This mother-daughter duo is celebrating more than just Mother’s Day this weekend. They’re celebrating a successful few months as new business owners!
Based out of Central, Louisiana, Jackie Jenkins and her 17-year-old daughter Katharyn recently created Southern Magnolia Sweets — a baking business that specializes in pralines and other traditional Southern favorites.
For today’s Mother’s Day-inspired post, they’re sharing what they’ve learned so far with running a business as a mother/daughter pair and their favorite memories of working together in the kitchen. Get ready to feel all of the feelings!!
SF: What inspired you and Katharyn to begin Southern Magnolia Sweets together?
Jackie: People have always enjoyed our sweets and have told us we should start a business, but with 3 kids we were always very busy with school activities, sports, and working, so we never even considered anything like that. Katharyn has always played volleyball and soccer, as well as tried her hand at various other sports and activities throughout her middle school and high school years, but this year she is a senior, so her sports career came to an end at the end of January. With more time on our hands and the encouragement from very special friends at my full time job, we decided to give it a try.
SF: What are each of your strengths when it comes to running a sweets business together?
Jackie: Together we are learning all of the ins and outs of running a business, so we are doing a lot of things together. Katharyn is great with words and writes beautifully, so she wrote all of the descriptions of our products. She also made our website. We both like old southern style looks, the plantation home type of feel, vintage linens and clothes, so that helps keep us on the same page with product packaging and design and how we want our business to feel and our customers to feel. I tend to be the one who keeps up with the paperwork. Together we maintain the social media aspect. She is also a great baker who can bake pretty much anything. I am the praline and candy maker, but she is almost to the point where she can do that, too, without my guidance!
SF: At what age did Katharyn start working with you in the kitchen?
Jackie: Katharyn was working in the kitchen with me as soon as she could walk! She always loved to cook. She would stand on a chair, so she could reach the mixing bowl!
SF: What is a favorite memory of you and Katharyn baking together?
Jackie: Baking and cooking together has always been a time when I connect with my children, so I really do love all of the time we spend together in the kitchen. One of my favorite memories baking with Katharyn was when we made large heart-shaped chocolate chip cookies for her teachers on Valentine’s Day. She was in the 4th grade. While we were baking she said that she was putting love in each and everyone of the cookies, so her teachers would feel extra special and loved on Valentine’s Day because they worked so hard putting up with all of the kids!
SF: What do you enjoy most about running a business with your daughter?
Jackie: Getting to spend this last little bit of time with Katharyn before she goes off to college in August is what I love most about running this business with her.
SF: What is your role in Southern Magnolia Sweets?
Katharyn: My mom and I always tell people that she’s the candy lady, and I’m the cookie girl. I make all the cookies, assist my mom in making the pralines, help with packaging, and run the social media accounts for the business. Really we’re a team, so my role in Southern Magnolia Sweets is helping my mom achieve the goals we set as a business.
SF: What are a few of your mom’s strengths when it comes to running a business?
Katharyn: My mom is incredibly ambitious and optimistic, which I believe is a strength in running our sweets business because she always leaps into a job without fear of failing. She is also an extremely hard worker, which is vitally important in the hours it takes to prepare, make, bake, package, and sell our sweets.
SF: What is a favorite memory of you and your mom baking together?
Katharyn: My favorite memory of my mom and I baking together was a time when I was much younger, and I helped her make a carrot cake for my dad’s birthday. It has always been his absolute favorite, and I was so proud that I had helped my mom make it for my dad.
SF: What do you enjoy most about running a business with your mom?
Katharyn: I enjoy the time I get to spend with my mom, and the different kind of friendship we now share. Before we started the business we were close, but not nearly as open and equal with each other as we are now. Starting Southern Magnolia Sweets has truly changed our relationship for the better.
SF: How has your mom inspired you?
Katharyn: My mom has inspired me in countless ways every single day. No matter what she decides to attempt doing she does so with intensity, focus, and passion. She inspires me to be courageous, and has taught me that failing shouldn’t be the main focus because if you love what you do, you won’t fail.
You can find Southern Magnolia Sweets at local farmers markets and events, including Baton Rouge Fashion Council events! You can also check out their confections on their website or request a special order like Italian Creme or Carrot Cake!
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