We’re doing work we love, work that inspires us, and we’re also pursuing our passions and making them priorities. In our latest Working Girl series, we talked to the gorgeous and talented Nuha Abuduhair of 17 Berkshire a Memphis Patisserie, about business, creative inspiration, family and of course fashion. Meet Nuha Abuduhair...
+17BERKSHIRE IS ACTUALLY YOUR CHILDHOOD HOME RIGHT? HOW DOES THE CITY OF MEMPHIS INFLUENCE YOUR WORK?
It is! I grew up on Berkshire Avenue in Nutbush, but then went to Houston for both middle and high school. Talk about culture shock! I love the renaissance happening in Memphis now. 10 years ago everyone was leaving as fast as they could. Now, people are staying and fighting to take back their city. The Memphis Makers community is incredibly welcoming and kind. The community over competition vibe is inspiring!
+ IF YOU COULD MAKE 3 PEOPLE A PASTRY, WHO WOULD IT BE, AND DESCRIBE IT.
1.) My Father. He passed away when I was 11, so his absence has had a profound effect on my life. I'd probably bake something like pecan pie or hummingbird cake. 2.) My Mother. She's been my teacher from day 1 and constantly puts herself last to support us. I'd love to invent new flavor pairing for her. Maybe a combination of Orange Blossom Water, fruits, and pistachios. 3.) Hmmm this one is hard! Maybe Blake Lively? I've always had a girl crush on her and she loves to bake too. I think it would be fun!
+ WHAT ARE 5 OF YOUR DAILY HABITS?
Workout, Talk to my mom, Read books with my kids, sort through e-mails, and last, but not least - baking!
+WHAT IS ONE QUESTION YOU WISH PEOPLE ASKED YOU MORE OF?
I would love for people to ask me for crazy flavors! Think cookie dough fillings, rose and pistachio cake - whatever! I want people to have fun customizing their cake! I would also love to do more Patisserie style desserts like Fraisier, Opera Cake, and Tarts.
+HOW DOES YOUR CURRENT WORK INFLUENCE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
I've always loved very feminine and avant garde fashion ( like Ulyana Sergeenko's style!), but now that I'm a mom to two toddlers, my style still needs to be easier to throw on and run around in. So more ballet flats and chucks - but pair it with a cool t-shirt or a flowy dress/skirt. I always try to dress in ways that I feel good about myself. Being more aware of what you're wearing, how you look, and what it says about you is an understated form of respect to yourself and others.
+DO YOU HAVE ANY UNEXPECTED SOURCES OF CREATIVE INSPIRATION, IF SO WHAT ARE THEY?
I love anything Baroque so I often turn to images of Europe circa 1600. I am very feminine in nature, so it often spills into my work. I draw inspiration from Marie Antoinette, Ulyana Sergeenko, and a handful of bloggers. My Middle-Eastern background also plays a big role in my work. There's a heavy emphasis on fresh fruits and flowers in daily life - think orchards of olive trees, lemon trees, orange blossom, and the smell of Gardenias.
+ HOW DO YOU THINK CREATIVITY CONTRIBUTES TO SOME OF THE WORLD’S BIGGER CONVERSATIONS AND WHAT ROLE IS YOUR WORK PLAYING IN THIS SHIFT IN THINKING?
Creativity is all about interpretation. One person may see a vanilla cake, but to someone else it brings back memories of a favorite relative or happy times. Same goes for fashion, art, cooing, etc. It allows people to think and discuss and relate to one another with a sense of normality.
+ HOW WOULD YOU ADVISE WOMEN WHO ARE MAKERS, CREATIVE/FASHION PROFESSIONALS OR PEOPLE IN GENERAL TO LEAVE IN AN IMPRINT IN THE DIGITAL WORLD JUST BY DOING WHAT THEY LOVE?
It's the tried and true method of " do what you love". People are attracted to inspiration and passion. When you're showcasing something you would probably be doing for free anyways, it doesn't come across so much as "selling", but more as sharing what makes your heart happy.
+ WHERE DO YOU SEE 17BERKSHIRE GOING INTO THE FUTURE? This is a tough one! Social Media has changed the way we look at the future, so there are so many new roads to explore! I suppose you'll figure out just as soon as I do haha!