MUCH has changed since then. For starters, I now listen to audiobooks, news, or podcasts instead of music when icing. I no longer stand the whole time, and I have found ways to keep my wrists from getting sore. (Phew!) Thousands of hours have been spent working on orders and researching fun products and techniques, and I have invested in more cookie tools and equipment than I ever thought necessary. I now try to keep regular business hours to keep our family schedule as "normal" as possible, however, during very busy times, you can still find me working into those wee hours. (In the cookie world, this is referred to as #teamnosleep.)
I may have started this business alone, but Sugar Happy Cookies could not have grown as much as it has without some incredibly supportive people. My husband, Kevin, is now along for the ride. With his natural talent in the area of cooking and baking (is there anything this man can't do well?!), he mixes, rolls, cuts, and bakes. Our two helpful boys take care of laundry and dishes, and they do it without grumbling...most of the time! My dear parents ask if I need any supplies when they are out and about, and they proudly share our story or our business cards with everyone they meet. Wonderful friends ("Research and Development Assistants") share our info on social media, and two of them in particular keep us company while we work on large orders. (Cheers!)
There is always plenty to learn about the ins and outs of running a business, but learning should never stop, should it? I happily learn something new with every single order. I enjoy working with my customers and having the chance to create something special for their celebrations. What an honor! Here's one thing I didn't expect: New friendships with other cookie decorators! There is a whole Cookie Community out there, and I was lucky enough to meet many new friends, both locally and at the 2015 and 2017 CookieCons in Salt Lake City. The Cookie World is such a happy place!
When Kevin and I aren't working or baking, decorating, answering emails, ordering supplies, driving our boys to and from practice, we are volunteering at school or mentoring and cheering on our sons' robotics teams. Highly time-consuming for most of the year, but oh so much fun. It's exciting to see so many highly successful kids, coaches, and mentors do what they love!
We bake under Michigan's Cottage Food Law, and all cookies are created in our lovely little kitchen in the Village of Milford. Please peek around these cookie pages and think about all of your wonderful occasions that could be made extra special with delicious sugar cookies created with a very strong attention to detail and a HUGE mount of love!
Once upon a time...
Hello! My name is Claudia, and I have always had a creative side. My hands love to be busy. Long ago (back in 1995, to be exact!), I piped royal icing onto a sugar cookie for the first time, and I was hooked. Sadly, I rarely had time to make them. Patience is absolutely necessary when working with royal icing, and as a grad school student, I simply didn't have enough time.
Once I began working as a speech-language pathologist, I found a little extra time to bake and ice cookies...in the evenings. Just a little. I would stand in my kitchen with my earbuds in, listening to music, and ice away into the wee hours of the night to finish cookies for my family or coworkers. My husband always looked forward to eating the finished products. Time seemed to be even more scarce once our boys were born, BUT their birthdays became a grand excuse to add two more occasions to the baking calendar! (I have the cutest photo of my younger son enjoying a choo-choo cookie on his first birthday. Adorable! Well, HE was, the cookie was not. I was still a total rookie!) Over the years, after hundreds of hours of practice, my skills improved. It wasn't until early 2014, though, that I decided to resign from work and take a giant leap of faith. My third baby, Sugar Happy Cookies, was born that spring.
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