Squish Stars: Amber Mayfield

photo of amber mayfield smiling

The past number of months have been a whirlwind. Yet, there are some women entrepreneurs that are continuing to break the mold and shine like the stars they are! We're proud to introduce our Squish Stars campaign, highlighting incredible women entrepreneurs!

We were lucky to talk to Amber Mayfield, Editor in Chief of While Entertaining Magazineand ask her some questions. 

Tell us about your business? How did you get started?
While Entertaining is a magazine that celebrates Black culture through food and home entertaining. In an effort to shine light on diverse chefs and beverage professionals, we created While Entertaining Magazine to take the focus off celebrity chef culture, and focus on food, the people who make food, and the experience of food in all our homes. We released the first issue of the magazine digitally in 2020 and are currently raising funding to go to print in 2021.

What measures have you been forced to take since COVID started? What is the biggest pivot you had to make with your business? 
Amber: Prior to COVID, my main focus was TO BE HOSTED, an event agency that specializes in intimate dinners and weddings for foodies. When COVID swept through New York City, we had to halt all of our event services, which was previously my primary source of income. During COVID, I had to pivot my focus to While Entertaining Magazine, and serve audiences who found themselves cooking and eating at home much more. It has certainly been, and continues to be, quite the roller coaster ride.

What have you learned from this experience thus far? Both on a professional and personal level. 
Amber: Professionally and personally, I have learned how important it is to have multiple streams of income in your business - so that when there is instability in one sector, there is possibility for another sector to be thriving.

Have any businesses or individuals helped to inspire you through this time? What do you admire most about them? 
Amber:  I have been so inspired by all the chefs and restaurant owners who are trying to make service, takeout, outdoor dining and popups work for themselves, their families, their employees, and their patrons. Restaurants are such a staple for our culture, especially in New York City, so their strides to survive and serve and adapt have really inspired me to keep thinking about what my events and publishing endeavors look like in the future.

What are the biggest issues for running your company right now? What areas do you need help with? 
Amber:  My biggest struggle right now is awareness. Being a small company, and having limited budget for marketing, makes growing my customer base a bit harder and slower. I need the most help in getting the word out about our brand and our magazine. Our first issue is really beautiful and I would love to get the stories of these chefs out there and share new perspectives. You can check it out at www.whileentertaining.com (and please, tell a foodie friend or two).

What's been your biggest win since starting your company? 
Amber:  My biggest win since launching the magazine has been the launch. There are so few Black-owned media publications in existence, so getting the content out there and available has been a huge victory for me. My second biggest win will be taking the magazine to print in 2021.

Are there any special or new self-care practices that have helped you stay grounded? 
Amber:  I try to read the Bible daily, it keeps me the most grounded. I also like to unwind with a daily workouts or, I try out new recipes ,especially desserts.

Favorite show you've been watching/book you're reading/podcast you're listening to? 
Amber:  Currently I am watching Lovecraft Country on HBO, it's a horror drama set in the 1950s. I am not usually into horror, but it doesn't bother me much in this show. There is so much history and science to unpack and discuss in this show and that is what makes it interesting for me. I don't know how else to describe it other than it is SO good.

If you could be any of our marshmallow flavors, which one would you be? 
Amber:  Rocky Road! Because there are a lot of different pieces to me that make the final product come together!

To learn more about Amber and her business:
Instagram:  @whileentertaining