I’m a big believer that small ripples make big waves. I don’t believe that you need to own a non-profit organization or be creating a product that helps to right a social injustice to be making a difference. Those businesses are incredible and important. But, I do believe that if you’re doing something with your whole heart, it doesn’t matter what it is — standing in your power has a big impact on the world. Whether that’s making pottery to spread warmth and beauty in people’s homes or combating the shame of menstruation, what matters is it’s done with integrity and heart.
As a part of my series about the things we can do to develop serenity and support each other during anxious times, I had the pleasure of interviewing Devon Loftus.
Devon is the founder of Moon Cycle Bakery, a one-of-a-kind bakery with a simple mission to help individuals to redefine their “time of the month,” nourishing and replenishing customers’ bodies all while meeting their cravings. Over time, Moon Cycle Bakery has evolved into a safe-space, helping individuals traverse the many seasons of womanhood. Loftus currently resides in New Jersey with her husband Brian, her son Kit and dog Olive.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
I love me a heart-to-heart! My name is Devon and I’m a new mom to a beautiful boy, a writer, and founder of Moon Cycle Bakery. I love craft and creating. I love the feeling of picking up something tactile and how it feels in your hands and on your heart. I love small businesses and makers for this reason. I’m a total romantic, really love nature and spending time with it, and curse quite a bit (I’m from NJ after all). I believe in magic that takes form in my ancestors, a chance encounter, our intuition. Moon Cycle Bakery started because I wanted a place for women to feel seen, heard and acknowledged through challenging phases — in this case, quite literally the menstrual phase. But all of that is broadening as I become a mom and very aware of how many seasons of womanhood we traverse — period or period-less, mother or not. I want to be there for them all.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
Ooh, this is a hard one! Primarily because the entire process of starting a business has felt interesting in so many different ways. I’d say one of the most exciting and organic things that happened or came to be was our book deal. My husband and I sold our tiny house in Washington and decided to use part of the earnings to travel Europe for a couple of months. During this time, I leaned into having extra space and time to be present and a lot of clarity surfaced. For one, I knew I wanted to write more. I’ve been a writer since I was a child and it was something I felt (feel) so called to pursue. When we came back from Europe, I began reaching out to literary agents. A couple of them were interested in helping me create and publish a book of my writing (poems and essays mainly) but they were also interested in a Moon Cycle Bakery cookbook. I couldn’t believe it and simultaneously, I could. I had meditated years earlier and saw myself in a kitchen creating a cookbook for Moon Cycle and here it was, coming to fruition in reality. It didn’t necessarily surprise me that it was happening, but that it was happening so quickly. Writing the proposal was the easiest work I’d done simply because it all felt so right and when it came time to choose who I wanted to help me write the cookbook, I knew I needed to ask our team nutritionist and my dear friend, Jenna. We actually just handed in our manuscript early this morning! It’s been a total dream, even amidst the challenges of writing a book, and I’ll never forget how naturally it all unfolded. I think the key was the clarity and grounded knowing that sparked it all.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
There were a lot of expenses I didn’t take into account that I so wish I would have. For example, a book keeper, a marketing and advertising budget (including influencers!), rebrand, etc. For anyone starting a business, I would advise sitting down with someone else who’s also started a business and get clear on expenses — not just to launch your business — but a solid 3–5 year plan. Although I had a business plan, I learned that I didn’t look far enough into the future and because we grew quickly, our expenses grew quickly as well. I also learned that it would’ve been a huge help to talk with someone about my vision. I don’t think I realized how much MCB could grow and because I didn’t have concrete numbers, I didn’t have a fully fleshed out marketing plan, and it all kind of snowballed into the helping momentum continue. Once I understood the numbers of people to reach, then I could understand what our marketing strategy needed to look like and then I could better understand what our budget needed to be. With all of this information, I would’ve aimed to raise more money during our Kickstarter campaign.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Oh, man. I have SO many people to thank. There have been people, both friends and family, and total strangers (who I now call friends) every. single. step. of the way. People who believe in us. People who believe in me. None of this would be a reality without every single person who I’ve interacted with throughout the life of Moon Cycle. My parents in particular have helped make this possible by their endless support in every possible way. They taught me at a young age to question the status quo and to believe in myself and my capabilities. Whenever I forget, they remind me of this. I wouldn’t be where I am today — Moon Cycle wouldn’t be where it is today — without them.
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
I’m a big believer that small ripples make big waves. I don’t believe that you need to own a non-profit organization or be creating a product that helps to right a social injustice to be making a difference. Those businesses are incredible and important. But, I do believe that if you’re doing something with your whole heart, it doesn’t matter what it is — standing in your power has a big impact on the world. Whether that’s making pottery to spread warmth and beauty in people’s homes or combating the shame of menstruation, what matters is it’s done with integrity and heart. When it comes to Moon Cycle, I aim to do three things: Empower, connect and ground. I find these three things to bring me the most nourishment and want others to experience this, as well. We do this by creating a culture and community that sees, hears and acknowledges our individual journeys. We write about real life experiences, seasons of life, transitions and phases of womanhood so people feel less alone and supported. We also acknowledge the human experience, meaning we’ll never minimize how challenging certain phases (the menstrual cycle being one of them) can be and find acceptance and celebration as we navigate these chapters together. Beyond the emotional and mental aspect, we create treats and dry mixes that help nourish your body by working to support your hormones throughout the menstrual cycle and beyond. Really, at the end of the day, we aim to create delicious goodies that are good for everyone and anyone and bring joy into your life. Sometimes it’s as simple as that.
Can you share your top five“lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
- Write a gratitude/appreciation list. My gratitudes can range from “waking up and breathing with ease” to “chai tea”.
- Invest in your mental health by talking to someone whether that’s a therapist, a friend or a family member
- Cultivate a self-love regimen (this could be writing 3 things you love about yourself daily, taking a bath, solo time, etc)
- Choose grace and forgive yourself and others every night. Start the slate clean the next morning
- Foster your intuition — when it comes to what to eat, what to do, your career, where to live, etc. It will never steer you wrong
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I really wish that therapy and mental health support was more affordable and accessible. It’s a bigger conversation and I would really love to see emotional intelligence and mental health valued and taught starting at a young age. I think having an understanding and acceptance in regards to our emotions is essential for thriving. Learning mindfulness techniques to navigate our feelings and the world around us is without a doubt one of the worthiest endeavours and a crucial element in wellbeing.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- No one will care about your business the same way you do and that is OKAY. Also, many people will come pretty damn close and that is a total blessing.
- Being yourself is not only enough, it’s essential to your business.
- Don’t compare yourself to others or their strategy — see number 2.
- Have patience. You are planting seeds and watching them grow. This takes time and that’s the best part.
- Momentum is great, but if you don’t have moments of stillness, you’ll never have a place to gain momentum from.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Mental health is a very near and dear cause to me. I was suicidal in college and feel like one of the lucky ones who was able to receive help and learn to love myself again (and it goes much deeper than just that). I will forever believe in the power of caring for our mental health and am quietly getting closer to understanding how I can best support others when it comes to this. My book of poetry and essays will be aiming to do just that.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Readers can follow us on Instagram at @mooncyclebakery for lots of conversation surrounding seasons of womanhood, recipes, product launch, and pictures of our baby, Kit — my whole heart and apple of my eye (and my forever reason why). For simple daydreams, an air of self-work and words poetic in nature, you can follow me at @_devonloftus.