Haley Hazell

Haley is a lover of food and design. She bridges her two passions working freelance as a professional food stylist, recipe developer, and graphic designer. Her and her husband live in a small beachside apartment in San Diego, CA.

How did you get into food styling? What did you do before exploring food styling and recipe design?

I worked for  7+ years as an in house graphic designer for ad agencies and brands before becoming hungry for change. I was feeling very burnt out at work and recently got the unfortunate news of my dad’s cancer diagnosis. My world view was cracked open and I took a leap of faith, deciding to enroll in culinary school at San Francisco Cooking School. It was the best decision of my life. 

After graduating, I found my way to Good Eggs, an online grocery start-up serving the Bay Area, where I had the opportunity to combine my passions for design and food. The company launched meal kits and there was a need for someone to cook the food for the weekly recipe photo shoots. I eagerly volunteered and became obsessed with the photo studio. I started styling for and producing marketing shoots and was eventually promoted to Associate Photo Director and Food Stylist.

In 2019, my husband and I moved to sunny San Diego, and I decided to break out on my own as a freelancer. Since then I have gotten to wear many hats, food styling, writing and even photographing recipes for brands, cookbooks, and local magazines.

With the move to San Diego and to freelance work, I realized that I should try creating recipes more formally. I reached out to publications and food brands with similar values and got a few bites. Lately, I have been writing recipes for The Forager Project and Edible San Diego.

As a freelancer, I have the luxury of choosing who I work with. I find it vital to work with brands that I believe in and that I would want to consume myself. Supporting local and sustainable food systems that are good for our communities and our planet, that fuel our bodies with real food is really important to me. As a food stylist, I make food look beautiful and appetizing. As a recipe developer, I want to empower home cooks to cook with the seasons, to utilize fresh and local ingredients when possible. Most of the recipes I develop are plant-based.

What's the hardest part about shifting a career/ starting a business/ concept?

It is scary! The decision to go to culinary school was a tough one and is a risk I might not have taken had I not gotten the unfortunate news about my dad. It really shook my outlook. As cheesy as it sounds, it made me realize that life is short, our time is limited and it should not be wasted. Risks pay off and you will never regret trying something you are truly passionate about.

Do you have any mentors or people who inspired you? 

My mom is a true inspiration to me. She has her own business herself and is one the smartest and most hardworking people I know. “Never settle for second best” was a motto she repeated throughout my childhood and stuck with me. Her love and support made the decision to go to culinary school and to go freelance possible. I am so grateful for her guiding light throughout my life.

Are you taking extra self care precautions since the pandemic?

Lately, I have been going on a walk every morning right after I finish my coffee. I either listen to music, a comedy podcast or chat on the phone with a friend. It has been a game changer mentally. I just feel better when I can get outside early on in the day, before I get bogged down with emails and work. Also… do scoops of peanut butter count as self care?

What do you do to feel the most powerful in your body?

I love this question! I feel the most powerful in my body on a tough hike or a long bike ride, when I can get my blood pumping and be outside taking in some natural beauty! I love a good, tough climb.

What are your favorite Marché pieces?

I love, love, love my Ava Jumpsuit. I honestly have to resist the urge to wear it everyday.

How do you wear your Marché pieces?

I love to pair my LA Lover pants  with a plain white tank or tee, a jean jacket and sneakers. I usually wear my Ava jumpsuit without a top underneath and my Birkenstock sandals of slippers when lounging around the house. Both are perfect for binge watching on the couch or pandemic-friendly picnics in the park.

Be sure to check out: Haleyhazell.com and @haley.hazell

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