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Cookiers Helping Cookiers in the Time of COVID-19

Hi, all! Julia here! I just wanted to quickly introduce our wonderful chat host today, Dotty Raleigh of Sugar Dot Cookies. She's also the creator of our ongoing Sugar Dot Surveys feature. This month, in lieu of a formal written survey, she'll be running today's chat - because times like these call for even closer connections. Thank you, Dotty, for being our host today, and for all you do to keep Cookie Connection a vital and interesting place!
Welcome to everyone attending as well. Thank you for being here! I hope you all are staying safe and healthy, and that this chat offers a little comfort, hope, and/or guidance in these trying times. Its goal is simply to connect us more directly (while still social distancing!) so that we might lend support to one another on any personal or business issues that are especially challenging.

This chat will run differently than normal, in that Dotty will be asking questions of YOU, not the other way around. (I will also be lurking in the background, but primarily to moderate questions and answers - that is, to post the questions and answers into the chat in an orderly way). So, without further ado, I'll turn things over to Dotty to fill you in on the specifics of how this chat will work. Have fun, and please share! We'll all learn and grow the most that way!
Hi all!
Hi, all! Thank you for coming! I’m so glad you’re here! Many of us are feeling isolated and anxious. I hope that you will participate in the discussion so that you can be an encouragement to others. I hope that this time together will be an encouragement to YOU!

I will be asking a series of questions, numbered 1 to 10. To answer a question, scroll down to the “Post” box. Type in your answer (or paste it there if you have it already prepared). Put the number that corresponds to the question at the start of your answer so that we can easily match your answer to the question. Then hit the blue “Post” button to submit your answer.

For example, in response to question #1, my answer might be . . .
“#1 – I’m Dotty Raleigh from Frederick, Maryland. I’m a full-time cookier . . .”
Ok? Let’s get started with the first question.
Yes, posting the first question now!
#1. What's your name, where do you live, how do you participate in cookies (i.e., as a hobbyist vs. professional; by selling cookies, teaching, and/or designing or selling cookie products?), and how long have you been involved that way in cookies? (Easy peasy, right?!)
My name is Julia Usher. I am a sugar artist. I primarily teach and sell cookie products. I have been doing cookies in some form since my first book published in 2009.
#1 – I’m Dotty Raleigh from Frederick, Maryland. I’m a full time cookier, in business for seven years, making custom orders, teaching classes, hosting parties, and selling supplies.
I’m not sure I can make it to the chat. It’s our Holy Saturday.
I prepared some answers to the questions :
I’ll look forward to reading the transcript and hope everyone stays safe.
I am posting Tina's answers for her.
This from Tina for #1: Good morning , my name is Tina ,I live in Greece and although I have had had a limited number of royal Icing Workshops in the past 2 years I still consider myself more of a hobby cookier.
My name is Kimberly, I'm a professional, and I sell cookies as well as provide easy-to-follow sugar cookie tutorials on my YouTube channel. I've had my YouTube channel for a few years, but I've been decorating cookies for about five years, now.
#1. Amanda Weiss. I love in Canyon Lake, TX. I’m a full time Cookier and I teach beginner classes usually. I celebrated 2 years of making cookies this past November
Hi I am Manu, from Italy, living in Thailand at the moment. I am a hobbyst decorator. I found out about decorated cookies in 2014, but I have started only during Christmast 2015. One year later Julia offered me the opportunity to write monthly tutorials for Cookie Connection, and I have been doing that proudly ever since.
Yay - I love your tutorials, Manu!
Thank you!💙
Anyone else with an answer to question #1?
Again, it was: #1. What's your name, where do you live, how do you participate in cookies (i.e., as a hobbyist vs. professional; by selling cookies, teaching, and/or designing or selling cookie products?), and how long have you been involved that way in cookies? (Easy peasy, right?!)
We'd love to hear from all of you on the chat! I'll give you a couple more seconds to answer and then will move on.
It's great to get to know you all!
It is!
Okay, onto question #2.
#2. In general, how are you handling the coronavirus crisis and stay-at-home orders?
Hi, my name is Linda, I live in Winter Haven Fl.
Hi, Linda!
