Life's Never Tasted So Sweet: Meet Caitlin Lee, Founder Of Public Lives, Secret Recipes

Caitlin Lee, Public Lives, Secret Recipes (Photo Cred Emily M.)

Caitlin Lee, Public Lives, Secret Recipes (Photo Cred Emily M.)

Many of us dream of turning our passions into our jobs. Well. that's what Caitlin Lee, the voice behind the widely popular blog and instagram account, Public Lives, Secret Recipes did. From creating new and instagramable recipes (mini s'mores cereal?!) to interviewing leaders in their industry, PLSR has made a name for itself. 

On September 15th Six Degrees Society is thrilled to be partnering with Public Lives, Secret Recipes for a Non-bake cooking class in Chicago! In the meantime, learn more about Caitlin and her story of creating such a delicious brand. 

1. What inspired Public Lives, Secret Recipes and what's the significance around the name of your company? 

The name comes from what I initially started the site for: interviewing people in the public eye who would share a secret recipe of their own. I've always loved baking & grew up doing so however now-a-days there are millions of baking blogs. I knew if I wanted to start an outlet for my love of baking it would have to be something different, something that would stand out. Hearing others recipes they either grew up making, make every night for dinner, make on special occasions once a year, etc. was something that really peaked my interested & I thought would do so for others too. Once PLSR was born it gradually evolved into a lifestyle site as readers were interested in things such as the outfits being worn during these interviews, the travel to where these interviews were taking place, etc.

2. How did you get into cooking? Do you have a favorite course to prepare? 

I've always grown up baking but it really took off once I graduated college. I lived in a sorority house for the 3 years following living in a dorm so my access to a kitchen was a microwave & toaster. Seriously, four years & that was IT! Once I moved to Chicago & had my own kitchen, I started going crazy in it, baking constantly. I don't really have a favorite course to make as I love experimenting & always trying new things however people go crazy over my mini pop-tart cereal recipe!

3. As a resident of Chicago, what are some of your favorite restaurants in the city? What do you recommend to order? 

Oh man, there are too many great restaurants in Chicago to even name! If you ever catch me with my phone in hand ask for my list of recommendations. It has over 100 restaurants all that I've either tried or am wanting to try. Some of my favorites include Gibson's (the chicken sandwich is to die for & the staff is beyond accommodating), Pinkberry, Proscecco (the truffle pasta is my favorite!), Restoration Hardware (grilled cheese or burger), Sunda, Roots Pizza, the Chicago French Market (poke bowls, chocolates, etc.), & SO many more. 

4. You've partnered with some pretty major fashion brands like INTERMIX. Do you have any advice for bloggers on developing relationships with brands? 

I've been very fortunate to work with some incredible brands over the past few years of blogging. My biggest advice is that you have to hustle. You're truly your best & only promoter when it comes to blogging & to succeed you have to really put yourself out there. Knowing how to respectfully ask for a partnership is key as many bloggers will either ask for too much or too little. Continually follow up on emails (my rule is always wait at least one week in between emails) & network as much as you can (I know, I know it's a pain but it works wonders!). 

5. What's been your biggest learning since you've started your brand? What's been the biggest "pinch" me moment? 

The biggest learning moment since I've started PLSR has just been the overall concept of running a business. As an entrepreneur I manage my blog, content, photographs, finances, partnerships, contracts--some things I didn't even know existed! It's a lot of work but SO worth it in the end because you'll end up with "pinch" me moments like being written up in Time Magazine or interviewing Lauren Conrad!