Hi Romi, we are so happy to welcome you to our Pickmotion Family! First of all, could you introduce yourself to our readers? Who are you, where do you come from, where do you live now? Tell us a little bit about your personal background!
I am very happy to be a part of PICKMOTION!
I am Romi Connell (@romiconnell), I am 37 years old, I have been a pastry chef for 15 years, I live in Argentina, in the city of La Plata. I am an entrepreneur and a mom.
I love to inspire others through my pastries. I enjoy coming up with creative sweets and sharing them with my community on Instagram. I love to teach, so I share recipes and tips so others can grow as well and be better in this beautiful world of baking.
You taught yourself to bake the most beautiful cakes which is so amazing! What made you decide to become a pastry chef?
I studied architecture because it is a family tradition, but 10 subjects away from graduating, and after entering a deep crisis of anguish and sadness, I understood that architecture wasn’t what made me happy, so I decided to leave everything and follow my vocation to create the life of my dreams.
That’s why I believe that doing what we like is the key to having the life we want. It took me years to discover my passion, but at the same time, I know that it was the right decision to value what I have today, and to show me that with work, and love for what we do, dreams come true. Today I have the honor to be talking to you, and it’s part of this path that I pursued.
Your Instagram Feed is filled with delicious-looking cakes and candies! When and why did you decide to share your work on Instagram?
I opened my Instagram account in 2013, I started sharing my sweets and creations in order to sell more cakes, then I continued my training and kept improving my photos, and my camera. Today I have a mini studio that I use to create content and record classes. I love sharing my creative baking!
What inspires you and why?
I think that the most important thing is to change your perspective and allow yourself to see beyond things, beyond fashion, and what is used nowadays, to be able to have your own identity in your work. That's why I find inspiration everywhere.
I can find inspiration in nature, colors, fashion, and art. Maybe after seeing a painting, I can use it as a reference to create a cake or a sweet table.
How does your creation process look like? Do you plan much of your pictures ahead or do you rather photograph your creations spontaneously?
My process for creating my photographs can be super planned and studied, or super spontaneous. If the general idea is a photo production, I start thinking about the colors, scenes, and backgrounds I’d like to use, so in this case the process is much more studied. But if I have to deliver pastries for a client, that product photography is super spontaneous and natural because when working with food the process is more delicate and must be done on the spot.
You obviously love baking, but are you also a sweet tooth? What is your favorite snack?
I love eating sweets, I like salty food as well but it’s not my favorite. I love brownies of all shapes and kinds, and also an Argentine dessert called rice pudding, which reminds me of my grandmother, who was my inspiration and the first person to approach gastronomy in my family.
Your pastries look so dreamy and cute! How did you develop your style and how do you come up with the designs?
I always say that identity is built over time. Today, after 15 years of baking, I can say that I found my identity. When I look at my Instagram feed and when I create sweets, I can see that there are guidelines that build that identity, that a cake is mine and not someone else's. But along the way, I tried all the techniques, colors, motifs, and I did not find my identity. It was not an easy road, there are things that today I still remember but can't even look at anymore (laughs). But that helped me to define myself, and thanks to that, today I know what I like and what I don't like. That defines us as a brand.
Do you have a favourite picture on your Instagram Feed? Can you tell us the story behind it?
I have many favorite photos, the sweet tables I make for my children are undoubtedly in the top 10, and also, all those that represented a challenge.
In August 2017 we set up the sweet table for my son Valentin for his first birthday. It was a personal and professional challenge, assemblies are always long and stressful. We moved thousands of things: decorations, sweets, tableware, everything. It was a journey of more than 8 hours! I got home, I looked at him and I understood that everything I had done was not for him, it was for me, to tell him how much I love him through my sweets.
Baking is an act of love and dedication like no other. It is enriching and I highly recommend challenging yourself in your profession, because the competition is with yourself. It fills my soul to face new projects because that is where we can continue to grow by renewing the love for our profession.
How do you feel about your Instagram community? Do you communicate with them a lot? Have you met some people?
My community is very beautiful, we always help each other! I have met countless people in my face-to-face classes, and also many others through social networks. Many of them are like friends. Thanks to my digital classes and the courses I recorded with CREHANA, my community has expanded to other countries. Currently 30% of my followers are from other cultures, and that is very interesting for me!
Could you name some of your favorite Instagrammers who inspire you?
Do you like sending and receiving postcards?
I love receiving postcards, I think it’s a beautiful tradition that shouldn’t be lost. I still keep the postcards my friends and family sent me when they went on trips.
Did you know Pickmotion before we started our collaboration? If yes, how did you become aware of us?
No, I didn't know you before.
I am thrilled to know that you are interested in my work on the other side of the world and that you have taken me into account for your project. It is an honor to have been invited by you! I hope we can continue to work together.
Would you like to share a little story or anecdote with us? Feel free to tell us anything!
At the age of 25, when I decided to leave architecture school (I was about to graduate), I was full of doubts, with more fears than certainties, but as soon as I enrolled in the pastry career, I felt happy. I remember that I told my mother "everyone is happy here", without a doubt, the joy began to emerge in me. That was the first time I felt I belonged somewhere, and I really wanted to be there. That's why the most important message I want to leave to every person who’s reading this interview, is to do what you love and go for that dream, believe in yourself, because nobody will do it for you.
With hard work, commitment and dedication all the best will come. Thank you for reading!
Pickmotion magnet with @romiconnells motif!