Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie-Rose Watson.
Katie-Rose, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve long loved cooking, baking, and entertaining. My mom lets me “help” her in the kitchen when I was very young. Looking back, I must have been such a pain but she never got frustrated and always encouraged my love of cooking and baking. She’s an excellent cook herself and I missed her scratch-made dinners in college. You would not believe what I was able to do with a microwave at eighteen years old! I lived on crostini and tabbouleh in my dorm room. I definitely had a head start in the kitchen by the time I got my own apartment – thanks, Mom!
My favorite way to unwind after a long workday is to cook. I adore pulling fresh vegetables out of my raised bed garden, pouring a great glass of wine, and throwing dinner on the grill. I love to create beautiful spaces and have fresh flowers on the table. For a year my friends encouraged me to start a website. Once I was riding my horse and my amazing dressage trainer, Jessica Blackmon, said, “You should start a food blog.” I laughed it off asking, “Who would read it?” To which she replied, “Who wouldn’t read it?”
In 2014 I had a friend over for our weekly dinner and served a bacon avocado crab salad. She posted a photo of it on Instagram and an enormous amount of people requested the recipe. She asked me to post it online so she could pass it along. I did and a week later she sent me a photo: her friend made my bacon avocado crab salad and said it was the best thing she had ever made. It was such a lovely feeling to know that someone made and loved a recipe I created. I decided right then and there that I was going to launch a lifestyle website focusing on food and entertainment. I stewed about the name for weeks before The Rose Table popped into my head when I was driving home one day.
I love to write so it’s never felt like work to me. I mostly publish recipes (all original), party menus, garden inspiration, and in-depth travel guides. It’s been a really fun creative outlet. I am the most myself on The Rose Table. I feel like my readers really get me. Some of them have been following me for years! Now there are over twelve thousand people in the Rose Table community all around the world. Things took off last year around the holidays with so many people making my recipes for Christmas. I was so honored and touched by the flood of photos I received.
One reader wrote in to say that her family made almost a dozen Rose Table recipes and loved every single one of them. What a lovely, lovely thing to be part of people’s holiday celebrations! The fact that people let me be part of their day and part of their table is magical to me.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
In the beginning, it was a little daunting to try to keep a publishing schedule. Creating new recipes is a lot of work and as a busy publicist, I don’t always have time to photograph dinner! Now I’ve gotten much better about holding articles for a rainy day when I’m too busy to produce new content. That’s helped. I try to publish content once a week.
In three years, I think I’ve only missed one or two weeks. I jot down notes on my phone throughout the week about how I made things and snap photos on my iPhone of whatever I want to publish. I then turn the photos and notes into an article on Sunday morning while I’m drinking my coffee. I often write a couple of articles to publish throughout the week.
I started a video series this year, mostly of me cooking my favorite recipes in my kitchen and then enjoying them with friends in various locations. I produced, shot, and edited the whole thing myself. I definitely made some technical errors – my stand mixer’s paddle disappears and reappears throughout one episode – and each shoot was definitely better than the last.
My readers gave me great feedback about season one, so if they noticed the magical paddle, they sure were kind! I honestly have never viewed mistakes as such. If you learn something, it was worth your time. I learned something shooting every single episode and continue to do so. I would be disappointed in myself if I didn’t strive to be a little bit better every day but nobody’s perfect and you have to forgive yourself if things don’t always go smoothly!
So, as you know, we’re impressed with The Rose Table – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
The Rose Table is a food and lifestyle website (therosetable.com) dedicated to savoring life’s pleasures. I focus on farm-to-table food, often influenced by my mom’s Californian roots as well as my love of Mediterranean food, and easy, delicious recipes. If something is going to use every dish in the house, I’m out. I loathe dishes! I write about growing your own food, local farmers markets, and cooking with as fresh of ingredients as possible.
I’ve been told that my biggest differentiator between The Rose Table and other food and lifestyle websites is my love of themed parties. I publish not only any original recipes I created for the party but also table and decor ideas, party planning tips, floral arrangements, et cetera. The idea is that someone could completely recreate any party I throw. One college student recently wrote to me saying she was throwing my exact party on her campus lawn! I love hearing that.
Travel has also become a huge component of The Rose Table. I started out writing recaps of trips almost travel diary style but I quickly pivoted to writing more thorough articles about resorts, activities, adventures, restaurants, and more. They all link back to a larger article about my trip as a whole. It’s been really exciting to see how many of my readers book my trips! I recently posted about a deal I saw at a resort I love in Turks and Caicos. One of my readers saw the post, booked a week-long stay at the resort, and wrote in to ask my opinion about a few vacation details.
I love that I get to be part of their family vacation in that way. I’ve partnered with several luxury resorts I’ve stayed at to give trips away to my readers. The woman who won my Turks and Caicos giveaway wrote me such a heartwarming note about how now because of The Rose Table, she was going to get her dream honeymoon with her fiancé. How wonderful is that? I’m really very attached to my readers!
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
The number one request I get (besides more Caribbean vacation giveaways!) is to publish more dinner party menus. I am working on that in a big way.
My favorite thing a reader ever said to me thus far was, “The Rose Table is my favorite escape.” I love that. Life can get so hectic and so frustrating at times but at home, I surround myself with beauty and peace. Nothing makes me happier than spending time in my garden, quite literally stopping to smell each and every rose. You know that song, Sunday Kind of Love? I want a Sunday Kind of Life!
A game of croquet, a whinny from my horses, a slice of cake, a rose just starting to bud, these are a thing you’ll see not only on therosetable.com but also on my social media accounts. My little corner of the internet has become a calm, happy place for a lot of people and that makes me incredibly happy.
One reader told me that she decided to start a garden after being inspired by my backyard transformation chronicled on The Rose Table. If I can inspire people to cook an elegant meal, savor dinner with friends and family, plant a garden, or enjoy a great glass of wine by the fire, then I’ll have done my job.
- Website: http://www.therosetable.com
- Email: email@example.com
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- Yelp: bit.ly/rosetableTV