Today we’d like to introduce you to Julie Patterson.
Hi Julie, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I have always loved baking! As a little girl, my favorite boxes from grandma were filled with homemade sugar cookies! She quickly was dubbed my “Cookie Grandma”! As a mom, I have always enjoyed baking for the kid’s class parties, birthday parties or surprising them after school with warm cookies for snack. Six years ago, when my youngest son turned one, I designed and decorated his party with a “Baby It’s Cold Outside” theme, complete with royal icing decorated snowflake cookies. This was my first attempt at playing with royal icing and decorating a cookie like this. It was so much fun! I was hooked!
It wasn’t long after that friends and family started asking me to make cookies for their events. Word traveled fast and before I knew it I registered my business as an LLC and became official. Business was sporadic at first, however this allowed me to practice new skills, gather ideas, and really start to research all that goes into designing, decorating and making a detailed sugar cookie. Eventually, I was taking orders for school districts, real estate companies, home builders and other companies as well as making custom orders for weddings, birthdays, baby showers, etc, and teaching decorating classes. Recently I was asked to be preferred vendor for a local wedding venue, Bella Cavalli Events, and have been asked to work alongside Stress-Free Events & Weddings. This is a huge and exciting step. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but this is where I am today and I am loving what I do.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I have to say, that building my business has been quite smooth! I have found that word of mouth and personal reference have been the foundation of my marketing. I started this adventure not knowing what to expect. It was kind of like a trial run that created a momentum of its own and just grew! I have always kept the mindset of never making it a “job” but rather expanding a hobby that brings me joy. I swore if it became no longer fun, I would walk away from it. My grandma made me cookies because it was something she enjoyed and a way to share her love and joy with me. I don’t ever want to loose that with my customers. With this mindset, even if little struggles do come my way, the joy of what I do shines brighter.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I design and decorate custom royal icing sugar cookies, create DIY cookie kits, and teach cookie decorating classes for kids and adults. While I make all kinds of cookies, I specialize in custom cookie requests. Most of my customers have an idea, theme, or color scheme in mind when placing their order. I make their vision into a delicious edible cookie. The foundation of my business is to serve my customers well and with joy. My favorite part of my job is seeing the surprise and smiles on my customers faces when they pick up their order. I want them to feel loved and know that they matter to me. This is exactly how my grandma’s cookies use to make me feel, and it was wonderful! I want my customers to know this “wonderful” too.
In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
I am always praying over my business and what I am suppose to do with it, as well as where it is suppose to go. I would love to someday have a brick and mortar shop where I could dive deeper into weddings, teach classes on-site, and have a design studio that would allow me to share what I do both in-person and online. We will see what happens!