maker: meg of beard and bonnet
They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and I think Meg of Beard and Bonnet embraces that proverb in full. Her passion for cooking and providing a table full of food that fills the needs of her families’ diverse food restrictions has led to a beautiful blog, full of recipes that make the mouth water. Combined with her skills as an artist and designer, Meg gets to play with textiles, vintage goods and food! It’s really a dream come true…
please introduce yourself.
My name is Meg van der Kruik and I grew up in Birmingham, AL. I now happily call Long Beach, Ca home!
what do you make or do?
I am the blogger, photographer, and recipe developer behind Beard & Bonnet, a gluten-free vegetarian blog that celebrates style, design, food, and family. I have been cooking vegetarian dishes for over 7 years, but it wasn’t until my son was born with a gluten intolerance 3 years ago that I delved into the world of gluten-free cooking. My goal is to show others that gluten-free, vegetarian living can be easy, fulfilling, and delicious! My recipes have been published in Southern Living and Go Gluten Free Magazine and I also am a weekly contributor on the popular vegetarian blog Oh My Veggies.
My husband, Todd, and I also own and operate our own eco-design studio; Union Eighteen. Our rugs have been displayed in Parson’s School of Design and received an award from International Design Magazine. We also work on a contract basis for companies like Zandur developing their line of eco-friendly cork rubber flooring.
Todd and I travel quite a bit with our work and have recently launched a new project Blk Market, which is an online store where we curate collections of vintage, one-of-a-kind pieces that are inspired by our travels and current design projects.
where can we find your creations?
You can find beautiful pictures and amazing recipes on the blog Beard and Bonnet. There are awesome vintage finds at the Beard and Bonnet shop, and for the textiles, check out Union eighteen website!
is there an interesting story behind the name of your business?
The name Beard and Bonnet came from a trip to Charleston, SC. Todd and I took a harbor cruise with our family and were really intrigued by the pirate story of Stede Bonnet and Captain Black Beard that our tour guide was telling us. We were talking about how interesting we thought it was that Bonnet was a wealthy man with a family and land that just up and decided to buy a ship and become a pirate. As Todd and I sat there talking about the history and the story of the unlikely duo Todd turned to me and said “Wouldn’t Beard and Bonnet make a great name for a product line?” I of course agreed. We held that name close for one of our own personal projects we loved the way it sounded when we said it, the mystery behind it, and the personal connection that we had to it because of the trip. A little over a year later I wrote my first post for the site after finding out about our son’s gluten intolerance and decided that it was the perfect time to use the name.
how long have you been creating and is it your full-time job?
Beard and Bonnet is almost 2 years old and is my full-time job along with Union Eighteen which is almost 8 years old. Todd is the Vice President of Design at Bentley here in So Cal, so I run our day to day businesses while he works out of our home and then we work together on big projects in the evenings and on weekends. We are both workaholic’s who LOVE what we do! When we met it was actually to discuss starting a collaborative creative business and we just happened to fall in love during the process. Our line of “Raw” rugs under Union Eighteen was our first project together and will always be near and dear to our hearts.
when you’re not making things, what do you do?
I am hopelessly smitten with our 2 children, Eliza 12 and Kash 3. Even when I am in the kitchen developing recipes or working on other creative projects they are with me. I often tell people that Kash will be the first gluten free Iron Chef. At 3 years old he can already name more vegetables than most adults and we are beginning to work on spices. Eliza loves to cook as well so she is usually my sous chef and has attended cooking camp 3 years in a row to develop her kitchen skills. They inspire me to be better and work harder each and every day!
what’s on the horizon for you and what you do?
My next goal is to publish a cookbook! It has been my dream since I was a little girl. I actually still have the cookbook that I wrote when I was 9 years old! I styled and photographed the dishes myself and when I ran out of film I drew the dishes in.
who are the makers that inspire you?
I am incredibly inspired by Delilah and Nicole of Patchwork and Craftcation! As a vendor at the first ever Patchwork show it is simply amazing to see how much they have grown and all of the work that Delilah and Nicole have put into it. Such inspiring ladies!
I am constantly inspired by Aida Mollenkamp, Helene Dujardin of Tartlette, Beth Kirby of Local Milk, Jeanine Donofrio of Love and Lemons, & Aran Goyoaga of Cannelle Et Vanille just to name a few. Their recipes and photography are simply stunning!