By Altus Team on February 4, 2016

Altus Client Spotlight  - #1

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Celebrating Our Client’s Success

Martyna Angell

 www.wholesomecook.com.au

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Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Martyna Angell and I’m a Polish-born Australian living in Sydney with my husband Matt, his two wonderful kids and our Jack Russell terrier, Kasha.

Food has always been my true passion of mine.  I’m a wholefood writer behind the popular allergy-friendly Wholesome Cook blog, a place where I share low sugar recipes with options for various intolerances and diets intertwined with stories from my daily life. I am a regular columnist at Nourish Magazine and author of the recently published print cookbook, The Wholesome Cook, a real food wellness guide based around the notion of bioindividuality.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your business?

My business started out as a hobby-blog about 5 years ago. It was as a way of sharing recipes with my family and friends. I was always an adventurous cook with a natural instinct to help others, so within a few years and after completing my health coach studies with a focus on nutrition, the blog and now The Wholesome Cook cookbook, became a place where I share recipes for healthy living that are optioned for various intolerances, dietary lifestyles and are low in added sugar.

When I'm not blogging I develop, test, style and shoot recipes for Nourish magazine and wholefood clients interested in beautiful content. It's never a boring day at the office, and we definitely do not go hungry.

 

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Q: Where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in Warsaw, Poland but came to Australia when I was 17. I’ve now lived in Sydney most of my adult life and absolutely love it – the climate, the people and the availability of so much fresh produce once you care to look beyond the packet stuff.

Q: How did you become interested in being a Wholesome Cook and how long have you been doing it?

Since the blog’s inception I made it very clear that my website was not available to mainstream advertisers, mainly because I was unable to control what content or products would be marketed on my platform.

Instead, I delved into the area of recipe development as a “product” to sell, landing my first paid job in 2011. This was, however, a behind the scenes job, so to reward my readers I published my first eBook mid-2012 and gave it away for free for the first month. Two more eBooks followed since then.

I recognized that the idea of outsourcing of food services like these was on the rise, so I engaged with it more fully. In 2013-2014 I had the fantastic opportunity to work as a recipe developer, stylist and photographer for Sarah Wilson and the I Quit Sugar team. It was the work I did on her second book that prepared me for the intense, but extremely rewarding experience of writing my own.

In late 2013 I started writing for Nourish magazine, and since my book came out in late 2015, I’ve been doing a lot more speaking, media work and presenting workshops.

Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of?

It has to be having my first book, The Wholesome Cook, published by Harlequin MIRA in September last year. I researched, wrote, styled and photographed the entire book on my own, with two assistants helping with recipe testing and food prep. It was a mammoth task that took months and, for anyone involved or near enough to see us on a daily basis, a realization of just how much hard work goes into publishing a cookbook.

Q: How do you balance your time between work and family?

A couple of years ago I made the conscious decision to not work on weekends and, instead, spend this time with my family. With the kids now in high-school the weekends are always filled with sport, homework and friends visiting so it makes perfect sense.

Because I work from my kitchen and studio at home, I can divide my attention between work, housework and family-time. It’s tricky during the busy periods because I find myself doing a lot of everything, but mostly it works.  

Q: What have been your biggest challenges to date?

I’m a big dreamer and have a super-creative, almost nomadic, mind that sometimes takes me off the set course, exploring ideas that are simply not worth my time. I find myself miles from where I left off, so having clear and measurable objectives of what I want to achieve helps keep me grounded.  

Q: What are your main business goals currently and how will you go about achieving them?

This year, I am working on my second print book and moving toward hiring a permanent staff member to assist with recipe testing, client shoots and my social media management while my focus remains on finishing the book. I am also exploring the idea of app creation, which is very exciting but the plan is to outsource the creation part to a quality designer instead of trying to work on it myself.

Q: What have you been working on lately?

I’ve just finished styling and shooting an Anti-inflammatory Foods eBook for a client, it was quite a lovely project to work on. As for the next couple of months, it’s a mix of column writing, cookbook promotion, speaking engagements and writing, testing and shooting the next book.

Q: If you could give our readers one tip, what would it be?

If you’re a blogger or a freelancer, like me, do not sell yourself short and always ask if the brand that’s engaged with you has a marketing budget. Most of them do, but it is cheaper for them to ask for free content from you in exchange for the perceived value of "experience" or “exposure” working with them offers to you. In some cases that value is real, but be sure to consider and weigh up the benefits before agreeing to working or sharing your work for free.  

Altus Team

With over 30 years in the personal financial and SME business advice profession, the Altus brand has emerged as one that is well respected through the industry. Let's Connect