It All Starts Somewhere - Finding Entrepreneurship
Hello world! Welcome to the Pass the Cookies Blog!! Why a blog, you ask? Well, writing has always been a passion of mine; I love the therapeutic effect that it has on me, sparking memories and emotions all at once. There’s no concrete structure that I’ll be following here because I think the spontaneity of writing and posting is what makes a blog fun, but I can tell you that it will be somewhat of a diary involving storytelling, idea brainstorming, travel, inspiration, trials & tribulations, entrepreneurial experiences, and food for thought. While I do love being everyone’s “cookie lady”, this is just a little way of sharing experiences and letting you get to know the face behind the brand on a more personal level.
As I start off this blog, I think it’s only appropriate to go back to the basics and share with you how I started out Pass the Cookies. Funny enough, this whole cookie adventure actually began when I started my first blog out of pure personal interest.
It was early in March of 2014 when I had recently become unemployed. Just a few months earlier, I had finally graduated from a 4-year Fashion Communication university program. Nearly three years into the program I had decided that the fashion industry wasn’t for me and that I didn’t see myself working in it long-term. While I loved the art and business aspects of the program, I felt that the fashion industry specifically was a little too heartless for me. I had also worked two fashion retail jobs, one of which I quit out of pure boredom, and the other was just too full of unnecessary drama. After four and a half years in fashion, it all came to an end in March….so now what? What do I do with myself?
To be honest, I laid in bed watching movies for the first few days, not wanting to reach out to anyone because I was fearful of the judgement. I cooked & baked here and there in order to stay fed but that’s about it. And then I came across the movie, Julie & Julia, featuring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. If you’ve never watched it, Amy’s character challenges herself to cook her way through Julia Child’s entire cookbook, while writing a blog to document her progress. As cheesy as it may sound, this really touched me and sparked inspiration within me right away! Finally something to motivate me out of bed...
I have always enjoyed baking as a hobby, but more importantly, it’s a great stress reliever. Let me tell you – when your heart feels heavy with emotions, there’s nothing better than mixing a dough by hand, or putting your bodyweight into a rolling pin! Inspired by the movie, I thought it would be fun to bake a different cookie recipe every day, share those recipes and then reflect on it in a blog. Why cookies? They are just so versatile and you can get so creative with them, adding almost any ingredient you like. It’s also easy to make a small batch, as opposed to baking a full cake everyday. But wait – now I have all these cookies, I had to share them! My family, friends and neighbours were ecstatic to try new cookies all the time. Eventually I started playing around with icings and decorating cookies. One day I made a set of Beyonce themed cookies, the first cookies I had ever decorated in my life. It took me ALL night, I was up until 4am, piping like a snail! At this point in my life, I had never watched a single tutorial on cookie decorating or even used a piping bag! Luckily, the next day was my friend’s birthday so I had someone to share these cookies with. Over time, through sharing with friends and loved ones, word of mouth began to spread and people began asking if they could place orders, which I thought was the most bizarre request! So I did the odd order here and there but never thought much of it, certainly not as a career choice.
As I found happiness again and gradually began to pick up the pieces of my life, I figured it was probably time to start looking for a job. With no specific direction, I started to search job boards for inspiration. But what could I possibly be eligible for? The only work and internship experience I had was related to fashion and I was in no position to return. Then I came across a posting for a bakery clerk and it sounded like a dream job to me...I thought it would be interesting to work in a bakery and see how it’s operated. However, with zero food experience on my resume, I just poured my heart and soul into my cover letter and hoped for the best. It must have been fate because the bakery manager picked out my dorky cover letter and took a chance on me, which I am eternally grateful for! (This is a story I’ll elaborate on in a future post). As I learned about the baking industry, earned my certifications, spent lots of time practicing, and above all, got support from those around me, Pass the Cookies flourished into where we are today.
After all that I had experienced in this time frame, one major life lesson has stuck with me: unemployment can bring on a ton of negative emotions, often making us feel terribly lost, ashamed and yearning for a paycheque. However, once you’re able to get over the doom & gloom of it all, it’s amazing how it actually acts as a blessing in disguise; a time of renewal; a time to find ourselves and discover what makes us happy, and realize that anything can be possible. We just need to take baby steps, keep a positive attitude, and not settle. For some, that self-discovery can be absolutely life-altering.
Have you had a similar experience? Has your life plan gone smoothly thus far, or have you gone through some life-changing turbulence? I would love to hear from you!