Meet the Lady Who Eats the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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Founder, Dessert Darling

Jenny Alden, DessertDarlingDescribe your business in 3 sentences.

I am a dessert critic who rates and reviews dessert with a 5-cherry rating system. If you’re going to eat dessert, do it right and eat the Best! I eat the good, the bad, and the ugly so that you don’t have to.

Are there any words of advice, books or role models that really inspired and changed you?

My older brother, Chris Alden, is a serial entrepreneur who founded the Red Herring magazine and most recently, was the CEO of Six Apart. Chris has always been adamant that I do things for the love of it and not for the money. As I reflect on my success with both Dessert Darling and my other company, WhateverHollywood, I completely understand his wisdom. If I had crafted Dessert Darling as a scheme to make big money, it would have come off as inauthentic and turned people away. Instead, I started a hobby out of sheer joy and passion, and am now watching it grow into something so much bigger. The same thing happened with, where my two friends and I made YouTube videos out of our apartment for fun. Major brands took note of our genuine joy and started paying us real dollars to produce content for them.

In short, find your passion and make it happen! It will reward you even when you’re not yet making money.

How long did it take to get started?

The great thing about blogging is that the moment you conceive it is the moment you can execute it. While it takes time to create a design, build your library of content, and grow your audience, you can start blogging your thoughts today and for free at that. I started blogging about desserts one year ago, just for fun. In August I decided that I needed to venture out on my own and so I buckled down and wrote a business plan for Dessert Darling. Almost immediately, the universe opened up for me, sending incredible opportunities my way.

Is your business profitable?

It will be! Right now my biggest pay-day is a complimentary cupcake and the pride of seeing my work published. That said, I’m now represented by United Talent Agency, one of the most prestigious agencies in Hollywood, and have some exciting things in the works… I just can’t talk about specifics yet!

What business tools have helped you the most.

The most helpful tool for me was my liberal arts education at Dartmouth College. In a rigorous academic environment, I learned both the writing and organizational skills necessary to deliver on deadlines where I could have four essays due at once for various classes. Compared to that, writing daily on desserts is…well, cake!

My energy and passion also make me proactive. I don’t sit around waiting for opportunities to come to me. I’m always brainstorming ideas and connecting with people to make things happen on my own. As someone once told me, “No one cares about the Jenny Alden business as much as Jenny Alden.”

Do you have employees? If so, how many.

I am the sole creator, voice, and face of Dessert Darling.

What adjectives would you use to describe how you feel most days when you wake up?

Excited, energized, ready to make things happen and fast!

Do you work from home? What is a day in the life like for you?

Yes! I work from home, another huge bonus of blogging. The first thing I do every morning is an exercise called “Morning Pages” that I learned from Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way. I write three pages in a spiral notebook, just to clear the cobwebs in my brain. This practice has been incredible for my productivity and creativity. Then I work-out, which in my book, is part of the job. How else am I going to eat all those desserts!? I never get a chance on the weekends, so I aim for 45 minutes a day of solid exercise. Then I finally get down to business, trying new desserts, rating and reviewing them, social networking, writing any articles that may be due, and connecting with my agents about ideas and opportunities that we’re fielding.

What is your ultimate future dream for yourself and or your business?

I envision Dessert Darling becoming the ultimate authority on desserts. Right now there is no face of Desserts. While bakeries have become a $4 billion business, there’s no trusted voice guiding people through the sea of options, informing them what’s worth the “weight” and what’s just a big fat “waist”, so to speak. I see Dessert Darling becoming a TV Show, like “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” and then expanding to guide books, life-style books, and fun merch, like EZ bake ovens and fruity smelling play-dough for the kids! Ha! I dream big. I always have. Reach for the moon and you may land on a star.

Is your business your passion?

Yes, my business is my heart beat and soul! I’ve always loved desserts, I’ve always loved writing, and I’ve always had strong opinions. Dessert Darling combines all my passions and sensibilities into one. It took ten years in Hollywood for me to find my way and my voice. Finally, my college, acting, and production experiences along with my sheer joy of desserts, have all come together to create a synergy and brand that I live, love, and breathe; it is Dessert Darling.

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Jenny Alden, Dessert Darling