The Mimi in You: Marion Cardwell-Ferrer
Local entrepreneur and baker extraordinaire Marion Cardwell-Ferrer is a Mimi’s Master. She has been consistently raiding our shelves for crystal, linens, trinkets, glassware, and dishes for over a year now. Finally we decided it was time for us to see where she was taking it all. The answer? Sincredible Pastries, her self-run professional baking operation, workshop space, and dream kitchen.
When you enter the shop, you are immediately enveloped in the scent of warm sugar. Looking around, you feel as if you’ve been whisked away into a dreamy pastel wonderland. It’s like a 1950’s Dollhouse but it’s real and there are cookies! It’s the kind of space you would think only existed on TV if you didn’t see it for yourself.
All of this has been Marion’s dream for a long time. Born with the entrepreneurial spirit, she’s been baking and creating for as long as she can remember. From “cooking” for her Barbies with baker’s clay and selling decoratively painted rocks door to door when she was 8 years old, to starting a baking business in her freshman year at TC3, she has never stopped. She received a degree in Baking and Pastry Arts from Johnson and Wales University and has been the executive pastry chef for many high-end restaurants as well as a cruise liner!
She first stepped out on her own with Sincredible Pastries in 1991 and it has been at its current location for the last six years. And where is that location, you ask? Her own back yard! No, really. She bought her house in Lansing specifically because it had a large shed on the property that she could transform to hold her business. And what an incredible transformation it is!
When she was planning the space, she wanted it to function like a commercial kitchen but not look like one. It certainly does! It is equipped with two ovens, two sinks, an industrial dishwasher, and a 20 quart mixer sharing space with lace doilies and sea foam curtains. The finished product is functional and clean while still maintaining a homey sensibility. She sees her style as retro-vintage with a modern twist and we think she absolutely nailed it.
Another thing that strikes us about the space is that it’s very resourceful. In her hands, a salvaged oven becomes a unique coffee station. An old spool holder houses her pastry bag tips. Mason jars display a rainbow of sprinkles. One of her most common crafts is to combine candle sticks and crystal plates to make one of a kind cake stands! Too cute! If she sees something with that perfect charm, she grabs it and will find a way to put it to use.
We can’t thank Marion enough for letting us hang out in her amazing kitchen. If you’re interested in seeing it for yourself, check out her Etsy page! She hosts several cooking and crafting classes throughout the year and is available to host parties as well. And of course, that’s where you can order her “Sinfully, incredibly edible” creations!!
If you want to learn more about Marion, her business, and her style, check out these links!
The Mimi in You: Mara Baldwin
The Mimi in You: Julie Dean
Artist and teacher, Julie Dean fell in love with the beauty and flavor of Ithaca and moved here from North Carolina with her husband and young daughter. For several years, she worked at our “sister store” Mama Goose, and was a big part of the hard work and creative energy that went into the expansion in 2008 (check out the Goose tiles on the front of the store). She is now a full-time artist and teacher, selling her beautiful pottery on Etsy and at Ithacamade, and teaching pottery to children.
Julie is also a frequent customer at Mimi’s Attic and has made a lot of tasteful and eclectic purchases. I became intrigued by her decorating style, and asked Julie if I could come over and take a peek at her house (the nerve!). Entering her front yard, I saw a welcoming garden gnome and the perfect porch for a sunny early spring afternoon. I was eager to see the Mimi’s treasures and her artistic collection inside.
Our passion for Ithaca artifacts appeals to Julie. She recently purchased the vintage Cornell stamp and one of the original Commons blueprints.
She loves entertaining friends and family in this space. When more casually eating with her husband and daughter, Ella, they often opt for the tall dining chairs along her breakfast bar, which happen to be from Mimi’s. Their refurbished kitchen (even the cabinets are second-hand) is bright and white and full of Mimi’s mini-treasures.
If you want to see more of her clay creations, check out her Etsy shop at etsy.com/shop/juliaedean. She was recently featured on More.com in their article, 10 Careers That Bring Out the Kid in You. www.more.com/10-careers-bring-out-kid-you
Thanks Julie for letting us share your home and your story. If you have a home full of Mimi’s treasures, contact us about being featured in The Mimi in You.
The Mimi in You: Sarah Blodgett
Walking into photographer Sarah Blodgett’s Fall Creek home is like entering a museum of the life you wish you were living. The people who live there are clearly creative, but not flaky. Everything in the house is organized, but not stiflingly neat. Each piece of furniture or decor is interesting, but not weird. It’s home decor perfection, Ithaca-style, and, at first, I was completely consumed with interior design envy. But, as Sarah toured me through her home (which she shares with sweetheart Hilby and their four children), two things brought me back down to jealousy-free earth: first, Sarah’s too awesome to inspire resentment for more than half a minute, and second, there are lots of things anyone could do with just a little time and a creative use of resources.
Take Sarah’s entry-way, for example:
It’s an antique store cupboard which, long ago, had doors. Now it’s filled with shoes, and simultaneously eliminates hallway mess and looks incredibly cool. On the right side of the picture, you can see their coathangers — a wooden board filled with vintage doorknobs used as hooks. Brilliant, right? Beautiful, definitely, and something you could do at home.
Here’s one that perhaps not everyone could exactly replicate at home, but is still a great way to remind yourself that materials can be reused in all sorts of ways:
Pictured above are the cabinets at the base of the wall-to-wall bookshelves in Sarah’s front room. Check out those beautiful tin inlays. Want to know where they came from?
Yes, they were part of the tin ceiling in the laundry room! Sarah and family have only been in the house for about a year, and that year has been spent transforming almost every nook and cranny of the house into something different. The ceiling-to-bookshelf journey of these tin inlays was one of my favorite transformation examples.
Yet another amazing Sarah’s house invention:
For those of you who just gasped aloud or screamed, now might be a good time to mention that all of the kids in Sarah’s house are over the age of 5. Parents of toddlers, do not fret — this wouldn’t fly in my house either. Or, rather, the things on the ladder would fly… directly at my head…
The point is, Sarah and her home prove that there are countless ways to reimagine your space using things you may already have. The other point is even the most perfect house has room for a couple more things, which we learned when Sarah dropped by Mimi’s Attic to shop.
In looking around, Sarah first honed in on these wooden shutters:
She didn’t buy them, because look what’s already hanging in Sarah’s bedroom at home:
For somebody out there, this is totally beschert. You know who you are, lady with the earrings scattered over the house. Get thee to Mimi’s!
Back to Sarah — even though I was sure her house had already reached its limit of perfection, she managed to dig up two Mimi’s treasures that almost immediately found places back at home. Check those out below:
See, even the most carefully crafted abode has room for a little Mimi’s. You can sneak more peaks inside Sarah’s amazing abode here. If the complete photographic tour leaves you both inspired and a little bit shell-shocked, never fear! Sarah’s actually expanding her business to include taking on some interior design clients. Imagine, you could bring out the Sarah AND the Mimi in you … your house won’t know what hit it.
-Meryl at the Goose
By the way, if you’ve got a showcase-able house, especially one with Mimi’s treasure inside, let us know! We want to show you off right here on the blog!