I'm a home kitchen, so I work from the home, anyways. So working from home is normal for me. But it's still very different, and it has definitely been more stressful.
#2 – I think I’m handing things rather well. Of course I’m worried about my kids and parents. I’m worried about how my business is going to fare. But overall, I’m doing pretty well! There are so many struggling profoundly, that I can’t complain.
FROM TINA who can't be here: #2: As a matter of fact my last workshop was canceled 2 days before the event and it was really disappointing. There is so much planning and preparing for a class it was heartbreaking for me to feel like I wasted so much time for nothing. I didn’t understand the severity of the situation then and Greece immediately shut down so I wasn’t even mentally prepared for anything like this.
Is #2 how we’re handling is for our business?
AMANDA: In general - personally or professionally.
#2: I'm not handling it altogether too well, to be frank. Personally, I am distracted and finding it hard to stay focused on creative work. All of my revenue has virtually disappeared overnight, so that can be anxiety-inducing.
Getting cabin fever, but staying in and practicing my cookie decorations.
Anyone else care to tell us how you're doing?
#2 cont. for me: All of my classes have cancelled through August, and my stencil sales are down about 40%. It is very tough for small businesses to keep going in this environment. I am trying to stay focused on creative stuff (because I do feel better when I am creating) by writing myself to-do lists each day (smaller than usual though) and marching through them. I am currently producing for my next video shoot, hopefully on July 1.
#2. I suddenly have a 7 year old that I have to teach 2nd grade to while still trying to keep my business afloat. My last class was cancelled and so many orders were cancelled. It’s been very stressful making all these new adjustments. I know there are others much worse and I’ve been grateful to not know anyone personally that has gotten sick. Definitely in a creative rut as I switched to offering cookie decorating kits Which require no creativity.
Yes, moms have the added extra responsibility of ensuring their kids still get a decent education. I can't imagine that. Good luck, Amanda!
#2: It is quite hard to be away from my family and my kids who live at the other end of the world. But technology helps a lot. From the cookies point of view, it is not easy to stay home, it is hard to find ideas and being creative. But it is all about getting started.
Thank you.
Yes, I find that too, Manu. If I can just get myself started on something productive, then I feel productive and good about myself. But it's the getting started part . . .
Hi ...Teri Lewis with tweets cookie connection. Unfortunately, Covid 19 has really affected my teaching workshops here in Colorado...cancelling at the last minute has been tough! Fortunately, the sales of the tweets pens has remained steady, but, I'm really concerned about when the possibility of doing live teaching workshops will be OK? With a compromised imune system and lung diseases...I am afraid to go out into large crowds.
#2 Hi all! Thousands of dollars in cookie orders cancelled, but I started making cookie decorating kits for my neighborhood and sold more than 30! I never would have stepped out of my comfort zone to do it otherwise!
So many struggles. I can feel for each one of you.
Teri - I hear you. My first classes have rescheduled to August. I am hoping that will be safe, as we are expected to peak here in Missouri in about two weeks. But, in the absence of any real, pervasive testing, it is hard to know and plan . . .
I admire those who are seemingly so adroitly adapting - to Zoom and other interactive classes, cookie kits, etc. Kudos to you all!
Onto question #3??
The cookie kits are the only thing that saved my business.
Can you tell us more about how you structure and price them, Amanda?
Those that can still bake seem to be doing really well with them!
#2 Follow-up: Next I'm doing paint-your-own cookie kits with paint pallets and brushes (new to me as well) and then I'll do decorate-your-own kits using packs of Foodoodler markers, which I am working on buying wholesale. I am so fortunate to live in a very big and very supportive neighborhood. I don't feel comfortable straying too far from home these days.
Agreed. Cookie Kits have saved me... otherwise, I'd be so screwed.
All who are doing kits - please share a bit more about how you're packaging and marketing them. I'll move onto Q#3 in the meantime.
I also have been feeling unmotivated and less productive...I stopped doing any custom orders a few months ago and am working on creating online tutorials, but I'm not that computer savvy, so it's been challenging for me.
Absolutely! I’ve been doing it 12 cookies, 3 bags of icing with 2oz in each bag, 1 bag of sprinkles for $25. No contact pickup where I place in the trunk of the car. I’ve sold over 300 in the past 3 weeks.
