We had the good fortune of connecting with Masha Welker and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Masha, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I am obsessed with it, from beginning to end. Everything about it excites me, I love food, I love art, I love creating, I love how it can make people so happy. I absolutely and deeply love this job.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am excited about the fact that I have finally after years of searching found something I absolutely love in every way, that is a viable business which requires me to apply my creativity and fosters my growth as a kind of food artist & business person. I always loved art, food & business but I didn’t know how to bring these things together. I considered culinary school, but I just knew I didn’t want to cook for a living, so I cooked for my family. I painted and drew but I am only a mediocre artist naturally, I am not gifted, and the truth was I didn’t feel strongly enough about it to pursue a formal artistic education. Without it I really couldn’t tolerate the mediocrity of my own “work”, so I didn’t paint that much. I graduated from UCLA with a focus on writing, it was probably the thing I did best creatively, and sometimes I liked it, sometimes I loved it, but more often it felt like giving birth, which I have done so the analogy is apt. It was just so much work for me. I didn’t have the tenacity for it, or the talent, or both. I didn’t wake up every morning excited to write, my head wasn’t bursting with ideas & insights into the human condition. Instead I felt this incredible stifling pressure to be clever, poignant & intelligent, and though I could muster it, it felt counterfeit, because In the end I think it was. It just wasn’t me. Charcuterie turned out to be what is me! It might sound crazy but I only understood the meaning of being passionate about one’s work when I started arranging meat and cheese on a platter. For years people told me find something you love to do and turn it into a business and it made no sense, I loved to do many things but none of them did I want to do professionally. It’s a different passion that has to be ignited for that statement to compute, but once it does everything comes into long awaited focus.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband! Through the years he has been my biggest supporter and cheerleader. I am a creative entrepreneurial person, who tried many different things over the years, and he was always right there next to me cheering me on, lending me his time and infusing family resources into whatever it was that I was cooking up at the time. And when it didn’t work out or I had simply lost interest in it, he let me move on to the next thing without a word of reprieve. I was searching for my thing and there is nothing like a partner who not only lets you search but also searches with you. .

Website: www.xoxocharcuterie.com

Instagram: @xoxo.charcuterie

Facebook: Xoxo charcuterie

Yelp: https://yelp.to/dddYKo06rjb

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.