Sensational Women: Meet Sarah Nesheim, Crafted

Sarah Nesheim, Founder of Crafted
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At SenseForward we are big believers in intuition and the art of entrepreneurship. We are introducing our Sensational Women series, where we chat with women that are tuning into their senses and accomplishing great things big and small. Similar to our own founder’s story, Sarah Nesheim, founder of Crafted, knew in her gut that she had a bold idea worth pursuing and it was time to leave the corporate world. During the peak of 2020 lockdown in New York City, Sarah started exploring business ideas and how she could build out a recipe sharing app that would eventually evolve into a creator-first live streaming platform for foodies. Crafted shares our passion for sensory-based experiences, making it the perfect partner for taste exploration.

We had the pleasure of chatting with Sarah about her learnings so far, and journey through founding a company and navigating entrepreneurship in her 20s.

1. Describe the process towards becoming an entrepreneur. Was it a light bulb moment, or did it build gradually over time? What was your tipping point?

I don’t think it was an exact moment. I remember it dawning on me over time — for a variety of different reasons — that corporate life wasn’t for me. At the same time I was also consuming content like Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad and Guy Raz’s How I Built This, which fundamentally shifted the way I thought about what I wanted in life professionally, personally, and financially.

2. What has been your biggest surprise while starting your own business?

What has surprised me the most is how emotionally taxing it is! Going from feeling like you’re on top of the world to questioning if you’re cut out for this on a weekly (sometimes even daily) basis definitely takes a toll. But that’s okay! I just ride it out, trust the process, and stay positive.

3. What has been your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge hands down is prioritization of work. There are a million things that I could be doing. Ranking the importance and urgency of tasks is very challenging — in these early stages, the way you spend your time is a gamble on what’s going to drive the business forward.

4. Describe your typical day? How do you stay organized and motivated?

On a typical day, I wake up, glance through my emails, work out for about 35 minutes, then exchange priorities for the day with my co-founder over Slack on my way to the co-working space. For me, being super disciplined about eating healthy, getting exercise, and sleeping enough lay the foundation for being my most organized and motivated self. I’m also a very task oriented person, so I have to-do lists and systems like Notion, Slack, To-Doist, Capsule CRM, and OneNote to keep me on track. These days, I’m spending time on partnerships with TikTok creators to help get the word out about Crafted and working on our pitch deck. 

5. What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of bringing Dougherty Dozen to Crafted screens! Alicia is a foster mom with 10 biological and adopted children, and has blown up on TikTok from her jaw dropping meal prep, grocery shopping, and charcuterie snack videos. We even had the chance to meet her entire family at their home in Rochester to help set up the first event — everyone was even more lovely in person.

6. How do you envision Crafted changing the way people approach cooking?

Crafted will help people understand the “why” and “how” behind what they eat. I envision it breaking down barriers to trying new things in the kitchen, piquing curiosity about the story behind a dish, and making the world a smaller, friendlier place through food. Why is all of this important? This is what food content creators care about. They want to connect with people by sharing what their craft means to them. We believe food is the most powerful way to bring people together. There’s no shortage of cooking videos and recipes on the internet, but we think the way in which friends, families, and followers communicate over food could be dramatically improved to be a more interactive and fulfilling experience.

7. Crafted brings people together over the love of food and cooking. Can you describe more about the communities you see yourself in?

Parents (mostly mothers) who cook for their families almost every night, share recipes with their neighbors, and engage on recipe Facebook groups are the primary audience for us right now. This demographic is super engaged with other ‘mommy bloggers’ and creators that develop simple recipes, and have so far been our most enthused group of viewers on Crafted. However, as Crafted evolves into a more robust live shopping platform — where viewers can shop ingredients, snacks, and cookware right from the show — Gen Z will be hugely important as they are the driving force behind social commerce adoption in the US.

8. What’s it like working with a co-founder?

I can’t even imagine doing this by myself. Having a co-founder means having someone to bounce ideas off of, keep each other accountable, and split up responsibilities in ways that would prevent us from ever stepping on each other’s toes, and move as quickly as we can. Both as friends and as incredibly passionate business partners, we keep each other inspired and motivated. And for that I’m so thankful!

9. How do you meet new small business owners while working remotely during COVID? This is such a critical time in history, especially entrepreneurs.

I’m lucky to have participated in the Startup Leadership Program (SLP) New York ‘21 chapter where I met incredible founders, investors, and thought leaders in between. We were the first cohort to complete the program remotely, and while some knowledge transfer and relationship building opportunities may have faltered over zoom, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I can always fall back on as I continue to navigate my entrepreneurial journey with new peers and mentors.

10. What’s your favorite part of being in the food industry? How about tech?

My favorite part about being in the food industry is learning about culture through food. Dominican beer stewed shrimp, Punjabi samosa chaat, and Japanese curry are just a few examples of dishes I learned about in depth through live cooking shows on Crafted. Yes, now I’ll venture to attempt making dishes like this at home, but more importantly I have a stronger appreciation for the history and customs associated with each dish, and what each means to its respective culture. In tech, what I love most is intersecting with 2 super nascent industries — the creator economy and live-streaming. We’re literally reading about and adapting to advancements daily in both areas. It’s incredibly fun, interesting, and challenging to keep up and understand how the two will inevitably shape not only each other, but our day-to-day lives both as consumers and creators. The time couldn’t be more right for Crafted.

11. SenseForward believes that, whether we’re conscious of it or not, through our senses we intuitively respond to our environment and our nervous system follows. So, effectively and purposefully stimulating our 5 senses can enhance our lives and relationship with ourselves. Cooking is certainly a sensual experience, as is eating. How does this concept apply to you and your approach to food?

My personal approach to food is sticking to a whole foods plant based diet as much as possible, and eating intuitively. How that translates to the 5 senses is paying attention to your body’s sensory responses to food. What is my body craving right now? How do I want to feel after eating it? Representing how nutrient dense and antioxidant rich it is, how colorful can it be? How does it smell, refreshing, comforting? What’s the texture like, crunchy? Creamy? How does it sound as it’s chopped against a wooden cutting board or cooked in hot oil? I genuinely believe that when we use the 5 senses as a vehicle for eating intuitively, we can have a healthier relationship with food and nourish our bodies better.

12. What else do you want readers to know?

I’m so incredibly excited to launch Crafted to food lovers of the world. In the meantime, sign up for our waitlist for early access to secret cooking shows.

Thank you!

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