“Bon Aprontit is all about empowering women to look and feel their very best at all times.”
Bon Aprontit is a beautiful bejewelled apron line for hostesses by entrepreneur, and multi-hustler, Megan Patterson.
I love love love hearing of other women and their pursuits into entrepreneurship, and Megan’s story is truly inspiring.
Not only does Megan run Bon Aprontit, her ever-growing business in beautiful hostess aprons, but she also handles a full-time position at a prominent magazine.
I was so excited to virtually sit down with Megan, and quiz her on everything Bon Aprontit. What Megan’s career trajectory has looked like so far, and what it’s like handling a full-time job with a full-time entrepreneurship career.
For all you fellow dream-chasers out there, I have no doubt that Megan’s story will be an inspiration for you too.
Make a fresh cup of coffee and settle in . . .
An Interview With Bon Aprontit Founder Megan Patterson
“You will never feel prepared.
You won’t know how to even be prepared until you start, so start today and figure it out tomorrow.”
Moving to ‘the big city’ and not knowing what to do post college
I grew up in St. Louis, MO and graduated from University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor degree in Business-Marketing. I had no idea what I wanted to do after college but that I wanted to move to a city where the opportunities were endless. The day after graduation I moved to Chicago with an event planning internship lined up. I ended up falling in love with the city and after the internship ended, I landed two more internships in Public Relations.
Making ends meet and working 7-day weeks
I did one M-W-F and one Tues-Thurs while I worked at a local cupcake shop on nights and weekends to make ends meet and fulfill my passion for baking and making people smile through food.
Landing that first full-time position
After the internships I got my first full time job with a local boutique PR firm. It was a great experience and foot in the door, but I knew I wanted to be on the other side of these pitches so I networked my tail end off and started my blog, Blog Appétit, as a way to get to know people in the city.
Shortly after, I landed my current full time job with Modern Luxury magazine where I have been for almost 3 years.
I started as the Marketing Coordinator and quickly grew within the company as Marketing Manager and now currently Senior Marketing Manager.
On nights and weekends I still run my blog as I love the opportunities it has given me and the amazingly talented people I have met through it and as of October 2016 now run my own business, Bon Aprontit, a line of luxury jewel embellished aprons.
“I networked my tail end off”
Transferable skills from day job to side hustle
My current job at Modern Luxury has taught me a lot about running a business, building relationships and working with press. It has taught me how to build a brand and how important it is to listen to your customers.
“I was inspired by mom when she was hosting a holiday dinner party.
She bought this beautiful brand new dress to wear for the evening but due to not wanting to spill on it, she wore my grandma’s apron over it all night.
She never got to show her dress off.
That’s when I came up with Bon Aprontit, a line of luxury aprons for women to feel fabulous when cooking up a delicious meal!”
The inspiration behind Bon Aprontit
I always knew I wanted to start my own business, one that involved being creative, making people smile and cooking.
It was about 3 years ago that I was inspired by mom when she was hosting a holiday dinner party. She bought this beautiful brand new dress to wear for the evening but due to not wanting to spill on it, she wore my grandma’s apron over it all night and never got to show it off so that’s when I came up with Bon Aprontit, a line of luxury aprons for women to feel fabulous when cooking up a delicious meal!
How to create a physical product
It was a little over 3 years ago that I came up with the idea of “dress” like aprons.
At the time I didn’t want to tell anyone because it was just an idea so I told only my mom and she helped me try to bring my vision to life by glamming up a canvas apron we picked up at the store. We added a necklace to the neckline and replaced the ties with pretty satin ribbon. It was pretty but definitely not the look I was going for so I sat on the idea for about a year thinking maybe it was just an idea.
The “why not?” moment
It was about 2 years ago that I had a “I’ll never know if I don’t try moment” and thought “why not?”. I had met a local dress designer in the city through my day job so I reached out to grab coffee and told her my vision.
She taught me pretty much everything I know about fabrics, care for fabrics, designing and all the little details you would never think of about your clothes. From there, I worked with an old intern of mine to create all my branding and logo, a local seamstress to create a few patterns (I say few, because it wasn’t until the 3rd try that I knew it was the winner!) and a local manufacturer to start producing while I created my website and worked on all the business details.
Aprons for every body shape and size
Everything has been trial and error with bringing what I envision in my head to life.
