This article is part of an interview series called Ladies Who (Wear) Lunch, an exploration of the intersection of food and fashion.
I’m a sucker for food puns. But I’m not the only one.
When food puns meet fashion, the intersection seems almost universal in its appeal—who can resist a design that’s as clever as it is appetizing? That’s where Evelina Edens, self-proclaimed CSO or “Chief Snack Officer” of Wear Your Snacks, enters the chat. Her playful clothing and accessories line took off in 2020 as an operation dedicated solely to beaded food-themed jewelry that she made as a recent college grad living with her parents and looking for something to keep her busy.
Fast-forward a few short years and she’s expanded her offerings to include athleisure, socks, and my personal favorite, food pun shirts. All of this happens after hours on top of her full-time marketing job at Seed + Mill (if you haven’t had their halva, run, don’t walk). I called her up to chat balance (or lack thereof), Bratwurst (my new favorite Wear Your Snacks t-shirt design), and of course, allll her favorite bites.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
MADISON TRAPKIN: Can you describe your ideal lunch date? Where are you going? What are you eating? What are you wearing? What's your dream?
EVENLINA EDENS: Let's see, is this in an ideal world where money and appetite are no object?
MT: Oh yeah, unlimited appetite and budget.
EE: I'm like a big French brasserie girl—I love a loud, bustling spot, like Pastis, Balthazar, or some sort of Lafayette-adjacent restaurant. I’d love to start with a fat seafood tower, whatever the largest option is, and I'd probably have to throw in some steak tartar just to make sure I’ve covered all the raw food groups. I live for a niçoise salad, so that would have to be on the menu at some point.
MT: We love a palate cleanser moment.
EE: Yeah, get some greens in there. We’d need fries for the table, of course, and non-negotiable aioli on the side. For the heavier stuff, I’d go with steak frites, because, more French fries. I’d round it out with some chocolate mousse and maybe a little coffee to wake me back up after eating enough food to feed a small family.
MT: What are you drinking?
EE: A dirty martini with gin, which is very important. On the dry side, maybe on the rocks. I know people have very strong opinions about that, but I love a little ice in my martini. Maybe a little Champagne with the seafood tower.
MT: Would you wear a matching seafood tower dress?
EE: I think it would be a requirement, yes, but I also wouldn’t be opposed to a change of outfits mid-meal to accommodate a little bit more space for the rest of the food.
MT: Yes, maybe a Wear Your Snacks martini shirt in the largest size you make. Have you always known that food would find its way into your career?
EE: Definitely. Ever since I was teeny tiny, I've been fixated on food. I’d watch cooking shows like Martha Stewart’s, and I was obsessed with Emeril as a four-year-old. I think subconsciously I knew I would go into food in some capacity, but I definitely was on a hardcore art trajectory for a while and wanted to be a graphic designer. I probably would've ended up doing graphic design for a food business had I not leaned towards marketing, so yeah, I think that was always a part of the plan whether I knew it or not.
MT: Did you have someone close to you growing up who was involved in food?
EE: None of my family members worked in food formally, but our family loves to eat. That's our thing, it's always a running joke that every meal we have together, we're just planning our next meal.
MT: Can you tell me the Wear Your Snacks origin story?
EE: For sure. I graduated in the famous year that was 2020, so I was home for the last three months of college. I did a lot of hanging out with my parents and as soon as I graduated in May, I was like, "All right, I need to do something to fill my time or I'm going to go crazy." I must have seen someone wearing a letter bracelet on Instagram and was like, "Oh, it'd be fun to make food ones." I figured maybe a few friends would buy them if I sold them on Instagram, which they did, but friends would tell friends and all of a sudden I had a silly little business. Now, my hands feel crazy all the time from beading.
MT: Yeah, that work is so intricate and you still do all of it yourself, right?
EE: Yeah, I do, which is why I’ve limited the amount of beaded stuff I’ll make. It’s also why I pivoted to food-themed clothing. I learned a lot really quickly about how to build out a website and do my own marketing, on top of designing and making the products.
