“Choose a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Mark Twain said this, and it’s the mantra of most business owners, they start a business so that they can enjoy each day of “work” instead of going to a job they dislike for forty years and then retiring and finally enjoying their life.
When you find a hobby or outlet that you enjoy and realize that it could be making you money, your mindset shifts, and you start to think about what it would mean to do something you enjoy and get paid for.
Decorating cookies is a fun hobby, and it can save you a little bit of money if you’re making cookies yourself instead of paying someone to make them for your needs, but when you really think about the time you invest in learning, the tools you have to purchase, and the time spent making the cookies you don’t end up saving money. Then, you realize why people are able to charge for their cookies…and the wheels start turning.
From this point generally, one of two things will happen: you either jump in and make the business reality, or you let fear of failure and the unknown take over, and you never start a business. Both are fine really, and maybe it isn’t fear that stops you; you just don’t want to be a business owner; that’s ok if it’s the case for you. However, I want to present a few reasons why it makes sense to start a cookie business if you’re already decorating cookies.
- Add income to your family.
We all feel the effects of the high gas prices and increased costs. Starting a cookie business, whether you just want to make holiday cookies or you want to make custom cookies, helps you to contribute to the household income.
- It’s a creative outlet.
Many people start making cookies as a little hobby, and sometimes that hobby turns into a passion. That passion can then turn into a profit. When I first started making cookies, I was just playing around in the kitchen and would, in turn, give cookies to friends and family. Suddenly, they wanted to start paying me for my cookies. It was a natural progression. I was getting to explore my creative outlet, and they were enjoying my cookies at their favorite events, showers, and birthday parties.
- Connect with an amazing community of like-minded people.
The cookie community is like no other. When we moved to Nashville just a little under eight years ago, I followed Laura’s Custom Cookies (now Laura’s Cookie Studio), and she had the most amazing cookies. I didn’t dare reach out to her because I didn’t know how she would feel about a new cookie decorator moving in just down the street and potentially taking her business. To my surprise, she not only reached out and invited me to a local cookie/cake get-together, but she also said if I ever needed a cutter or stencil or tool, I could borrow anything she had. I NEVER expected that kind of generosity and kindness from strangers, let alone business competitors. We have a huge cookie community where I live, and we communicate in a group text about everything from customer issues to decorating dilemmas. When you find others who are like-minded and get what you do day in and day out, it makes such a difference.
- To start selling cookies it’s a very small start-up cost.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, most microbusinesses cost around $3,000 to start, while most home-based franchises cost $2,000 to $5,000. The cost to start a cookie business is easily under $150, plus there are no overhead expenses, and you have minimal inventory. Here’s a price breakdown of what you would need.
- Kitchenaid hand-mixer – $13
- Rolling pin – $17
- Tipless Bags – 100 for $6
- Americolor student starter kit – $32
- Cookie cutter basic shapes and plagues – Ann Clark set – $15
- Cello bags for packaging – 200 for $8
- Silicone spatulas – 5 for $13
- PME Tips – 3 for $14
- Labels for printing logo and cottage food labels – $6
- Scribe Tool – $12
- Table Top Fan – $17
- You can be your own boss and call all the shots.
You get to determine how much you want to work. When you own your own business, you have the flexibility to go on field trips or have lunch with friends. You have the flexibility to make your own hours and determine how much you want to work.
- You get to share your love of baking with others.
Growing up, I was always baking something in the kitchen, from brownies to cakes and cookies to basically any dessert that sounded delish (which was basically all). When I started my cookie journey almost 12 years ago, I started with a cake class at Michaels. I remember growing up, my mom making our birthday cakes. I wanted to be able to make decent-looking cakes for my kids one day. I loved making cakes but couldn’t eat them all, so I would share them with friends, family, and neighbors. They quickly learned my love of baking and came to expect sweet treats on the regular. It was such a joy when they would indulge in my treats and rave about them. Sharing my joy of baking is one of my favorite parts of cookie decorating.
Whether you’re afraid of too much competition, you’re not sure you have the skills, or you’re not sure how to even start running a cookie business…I am here to tell you, JUST START.
Just start, I share all kinds of free information on my social media and YouTube accounts, and I have courses that will walk you through every single step of owning a cookie business and decorating cookies. I have coached hundreds of women through starting a cookie business and growing a cookie business, and the greatest joy I experience is hearing about their wins and success.
My passion is seeing others take a hobby they enjoy and turn it into a business that changes their lives and those close to them. To watch them go from not knowing the difference between outline and flood consistency to doing an entire set of cookies for a wedding, and then a year later, they are teaching others how to decorate cookies in an in-person class and making more money than they could in a week of decorating all in one day. These wins bring tears to my eyes because these ladies just got started and didn’t stop moving toward their goals.
You can make a cookie business reality and either has a side business that gives you money to pay off debt or save for a vacation, all the way to replacing your current job and then some. It’s up to you, and I‘m here to help you do it every step of the way.