Seeing someone’s business evolution and dreams coming true is undoubtedly the most rewarding part of being both a brand photographer and business coach. As a brand photographer, I truly feel like I get to help people’s passions come to life – their story, their products, their service. And getting to photograph Shannon and Matt of Mayernik Kitchen for the brand session in Pompton Plains, NJ allowed me to do just that.
Shannon and I met YEARS AGO (Like 5?) when we both joined the Rising Tide Society – a networking and free educational community for creative entrepreneurs. Once a month, our local chapter meets and discusses a topic of small business, and Shannon was one of the first people in that group. In 2018, I got to have Shannon in attendance at my first-ever business retreat for creative entrepreneurs.
During that retreat, all the attendees had to do some soul searching into what they wanted their life and business to look like. They learned how to create better systems for their business, and how to put their life goals and relationships above the hustle mentality that is constantly preached in society today. One of Shannon’s goals, I’m sure of it, was probably making this home-based herbal business her and her husband had, into a bigger thing. First off, going full-time with the business would have been a dream, and secondly, getting all of the product out of their house would have been high on that docket too.
Fast forward a few years, and Mayernik Kitchen has exploded, and they now own and operate a store and commercial kitchen in Pompton Plains, NJ where they make all their own products! Shannon has quit her full time job to run Mayernik Kitchen full time, and seeing all these dreams come to life has been insanely amazing to witness.
Here’s a little bit about the Mayernik Kitchen business:
Mayernik Kitchen was created in 2015, by husband and wife, Matt and Shannon, and since has grown with the offering of 75+ plant medicine products, workshops and classes held monthly, and an online community of eager learners.
Shannon and Matt are herbalists, plant medicine makers and educators on all things homemade and homegrown and have such a deeply rooted passion for what they do.
I always love a good story on how people got into their business, and what led to the spark of this passion, and lucky for me, I know their story! For Shannon, it was a class taken in a small herb shop in Chester, New York, in 2012. Years later, she is now an herbalist & plant medicine maker, graduate apprentice of herbalist Robin Rose Bennett and recent graduate of the Chestnut School of Herbs. Shannon graduated from the Academy of Culinary Nutrition in 2015 and became a Master Food Preserver in 2019. Currently, Shannon is participating in a year long clinical program for herbal medicine in Bronx, New York and has no plans of stopping!
Matt’s passion for gardening started at a young age while being put in charge of the family’s small garden. Over the next 30 years, Matt educated himself on growing vegetables and medicinal herbs. From seedlings in February to harvesting and seed collection throughout the year, Matt has developed a sustainable ecosystem to produce hundreds of pounds of harvest each year- all on a small backyard garden.
Um, WOW WOW WOW. You guys – I am so inspired by the entrepreneurs I get to meet each and every day in this amazing life of mine. Shannon and Matt – your journey from 2015 to now is so damn inspiring, and I love the passion you have for everything you do. I can’t wait to watch Mayernik Kitchen’s continued success, and can’t wait to capture your products and passion again!
CHEERS TO YOU AND CHASING YOUR DREAMS!
Brand Photographer: Laura Lee Creative
Location: Mayernik Kitchen Store, Pomptain Plains, NJ Brand Session
Business: Mayernik Kitchen