Everyone loves a tasty dessert and we know the woman behind the most unique treat in all of NYC. Allow us to introduce you to Katherine Sprung, owner of Squish Marshmallows. We had the chance to see how she started it all, what advice she would give to girls wanting to start their own business and what marshmallow flavor she would be. If you want to learn more about Katherine, salivate for some tasty marshmallows, or get a little laugh into your day, then keep reading!
How did Squish Marshmallows start?
I was writing a food blog and did a recipe for marshmallows one day. I tried a couple different flavors and shared with my family and some friends, and everyone really enjoyed them, so, I figured there might be something there, to start selling them! It started as an online business and then started selling locally at food markets.
How would you describe your marshmallows to someone who has never eaten one of your creations before?
I would say they're softer and lighter than your typical marshmallow, which I find really rubbery and dense. These are also made from scratch, with fun flavors and textured incorporated, so, they're their own little dessert in each square!
I was reading about how before Squish Marshmallow became your main jam you were a DJ, Tech Startup-er, and voice-over artist (which you still do.) How did you know that you wanted to dive in fully to the marshmallow business?
I pretty much wrapped each of those chapters (minus the voice-over, which I can do remotely, so, I can always still do that!), so I was able to put all of my energy into Squish. I guess you never completely know, but I really just pushed all my time and efforts into the business, so that I could do it full-time!
As a woman, what has been your biggest struggle starting and owning your own business?
Luckily, I haven't found that being a woman made it any harder, in my experience. I don't have any business part and don't have investors, so haven't gone through anything there. I think just starting a business, in general, is challenging, especially doing it solo. But as long as you use all your efforts, know when and how to ask for help, it becomes somewhat easier. But, no one else can do it for you, so, you just have to always keep your chin up, and keep hustling!
How do you and your team stand out as a business owner and creative in a city like NYC where everyone seems to be starting up something?
I think, in this day, it's always a challenge, especially with Instagram, where everyone has an account and posting flashy content. I think some people take the easy route, not making things themselves, ripping off ideas, and, to me, it's much more important and meaningful to have an authentic presence. I think coming up with new and interesting ideas helps, and, even if there aren't tidal waves at first, people will take notice, and at least you'll have your own respect, at the end of the day!
If you could go back to your younger self, what would you say has been the biggest surprise now that you have your own thriving company?
That I have a marshmallow company?!? It's definitely not something I ever thought I'd be doing. At a certain point in high school, I shortly thought about owning some sort of restaurant, or cafe, but never imagined I'd start a marshmallow company and open up a shop in NYC.
If you could give any young woman advice about starting their own business and following their dreams, what would you say?
If you have an idea, try it out! If you don't think you have the funding, if you don't think you have the resources, just try something, however small you start. The point is to test waters and try things out. If there's something you're interested in, ask to shadow someone, intern, apprentice, and get the exposure and hands-on experience, to decide if that's something you'd like to pursue. Don't be afraid to fail. It will happen, in some capacity. And, that's fine. You can't learn if you don't fail. You can't grow and improve if you don't fail first. Failure is not an end, it's a lesson and wakeup call. It's a new step toward a success.
What's the best thing about working in NYC?
The best thing is the energy and the access to so many experiences. The city is so accepting of different ideas, that it makes it exciting to try new things and test the waters. For me specifically, in my industry, there's such a tremendous food scene, that you have the opportunity to collaborate and work with lots of different people and companies, which is amazing.
What's your favorite marshmallow flavor you've created?
That's tough. One of our staple flavors is Banana Pudding, and I still really love that one. I get to come up with new ones all them, seasonal flavors, so, I get to have a new favorite every few months. One of the more recent ones was French toast (maple and vanilla marshmallow with glazed cake donut crumble)
Last Question and this is a fun one; if you had to describe yourself with one of your marshmallow flavors, which one would it be and why?
I don't know if I could pick one! I might choose an item instead, which might be our "BEC" (bacon, egg, and cheese). It's meant to look like a real BEC, but a dessert version. I think it’s fun because it's unexpected, different, and maybe a little tricky to figure out, at first.
Thanks for reading! You can check out Squishy Marshmallow's website here, and follow them on Instagram for updates and yummy photos (that will make you very, very, VERY hungry for some marshmallows.)