Courtney Whitmore of Pizzazzerie is blogger turned published author that shares entertaining and food styling inspiration with her readers. She turned her passion for entertaining into an outstandingly successful career. Her colorful tablescapes are inspirational and she always has the best ideas for a fun party. Learn more about Courtney in our interview with her below.
What inspired you to start your business?
“When I graduated from graduate school, I worked as a career counselor for my alma mater. I loved being on campus and working with students, but I wasn’t creatively fulfilled. I think if you have that creative passion, you’ll find a way to make a career that allows you to tap into that talent. Thankfully, I truly disliked the day job so much that it drove me to “create” my own job through launching a blog. Eight years ago, there weren’t a lot of blogs so I was a bit lucky in that I jumped in early. I’m so thankful I did!”
What advice would you give to an inspiring entrepreneur or student?
“Follow my “Monday Morning Test”. If what you are doing doesn’t get you up and out of the bed on Monday mornings (especially if you’re a night owl), then you shouldn’t be doing it. Money is naturally an element in job searching right out of school, but get creative! I freelanced a bit on the side as I started my blog by writing for larger websites. I made it work because I was fueled by my passion for wanting to be a creative entrepreneur.”
How has social media influenced or helped your business? Do you have an example?
“Essentially, social media drives my business. Before Pinterest and Instagram, Twitter was a big deal. Through the twitter lands, I landed my first book deal and added Tori Spelling on as a fan. She ended up writing the forward to my latest book. The craziest things can happen through social media. It’s free advertising and that is powerful!”
Who do you admire and why?
“Oh goodness, that’s a hard one! A lot of people. I definitely admire my Mom as she was always creating gorgeous tablescapes far before the days of Pinterest. She had them photographed by professional photographers and organized the photos in hopes of a book one day. I’m so glad she co-wrote my latest book with me, it was truly a dream come full circle!”
What inspired you to start writing books?
“Being a content creator online, I was already familiar with the creative process of thinking up ideas, testing them out, photographing them, promoting on social media, etc. The publisher approached me for my first book and we’ve been working together ever since. I never thought I’d write a book (or four), but I’m so thankful for the opportunities that have come my way! I truly love creating content so whether it’s online or in print, I’m happy!”
What’s next for you and your business?
“I’m partnering with some amazing businesses to share entertaining ideas throughout the upcoming seasons. I’m starting to add more video content to my site and social media channels. And you never know when another book might pop up in the works!”
What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment thus far?
“Besides being a Mom to a firecracker of a three-year-old (who definitely shares a love of parties), I would say this latest book is my greatest accomplishment, professionally. It’s self-titled “Pizzazzerie” and truly encompasses all of my signature areas from tablescapes to party recipes. It’s the book I always dreamed of writing!”