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Meet Song K. of Waving Trees Kitchen in Buford

Today we’d like to introduce you to Song K.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started my blog, Waving Trees Kitchen, a little under a year ago while going through a very challenging time in my life. I was dealing with a painful break-up, burnt out from a lack of work/life balance (I am a working full-time single parent), enduring  some scary health issues and battling depression all at once. Overwhelmed and feeling like I was losing my grip on life, I turned to cooking as a distraction. Before I was the hard-working supermom and career woman I am today, I was just a starry-eyed girl aspiring to become a chef in a Michelin star-rated kitchen. I hoped cooking would bring some color back into my life.

As I started to cook again, I began to log my recipes on my blog and desired to share my knowledge of Korean cuisine to those who frequently asked me to share my recipes. From what was supposed to be a personal blog for myself and close friends, evolved an outlet of self-discovery, creativity and cultural identity for me. Starting the blog began to turn into much more than just posting recipes, but it also became a tool of self-expression and a beginning of a new chapter in my life. I also found it rewarding that my blog was inspiring to others, which I was frequently reminded of by my family, friends and followers.

My blog has also lead me to meet other like-minded people who have helped me to where I am today. Thanks to my blog I was  lead to new and exciting friendships and a community that helped me battle the lowest point of my depression. As the power of my newfound creativity and community healed me, I began to find more hope in the universe again too. I found my faith being restored over time.  If I had not started this blog, I doubt taking care of my mental health would have been as easy.

The concept of my blog is about doing “all things from the heart.” I manifest this concept in my everyday life now. I find myself living more authentically and living out my best life as a result.

Has it been a smooth road?
I wouldn’t say that it has been the smoothest road getting here, but it wasn’t necessarily hard either. The only tough bits for me in the beginning were mostly related to acquiring technical skills. For instance things like how to build a website, basic photography, SEO or understanding basic UX were all very foreign to me so I had to learn about it on my own.

For the most part, I just went with the flow and welcomed any challenges that came my way. Working on my blog has been so much fun for me and I vowed never to let it become anything short of that. Let’s be honest there are tons of other food blogs out there that have followers in the thousands and that are Pinterest-perfect, but I told myself I’d only push out content that’s original and authentic. I was creating content for my blog in a very organic fashion with minimal effort to please the masses, so I never really felt like I “struggled.” I had no one to please but me.

However I will say that this blog has thrown some serious homework my way in better understanding my creative style (i.e. writing or food styling) and questioning my own authenticity as a Korean-American cook.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
Waving Trees Kitchen is a food blog which shares mostly Korean inspired recipes and sharing narratives centered around meaningful experiences or meals. I am most proud of the level of intimacy found in these narratives. I really share what’s on my mind or happening at that time in my life in my posts.

I am not afraid to be transparent about my experiences, as vulnerable they may sometimes make me feel. My dishes aren’t very fancy or trendy either, I just share the things I would actually eat and write about the experiences or people who inspired me to make them. I think it is that quality which sets Waving Trees Kitchen apart from some other food blogs. Waving Trees Kitchen is about being super real, sharing experiences about true human connection and making super good home-cooked dishes.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I think Atlanta is a great place to be for a food blogger. It’s a city that has really gastronomically blossomed. It is fiercely loyal in regards to its Southern roots but still embracing the rich cultural diversity that’s been expanding here. Atlanta loves new trends but they are trend-setting too. I really feel inspired here. Fresh, affordable and authentic ingredients are so accessible here, which is awesome for an ethnic food blogger like myself.

Contact Info:

Image credit:

Joe Song with Sour Hippo.

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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