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Page 146 of 205

When I was coming-of-age – which, btw, yeah I still am (like, who isn't?) – The WB and, later… until recently, The CW were my TV jam. Every Tuesday at 8 p.m., I would sit down to catch the latest episode (or rerun) of Buffy the Vampire Slayer starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. Because Buffy slayed. I was so into that show, into that character, and into SMG, as we fans would refer to the Daytime Emmy- winning (she took the hardware home in 1995, for playing Kendall Hart on TV's All My Children), Golden Globe-nominated actress on the then-primitive E! Online chat rooms…. Buffy was my girl, the girl, so when it occurred to me late last year to reach out to her portrayer's camp to ask for an interview, via the website for Foodstirs – the food-crafting startup brand based in Santa Monica, California, that she established three years ago with Galit Laibow, her L.A.-based public relations maven/friend, co-founder/partner – I staked my chance. And when I heard that, yes, an interview for Miami Living could totally happen, well… that was the sweetest turn of events. Quite literally, since they sent me some kits to try at home (beyond- easy, guys, but more on that in a bit). There would be no talking about Gellar's kickass alter ego, though, or inquiring about her possibly soon-to-be-revamped Cruel Intentions. Foodstirs understandably would be all she was serving, and that was fine with me. See, you don't get it: Sarah Michelle Gellar has long been a get for me. And, at the end of our fast-talking phone chat with Laibow (there I was thinking I was a fast talker…so cute), I was more than happy to let her know it, and assure her that her detour into entrepreneurship has my support. SMG, in turn, told me that the sentiment and the knowledge that her fans are willing to go down this new path with her means the world to her. Since we both were genuine about it all, I later got to thinking about something Buffy once said about the world: That the hardest thing in it is to live in it. I believe I can say that Gellar kinda sorta definitely lives by that, which is why she and Laibow aren't going at it – at building a business today – alone or without a strong community that they've built from scratch. She exudes confidence even across a phone connection. "Foodstirs came from a need that we saw in the market for better products and from a desire to spend more time with my little girls, who are 8 and 5," says Laibow during our interview early in December. "As a busy mom, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so I thought that that's where I could bond with my kids with convenient project-based baking kits. We also wanted to create something that's appealing to a younger generation, and that includes everything from designing fun packaging to [being engaged on] social media." Adds Gellar, also a mom of two who had grown tired of seeing in stores the legacy brands her mother favored, "We always say we're in a connected world, but we're not bonding as much, so social has been very important to nurture our community. It was definitely something I had to learn to embrace at first, but now I love it."

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