MT: Now you have a pretty substantial following, and I’m sure you have way more than just your friends buying your stuff. You’ve transitioned to clothing, obviously to save your hands, but was this always the goal for Wear Your Snacks?
EE: I definitely started without any sort of plan and had zero expectations that it would become anything. It's been very flexible and aimless. I've had a lot of big ideas that I haven't necessarily had the capacity to follow through on, but it's fun and I'm at a stage where it's very manageable. I'm about to kind of dive back into doing some more designs and more brand collaborations, plus I've been having a lot of fun working with a couple of small retailers.
I did a really fun popup at this amazing vintage shop in Nantucket called Current Vintage—it's part vintage shop, part wine and cheese shop, so I did a popup and wine tasting there. I wore my seafood tower dress, of course. It was so fun to get to meet people and see my products in an actual store! It made me feel like all the bins of socks in my room that take up so much space are actually worth it. My bedroom might look like a warehouse, but that's okay.
MT: What was the first piece that you designed?
EE: The first one I designed was an anchovy necklace, which is very on brand. It had primary color blocking and the word “anchovy” with little gold beads in between.
MT: It sounds very cute and I don't even like anchovies. Can you talk to me a little bit more about your clothes? Where do the incredible food pun designs come from?
EE: Around the same time that I started my business, my now-roommate Kate Snyder was also living with her family and she started an online store called Bottom Drawer. She was making funny t-shirts and had amazing designs, like the Timothee Chardonnay, the Pick Your Poisson, and the Bratwurst. Since we live together now and she’s super busy with her day job, we decided to join forces and sell them on Wear Your Snacks because they’re very much my vibe.
MT: What are some of your top sellers?
EE: The Spaghetti Western tee is consistently a good seller for sure, and so are the olive socks and the pickle socks. As far as beaded stuff goes, the pickles have been the biggest by far. Pippa Allen, or @allpurposepippa on TikTok, ordered a pickle necklace, posted it in a TikTok, and tagged me. I literally had to shut down my website last July or August because I got so many orders for pickle necklaces from her.
MT: How many pickle necklaces are we talking?
EE: I sold 80 pickle necklaces.
MT: How long did it take you to make each necklace?
EE: By the end it was probably like seven or eight minutes, so not too bad.
MT: If we're saying 10 minutes to be a little generous, that's...800 minutes. That's so many podcasts!
EE: I think I listened to all of Armchair Expert for sure. All of Conan O'Brien's podcast. All of Seek Treatment. All of Las Culturistas. So many podcasts.
MT: A lot of your products—especially when you were doing the beaded stuff—feature ingredients and dishes that are either ultra-specific or very generic, from truffle salt to toast. Where do these come from?
EE: When I first started, I came up with everything myself, but once people started ordering custom things I just didn't have time to think of my own. It was just like whatever the people wanted, they were getting, and they were really covering a lot of ground.
MT: So the custom projects became the prototypes for what you’d sell on your site?
EE: Yeah, exactly. And as far as t-shirt designs and stuff, it's mostly the weird niche things that I'm obsessed with, which are martinis and tinned fish and all that good stuff. But then, yeah, you think of a good pun with Spaghetti Western, something stupid like that.
MT: Do you have a favorite food memory?
EE: My biggest food memory is from business trips to Atlanta I’d go on with my mom and grandma. We’d drive there from my home in Virginia and we’d stop in Asheville to break up the drive, which is like one of my favorite food cities. We’d eat at this hyper-seasonal, farm-to-table restaurant called Table every year because the first time we went the meal was so good—nothing fussy, just delicious. At the end of the meal, my mom was literally crying because it was so good. I was also probably like 12 years old, so peak like, "Oh, my God, my mom is crying in public."
MT: I’m sure this is also something my mom did when I was a kid.
EE: Yeah, like what? This peach that was grown one mile from here is making her sob.
MT: Honestly, if a restaurant’s food isn’t making you cry happy tears, what are you even doing there?
On Black & Highly Flavored, co-hosts Derek Kirk and Tamara Celeste shine a light on the need-to-know movers and shakers of our food & beverage industry.Listen Now