ELEVEN SIX talks to Sarah Copeland of EDIBLE LIVING about her love for food, rich celebration of life and the day to day curation of her Upstate life as a working wife and Mama...
Styling + Art direction: Catherine Carnevale
Photography: Delaine Dacko
How did the world of Edible Living evolve?
After my first few years living in New York City, working in women’s magazines, I fell in love with food—the art of it, the beauty, the nourishment, the joy. I’d always loved how food interests with life—it’s around food that we gather, celebrate, brainstorm, and often birth new ideas and adventures—but my writer brain went into overdrive and I wanted to know more of the story
I went to culinary school, worked in haute-French restaurants in the city, and as a private-chef in France, and then studied nutrition before starting my own business. It became really clear that spending my time inspiring and educating people about how to nourish their lives, first at the table, and then beyond, is how I can give from my own life in the most meaningful way.
What exciting projects are you working on right now?
I’m currently writing my third cookbook, and though each one has been a labor of love, I’m especially proud of this one; It’s about completely embodying the stage of life I’m in right now, and feeling incredible about it. I want everyone who picks up this book to feel that way about their life, too.
What inspires you day to day?
When I lived in the city, I was inspired by chaos and design--the meeting up of beauty and rawness side by side all around me. I love those moments when something beautiful appears before you and just grabs you, wholly. Now my home is my biggest inspiration—it’s not perfect or fancy, but from within these walls I’m able to build a whole creative world (professionally), plus nurture my family, my friendships, and our community. Occasionally I crave more land, more privacy, a bigger studio for my work—but when I think about how much this space has fed me and our family and our creative vision, I just feel so grateful.
How do you strive to strike the balance between being a working Mama?
I don’t take for granted for a second how fortunate it is to work for oneself; Because of that, I can influence when I push harder for my career, or push harder for my family life. There’s no perfect balance, but after the birth of my second baby, who we waited what felt like a lifetime for, I learned that putting aside work completely for two solid days every week to focus on my family restores me creatively. Even if that can’t always be on the weekend, I’m committed to it.
I don’t believe in the being-busy-means-being-important myth, although I think I once did. Part of my letting go has to do with aging gracefully, and knowing that what I’m accomplishing right now, this month or this year, is enough.
It also helps that my daughter is getting to the age where she sees and appreciates the positive effects my work has on our family, and often runs into the kitchen or my office and says, “how can I help?” where as my son, who is only 2, still wants my undivided attention whenever I am near. But I know now how fleeting this time is, so I’m trying to remember that work will wait, and often not change much while my head is turned. The kids, on the other hand, grow by leaps and bounds every time I blink.
What baking recipe would you like to share?
Bittersweet chocolate tart. This recipe is perfect, and super easy for the holidays. It makes you look like you’ve done much more work than you actually have, which, to your above question, is what’s working for me right now. It’s a little trick I learned from the French—they’ve mastered that.
What does the ELEVEN SIX brand mean to you?
I am an experiences over things person, one hundred percent. Most of the furniture or things in our house were acquired out of an experience; from a special branch we picked up on a hike to the furniture we sit on, most of which was made by craftsmen or artists we know—including my husband.
I love that I can explain to my seven-year-old, Greta, that our clothes can also be handmade and special—works of art, rather than something you buy, crumple on the floor and later toss aside. She knows that this gorgeous camel sweater was handmade by a craftsman or woman, and designed by her friend Oliver’s mama. It inspires us and our children to understand the story behind our possessions—to desire less, and appreciate what we already have instead.
I love that my favorite eleven-six sweater (the cream bobble) isn’t an object—it’s an experience. It’s feeling warm but still feminine when I’m out apple picking with my kids. It’s the soft folds of the sleeves as my arms wrap around my 2-year-old son after a long day. It’s feeling confident the minute I put it on to go meet a friend or collaborator, despite how many balls I have in the air that day.
It’s more than a sweater, it’s a story. And for me, story is everything.