Today we’d like to introduce you to Amber Bailey Klovski.
Amber, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Hi! I’m a stay at home mom and newbie Cookier. My husband and I relocated to the Denver area from Los Angeles two years ago and became a family of three not long after. I previously worked in the Entertainment Industry, where I had the opportunity to be a member of some incredible award-winning and nominated Art Departments, including Justified, Transparent, and The Last Man on Earth. My life is very different these days. It has been a dream come true to have the opportunity to be a stay at home mom, and becoming a Cookier has filled the creative void I have been missing. Last year during the holiday season, I became obsessed with watching cookie decorating videos. I had seen one or two videos previous to this but thought these beautiful cookies came out of high-end bakeries. My mind was blown when I stumbled upon a huge community of self-taught Cookiers who are building businesses around decorating cookies and designing custom cookie cutters. I was so enamored by the whole concept. As I watched one video after another, I thought “I have to teach myself to do this!” I have degrees in Visual Communications and Set Design and Decoration from FIDM and have worked as a graphic designer. I have a very steady hand and an eye for detail and hoped the skill set I had developed through my education and career would play into learning this new trade. I set goals for myself even before decorating my first cookie. The first goal was to be able to decorate a full set for my son’s first birthday party in March, and my second goal was to be good enough to build a business by the end of 2019. I even chose a business name, well my husband gets the credit for that, and purchased a website domain. I was very determined!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No matter what type of business you are starting, whether big or small, there are always going to be obstacles you have to maneuver your way through. I think I’ve been extremely lucky. Thanks to the many Cookiers out there who make cookie decorating tutorials and share their best practices, I was able to pick up the basics pretty quickly. I have also had great success building a clientele. That’s not to say I haven’t had my share of struggles. My biggest struggle has been scheduling. Because I have a very busy 17-month-old, my baking and decorating hours don’t usually start until 7-8pm, after a full day of MOMing. Decorating with royal icing takes a fair amount of prep time, you have to use a number of different consistencies, and it goes onto the cookie in stages, with drying time between each stage. It can take up to 2-3 days to complete a design, depending on the amount of detail work and how much time you have to devote to the process on a daily basis. Because of this, I have to be very conscious about working as efficiently as possible… way easier said than done! Cookie decorating is messy business. Much to my husband’s dismay, I tend to take over our entire kitchen and dining room with all my different prep and decorating stations. I continue to learn new skills and techniques with every set I do. Thankfully, I become a little more efficient with each order. Learning to say No has also been very difficult for me. Starting a new business, and the strong desire to build my clientele, I want to take on every order request I get. Plus, I love the design process! My mind immediately starts coming up with ideas the moment I read a theme request. Unfortunately, after more than one sleepless night, I have had to reconsider how many orders I can take before overextending myself. I want my clients to feel like they are walking away with something special, and I can’t risk that outcome by putting too much onto my plate.
Any advice for other women, particularly young women who are just starting their journey?
My advice to any women who is starting down a new path is to PUT IN THE WORK! Set achievable goals for yourself, do the proper research/get the proper training, surround yourself with people who support you, don’t get discouraged, AND don’t give up. Most importantly, don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s. Even if you are trying to reach the same destination. Your life experience, skillset, and environment all make your path distinctly yours. Georganne Bell of LilaLoa Cookies recently wrote: “Someone else’s journey DOES NOT CHANGE THE VALUE OF YOURS.” Reading this really gave me a new perspective on my journey.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Sweet Cookie Sheet – what should we know?
I’m so proud to produce a yummy, quality product. I’m not a huge fan of royal icing, and I could go a year without eating a cookie and not even notice. Take chips out of my life and it’s a very different story! Because I don’t love sweets, it is really important to me to make not only beautiful cookies, but also cookies that I want to eat. I have worked hard perfecting my sugar cookie and royal icing recipes, and I hope to introduce more flavor options in the next year. I’m so excited to continue to build my business and collaborate with both new and returning clients.
Which women have inspired you in your life?
The woman I’m most inspired by is my Mom. She raised me to be strong and independent. She taught me to face change head-on and go after what I want. I’ve never been afraid to change course or try something new. My mom started booking me cookie clients before I had even completed my first full set. It’s so inspiring to be surrounded by people who believe in your ability, it makes me better at what I do, and it has given me the confidence to continue on this cookie journey.
- THE SWEET TREAT: $45/dozen 1-4 Shapes, Up to 4 Colors (including white), Includes very simple patterns and detail work
- THE SWEETER TREAT: $60/dozen 1-6 Shapes, Up to 6 Colors (including white), Includes simple lettering, airbrushing detail, simple florals, simple logos, gold, rose gold or silver accents
- THE SWEETEST TREAT: $75/dozen 1-8 Shapes, Up to 8 colors (including white), Includes customized designs, characters, detailed logos, airbrushing, detailed florals, gold, rose gold, and silver accents, complex multi-layer icing design
- Website: www.thesweetcookiesheet.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thesweetcookiesheet/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theSweetCookieSheet/
Amber Bailey Klovski, Jason Klovski