We had the good fortune of connecting with Yvette Garfield and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yvette, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I launched the idea for my business on a long flight back from India in 2003. I was starting law school later that year and just kept adding to a folder on my computer called “The One Day Business”. One day I would start this business, but did not have a clear vision for when, as graduate school became my focus. I worked in international children’s rights and along the way met people who helped me add to this folder. When I interned at the DOJ for a summer, a colleague was an illustrator and helped me solidify the look of my first product. Upon graduating, I had the first product ready to go and took a massive leap of faith. I would say this leap was a combo of naïveté, faith and knowing that I would just figure out each step as it came.
My parents, being small business owners, instilled in me that a solid work ethic and that surrounding yourself with a solid team is the recipe for success. When I graduated in 2006, my dad was battling cancer. I knew that launching a business during this time would be a lot of hours, but I would be able to make my own schedule. So, I was able to attend doctors’ appointments, every chemo treatment and work the hours I could.
I wanted to combine all the things I was passionate about to start a company: food, travel, children’s rights and family time, and that became Handstand Kitchen®!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
As the daughter of two small business owners, I felt empowered to begin my own company, and founded Handstand Kitchen® in 2007. Our company is woman owned and woman run and has grown from a single cookbook into a complete line of premium quality bakeware and kitchen utensils designed to be safe and comfortable for chefs ages six and up. We bring products to market that make it fun for kids and adults to come together building culinary skills and lifelong healthy eating habit! In 2020, Handstand Kitchen expanded into the crafting category as the exclusive North American distributor of BOXCANDIY®. From cooking to crafting, Handstand Kitchen’s mission remains the same: to bring joy through creating together.
The year 2020 ushered in new challenges that also created new opportunities for the company. As families began seeking ways to engage in meaningful activities together at home, Handstand Kitchen’s bakeware collection and new BOX CANDIY crafting line were perfectly positioned to meet that need. Both collections feature products that provide hours of imaginative, screen free fun.
The global pandemic also allowed Handstand Kitchen and BOX CANDIY to pivot, from a focus on boutique store buyers to larger, essential stores. By positioning itself to meet the needs in the marketplace, Handstand Kitchen has experienced tremendous growth in both of its brands.
As I have watched the company grow and evolve over the past years, I have leaned on what my parents instilled in me: to listen to wise counsel from those I respect, but also to trust my instincts as well. Those values have served me well, and I know will continue to help me navigate opportunities that lie ahead.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Hike near Malibu and Griffith Park
Visit Little Blue Gift Boutique
Maybe do something “Hollywoodish”, like Musso & Franks for dinner and a swanky bar for after dinner drinks
Hollywood or Calabasas Farmers Market on the weekend
Get dessert at Milk Jar Cookies and Tifa Gelato
If time, visit a museum or two, such as LACMA and La Brea Tar Pits Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Lisa Graves, owner of Kinfetti Rep Group in Seattle, is a mentor, supporter and true friend in this business. She saw the pathway for my company when I only saw hurdles. Her vision enabled me to see the growth that was to come. Her support has been invaluable both personally and professionally. It can be lonely being a small business owner, but to have someone in the same position who celebrates your success and helps make sense of the failures is a true gift.
Instagram: @handstand_kitchen, @boxcandiy_usa