I test the fit/sizing by having many different body types (tall, thin, big chested, short, etc.) try it on and give me their feedback. With that being said, look out for something new coming very soon;)
Branding and standing out as a new business
I did a lot of market research when it came to branding/images. I knew I wanted to have a consistent look but a very luxury one at that.
I looked at my target market and what magazines they read, what kind of images they were drawn to and what brands they typically wear and then took what I liked about each one and put it into Bon Aprontit.
Balancing a full time ‘day job’ with a full time side hustle?
This is a great question and one I am still learning everyday. There are many nights I have stayed up until 4am working on the aprons/blog and then had to turn around and head to my my day job at 8am where I am chugging coffee to stay awake so I guess you could say I’m still figuring it out but I truly love every job and role I hold so I always tell myself to be the very best I can at the current job I am working on.
Megan’s Organisational Tips
When at my day job I focus on the tasks to be done for that job.
When I get home, I split my time among the blog and aprons based off my to-do list.
My biggest tip is to stay organized and find a planner where you can put in your to-do list and deadlines. This will help keep you on track knowing what you need to have done and by when.
On the community of entrepreneurs
The world is full of so many amazingly talented entrepreneurs out there who are killing it every day.
I honestly find a lot of my connections through instagram and then reach out to see if they want to grab coffee (if local) or have a few minutes to connect via e-mail. Everyone is always so gracious and willing to give advice as they’ve all been in your shoes at one point.
Other businesses and admiration
I greatly admire Ellen of Hedley and Bennet, another apron company who is killing it in the market.
Her target market is quite opposite of mine but her connection with her customers, positive personality and amazing amount of growth is something I greatly admire.
Motivation and putting your mind to it
I’ve always told myself you can do whatever you put your mind to with hard work and determination so whenever I start to get in a funk I tell myself that dreams aren’t going to happen on their own and the only one who can make them happen is me so don’t give up!
And when all else fails, walk away and take a breather.
How Megan would love for the Bon Aprontit products to be used
To help women feel fabulous and smile when at home in their kitchen enjoying delicious food with friends and loved ones. Bon Aprontit is all about empowering women to look and feel their very best at all times.
How Blog Appétit assists the overall business
Blog Appétit is my personal outlet to write about what I wish I would have known when finding a job, moving to a new city and starting a business or am still learning while doing these.
It’s also a way for me to connect with my readers to see what they like and want to see from Bon Aprontit and the blog.
I do a lot of analyzing on the back end to see what posts do well and try to share more posts based off that as well as what feels true and honest to my readers.
“I’ve always told myself you can do whatever you put your mind to with hard work and determination.
Whenever I start to get in a funk I tell myself that dreams aren’t going to happen on their own.
The only one who can make them happen is me, so don’t give up!”
Words of advice for fellow side-hustlers
Say yes and figure it out as you go.
I think a lot of people these days are scared to start a blog, business, etc. because they don’t feel ready or prepared. I’ll be honest, you will never feel prepared.
You won’t know how to even be prepared until you start, so start today and figure it out tomorrow.
How the Bon Aprontit brand is growing
I hope to make Bon Aprontit a hostessing staple with a line of kitchen items that help inspire woman to get in the kitchen and feel fabulous while doing so!
Quick fire questions!
What’s your coffee (or tea!) order? Coffee with a dash of splenda.
Person you’d most like to meet? Lela Rose, I dream of collaborating with her one day for an apron!
Watching on Netflix? Not a big tv person but when I do watch it, I love a good New Girl binge session.
Workout of choice? Tennis.
Favourite way to spend a Sunday? At home being productive and getting ready for the week ahead.
Morning routine? Walk my dog, coffee while watching the Today show, catch up on e-mails then head to my 9-5pm.
Dream destination? Anywhere in Europe.
Currently coveting? Everything from the J.Crew Spring/Summer collection.
Motivational mantra? Anything is possible so dream big!
Follow Megan’s Journey
Megan’s brand: Bon Aprontit
Megan’s blog: Blog Appétit
On Instagram: @MeganPatty_
What’s Your Take?
Are you inspired by Megan’s journey? Do you dream of starting your own side hustle? Creating a product or service?
I’d love to know!
A huge thank you to Megan for sitting down with me and for sharing with you too! I think Megan is one helluva girl boss and I can’t wait to see how Megan’s entrepreneurial journey will grow.
Love, Monica x