KNOTEWORTHY: Amy Larson, Overseasoned Amy

Amy is the Founder of Overseasoned, a multifaceted food venture with a fixation on seasonality. 

Overseasoned began as a monthly publication of handmade miniature cookbooks and has grown to include an online store of rad kitchen accessories as well as catering services. 

Amy is obsessed with orienting life around seasonal food, the British Baking Show and her adorable dog Chowder.

She is a self-declared “pasta making queen” and enjoys tasting her way around the Boston food scene with her fiance Dek.

We asked Amy to share with us some insight into her journey to Entrepreneurship, along with some best practices that we hope you'll find valuable! Here's what she said...

How did you get your idea or concept for your business?

I’ve always been completely food obsessed. I spend a great deal of my free time cooking, baking, reading about food or adventuring to new restaurants. So a few years ago, I wanted to find a creative way to share this passion and the recipes I was writing with my friends and family so I began publishing my recipes in the format of a handwritten, mini cookbook (or zine).

I shared 8 - 10 recipes per month that featured a few ingredients that were particularly seasonal during that time for example, strawberries during June, zucchini during August. I accompanied the recipes with watercolor illustrations and, as the project evolved, color photos. My subscribers really enjoyed being able to physically read the recipes in person and have the mini cookbooks out on their kitchen counter to reference or just for display. 

The recipes and aesthetic for the project were inspired by my childhood growing up with an enormous backyard vegetable garden which yielded so much at times that it was overwhelming to attempt to eat everything. (Think attack of the zucchini vibes). So my mom was always getting creative with her preparations of these fresh veggies. I adopted that same creative and fun-loving mentality towards seasonal cooking and I strove to emphasize it in each monthly issue of Overseasoned. My goal was to show my readers how they can celebrate whatever fruit, vegetable or herb is ripe at the moment through simple recipes.  

I published 18 monthly editions of Overseasoned and have since paused production because I’ve now amassed a collection of recipes which I plan to publish in a long form cookbook. 

Where do you find inspiration to stay motivated?

For recipe creation, I’m constantly inspired by ingredients, particularly fruits and vegetables. Everytime I go to the produce section in the grocery store and I see something that’s newly available like fresh figs or garlic scapes or a simple, perfect peach, I am motivated to get to work creating a recipe that will celebrate it. I’m actually over-motivated by produce and my imagination runs wild when I am shopping. I frequently return home with an ambitious list of things to make before my haul goes bad.

I also have a retail component to my Overseasoned business. I designed a collection of kitchen-wares such as tea towels and aprons with my slogan Smash the Garlic and the Patriarchy which I sell and distribute online and in stores across the country from Provincetown  to Chicago to San Francisco. Whenever someone posts a photo of one of my products online, that is so inspiring and motivating to me. I can instantly feel how it resonated with them and touched their life and that gets me so excited. 

What habits have helped make you successful?

Because there are many facets to my business- writing recipes, selling products, catering events- there is a huge variety of tasks that need to get done at any time. I know that I am not always in the mood to take food photos for recipes or assess the analytics of my online store, so I came up with a master list of everything I need to do to run my business and I pick and choose from it depending on how much time I have at hand or how creative I am feeling. I’ve found this to be a very effective way to always be productive.  And as a creative person this is also a forgiving approach because I don’t feel pressure to be inventive and come up with a new recipe or concept every single day and therefore my mind is more relaxed.