24 Hours with Whitney Presley of Le DOODLE Organic Cotton Candy
Photography by Caitlin B Photography.
As far business ideas go, turning a beloved childhood confection into a sophisticated, organic indulgence sounds like a career dream come true. And while Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Whitney Presley’s artisanal, all-natural cotton candy company, Le DOODLE, came to be more because she was filling a void (and following a passion) than because of a business plan years in the making, two years after launching, her offerings continue to expand as more and more locals discover her delicious creations and want to add a touch of whimsy to their gatherings with her charming, party-ready services and presentation.
The story behind Le DOODLE is, as one would expect, sweet. Presley’s friends had urged her to start a business around her love of crafting treats for years, and when they saw photos of the adorable cotton candy cart her father-in-law had constructed for her son’s first birthday party almost two years ago—which, like so many events in early 2020, was canceled due to the pandemic—they finally convinced her to launch a company. Le DOODLE, which derives its name from her son’s nickname, combines Presley’s love of making sweets and her dedication to using organic, all-natural ingredients. Today, lucky Baton Rouge clients can enjoy not only her artisanal cotton candy, but also popsicles and festive beverages at their own celebrations.
Recently, we tagged along with Presley for 24 hours to find out more about what running her business entails. Here, she takes us through a day of parenting, conference calls, event prep, and more.
6:00 a.m.: I naturally wake up around 6 a.m., but I typically don’t get out of bed until 6:30. For about 30 minutes, I lay in bed reflecting on whatever was on my mind at the time. I also use this time to plan out my day mentally. I’ve made a conscious effort not to check my phone or social media when I initially wake up in the morning, and it has been so fulfilling to wake up and start my day with my family first. Once I get out of bed, I set out my little one’s clothes for school, prepare his breakfast, and pack his lunch box.
7:00 a.m.: Quite possibly, my favorite time of the day is waking my son up in the morning. He is always so excited to see me, and it puts the biggest smile on my face. He is two years old, and I don’t know how long mornings like these will last, so I cherish each one. After breakfast, I help him get dressed for school and help my husband load up the vehicle for morning drop-off.
7:30 a.m.: Now that my husband and little one are gone for the day, I make my breakfast. My go-to is avocado toast topped with Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel seasoning. I also like to drink a glass of water with fresh lemon in the morning. I feel like lemon water hydrates me and gives me the perfect boost.
8:15 a.m.: I get dressed for the day. Today I have a site visit with a client at the venue for their event; whenever we’re providing a client with one of Le DOODLE’s on-site services, we do a walk-through of the building to ensure that we can successfully set up our mobile carts and carry out the client’s vision for our services.
9:00 a.m.: I check emails, responding to clients’ inquiries and other business-related correspondence. I also place a floral order for a styled shoot we have coming up with Le DOODLE. I always say, “sugar is always in style,” so I enjoy opportunities when we’re asked to feature our products and carts in editorial and styled shoots.
Photography by Caitlin B Photography.
9:45 a.m.: I hop in the car and head to meet my client. When I’m in the car, I have a few Spotify playlists that I’ve made that I like to play. Today I’m listening to my “On the Run” playlist.
11:00 a.m.: I text my husband and ask if he’d like to meet me for lunch. We never get to eat lunch together during the week, so I figured since I had a few hours before my next engagement, I’d surprise him with a lunch date.
12:30 p.m.: I meet my husband at BLDG 5, an intimate local restaurant with a great patio, and order the grilled veggie sandwich.
1:30 p.m.: I have a call about presenting at an upcoming conference. This past December, I graduated from Louisiana State University with a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Research. I’m very passionate about advocating for equity in education and enjoy collaborating and speaking to others in the field, so I’m excited about this opportunity.
2:45 p.m.: I revisit business emails to converse with clients and answer any email questions I received from my morning email session.
4:00 p.m.: I pick up our son from school. Like his morning wake-up calls, he gets so excited to see me and runs to his classroom door to greet me. I also love our afternoon conversations as we head home from school. Once we get home, we check the mail and play outside together for a bit before we head in to get dinner ready.
5:45 p.m.: Once we finish dinner (tonight was blackened salmon with spinach salad and a baked sweet potato), my husband and I spend the evening with our son before starting his nightly routine. Our little currently loves to have Toy Story playing in the background while he plays in the living room.
7:00 p.m.: Our son is all tucked in bed, and my mother-in-law has come over to keep an eye on everything while my husband and I head out to meet a few of his business associates and their significant others at French Market Bistro.
9:45 p.m.: We arrive back home, and now it’s time to debrief and unwind from the day. We’ve seen every episode of The Office at least three times, yet the show somehow always ends up on our TV in the evenings.
10:45 p.m.: It’s time for bed, and I can’t wait!