my blog turned to focusing on recipes that were comforting to make as well as eat.

I encourage readers to enjoy the process of making something, rather than just eating it (even though that is fun, too). I think we all could use an activity to slow down and de-stress. For me, stress-baking is a great way to connect with other people. You don’t have to eat it all yourself; share with your neighbors!

Get your family to cook with you. I love stories about people baking with their kids. It’s such a great way to apply math and science skills to real life and just to bond with your family.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I’m not naturally gifted at coding or website building, so right out of the gate, I had to learn a lot of new things: SEO, marketing, social media strategy, and more.

And then, recipe blogging is not cheap, so being unemployed and trying to get off the ground was a struggle. Trying to stick to a budget and not going to the grocery store every week (due to the pandemic) was a whole challenge in and of itself let alone trying to work blogable recipes and recipe testing into our budget.

Of course, personally, I’ve been dealing with depression and anxiety. I’m fairly open about those struggles on my Instagram account. I know most blog readers are more interested in the recipe, so I use social media to focus more on mental health. But I do channel some of my concern for mental health into my posts, as well.

Other than the basic struggles that every new food blogger experiences, Elle Jay at Home has been a fun challenge that mostly serves as a source of stress relief. I get to bake recipes I like over and over again. I’ve been learning more about photography and growing my business as a food photographer.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I create recipes for stress-bakers. Some of my recipes are technically stress-cooking, but I think the most important thing is that you find a recipe that makes you happy from start to finish.

Having a fantastic chocolate chip cookie is really nice, right? But it becomes infinitely more enjoyable to focus on the smells of browning butter and brown sugar melding together with warm vanilla. What memories do those smells bring up for you? What can you make that will make your happy or bring up your favorite memories?

I’m most proud of my cannoli cheesecake recipe. It’s one of the more unique recipes on my blog, but it’s also the one my family requests most often. It’s great for Christmas especially, but my husband also requests it for his birthday every year.

I think the thing setting me apart is my focus on process and how working through the recipe can be a good thing for your mental health. Everyone wants you to make their food and love it. I try to emphasize that the journey is important, too.

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
I tend to be more calculated about decision making. Some days, I fantasize about jumping into the deep end and taking the big risks. However, I have a family depending on me as well. So, I do work full-time outside of blogging and photography, and I save money to go toward education and business upgrades.

For me, it’s more about setting goals and rewards. What steps do I need to take to get to a goal, and what does that goal accomplish for my business? For me, the big-picture goal is to get to a place where food blogging and photography could replace my income and keep our bills paid.

Building to that point, I need to bring in so many clients and take this course and that mastermind session to build my knowledge bank.

That said, I think risk-taking is necessary. Every little step along the way is a risk even if it isn’t the romanticized leap into the unknown without a net.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Laura Scalone, Elle Jay at Home

Suggest a Story: NashvilleVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Local Stories