One year ago, June 2014, I started decorating cookies full time at the bakery.
I wasn't sure that I'd make it to one year. Could I make enough money to pay the rent, the insurance, furnish my area of the bakery, buy supplies, etc and still make a decent profit? A decent hourly wage? Would I destroy my back and piping hand with the long hours decorating? Could I balance home and work?
Well after one year, I'm pretty pleased with the answers to those questions. There's definitely room for improvement, but I'm doing ok.
In this first full-time year, I've decorated thousands of cookies, hosted many cookie decorating parties, taught several one-on-one classes, did a few demos for groups and businesses, and had a blast. I've met some wonderful people, enjoyed the support of so many, and taken a small part in some very special occasions.
Gayla, Meghan, and I have worked well together at the bakery. (You'll be meeting them here soon.) I've loved having them as my partners.
Besides reflecting on the past, this anniversary has me thinking toward the future. What would I like to do in my second year in business?
Of course continue taking cookie orders and all of the rest.
I would like to.....teach more. I'd like to teach other cookie decorators. I'd like to help them with the business side of cookies. I realize that this blog could be a great platform - one that I've sorely neglected. This blog started out as a diary for me to record my cookie experiments - to document what worked and what didn't. After going full time, it became a place to quickly post photos of my recent work with a link to my website.
I'd like for this blog to become something more. A place for me to teach some of the things I've learned at the bakery. Business things mostly. Decorating Things. Baking Things. I'd like to share more about what's happening. Not post and run so frequently.
This means that I'll be speaking to a different audience. For the past year I've focused on potential buyers. Most of what I do online targets them. Getting them to my website to order cookies - through facebook and this blog mostly. I've done pretty well accomplishing that. I receive many order inquiries daily. My cookie calendar is filling up earlier than ever.
I've been working under the impression that I can't do two things at once - make/sell cookies full time and teach fellow cookie decorators. I would be dividing my efforts. I needed to focus on my business to succeed. Can my business now also include teaching to the cookie decorating community?
Well it will in September 2015! I'll be teaching a class at Cookie Con in Salt Lake City.
I'd like to start focusing on them also - my fellow cookie decorators. I've got some things to share with them. I receive lots of questions privately. I'd like to answer those questions publicly. Reach more of them.
You'll see segments like:
Poking Around the Kitchen - I'll take photos of my work space, in drawers and on shelves. No cleaning up first. You'll see what it's really like.
Interviews - with people running cookie businesses.
Business Lessons - Things I've learned that might help you with starting or running a cookie business.
Tutorials - on how to do things efficiently and keep yourself organized.
I'm hoping that my customers - past, present, future - will enjoy these behind the scenes posts. They may not ever consider decorating or selling cookies, but hey, who doesn't like to poke around in someone's kitchen and see what's going on? I'm hoping that they'll like seeing how their cookies are made and what goes into the business side of things.
I'll still post my recent cookies also. That won't stop.
Can I do it? Can I take the photos, edit them, write up the posts, get more involved in social media? All while keeping my business going/growing AND the laundry done? I don't know. We shall see!
To those that have been my customers, that follow me on facebook (and leave lovely comments)....Thank you!!
If you're just discovering Sugar Dot Cookies, please follow my blog. Follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. I hope you'll find some interesting things in the year to come!
Posts on "Cookiepreneur Interviews"
Posts on "Cookies as Business".
Posts on " Poking Around the Kitchen".
Posts on "Commercial Kitchen"