Amazing, Amanda! Congrats!
What do the cookie kits consist of? I'm not familiar I'm new to all of this.
Also I individually packaged all the cookies which people seem to appreciate.
That's fabulous Amanda! I so wish I could still bake to sell kits!
Here's Q3. We sort of answered this already, but feel free to recap.
#3. Are you still making cookies?
#3 from ME: Yes, I have to produce cookies for each monthly stencil release, so I have continued that without a break. Though it's a challenge for me to get started.
#2 My kits are 8 cookies, 4 icing colors, 2 (1T each) sprinkle packs, and instructions in a BRP box, $25. contactless free delivery, wearing my gloves and mask of course.
For Cookie Kits, I do 8 cookies in a a bag with 3 piping bags of icing, 3 containers of sprinkles, some decorative bags and twist ties so people can "package their creations like a pro", some wooden utensils, and simple instructions. I package them in a windowed pie box with some sizzle in the bottom. $25 each.
#3. Yes. Making cookie kits and I managed to save a few custom orders by saying instead of catering to the guests, let’s cater to who you’re celebrating and make a custom set just for them.
#3 – I work out of a commercial kitchen. I haven’t been in to the bakery in several weeks so have not been making ANY cookies. I do miss it! We are only supposed to travel for essential business.
Another interesting adaptation, Amanda.
I'm still making cookies but still searching for that great sugar cookie that tastes great and holds together.
#3 CONTINUED FOR ME: I am also making cookies for my next video shoot, slated for July. I need about 8-12 weeks to prep for each shoot . . . so far I am on track. This work gives me a sense of purpose.
Thank you Moondance.
3. The last time I decorated cookies was for some Easter variety boxes, but I haven't had any custom orders, otherwise.
#3 FROM TINA: TINA AT SUGAR WISHES9:30 AM At first I thought this is great I’ll do all those projects I never got around to and my first 3 weeks I was cleaning my workshop space, making cookies and keeping up with all my social interactions. Then it settled in that this isn’t going to end anytime soon and I totally lost my mojo and my energy. Having my husband home 24/7 was also new to me. 🙄
How do you go about finding a commercial kitchen?
Dotty, the above question from Lou Lou is for you.
Also, Dotty, if you can't be working out of your commercial space, how are you able to cover those overhead costs in the meantime??
Lou Lou: Make lots of phone calls to see if you can rent from them! I pay a monthly rent to a bakery. I'm allowed to be there any time I'd like and as much as I'd like. I have my own area in the kitchen and I teach classes/have parties in the front.
#3 I'm now starting to get orders for Nurse's Week, that's a new one but so many people like it as a way to say thanks. A woman in my neighborhood has contacts at the local hospital and has been encouraging everyone to drop off pre-packaged (even homebaked allowed) treats, she makes regular trips there to drop them off.
Another interesting adaptation, Moondance!
Yes, I am still making cookies and I am glad to have the monthly tutorial commitment. I keep procrastinating other cookie projects though.
Julia: Out of my savings! I always keep extra in my business bank account. I'm also selling my supplies/ebooks/online business classes.
Dotty: Are your online classes seeing an uptick since corona? Are they able to cover the monthly kitchen costs, if you care to share?
Dotty: I thought I'd see more activity on my YouTube channel during this time, but I can't say that I have. I think everyone is watching Netflix instead, LOL.
We have a cookier group in CO called the Denver Baker Babes and we also will be making several dozen cookies each to donate for nurses week...which certainly helps with a sense of purpose and contribution for me!
Awesome, Tweets!
#3 Ingredients are hard to find now! If you have trouble doing so, contact a local baker who is still open, or a caterer. They often get flour in 50-lb bags and might be willing to sell you some. Same for eggs, butter, sugar; if you can't get it delivered through your local grocery store.
Julia: I have not seen an uptick in online classes. I think that a lot of cookiers are afraid/unable to spend too much right now because our income isn't what it used to be.
Dotty: That's my assessment too. People don't want to spend on anything less than essential right now. But even when the videos are free (as on YouTube), I don't see an uptick in viewing.
Julia: I'm actually covering my rent with all of my non-cookie sales. I guess I haven't dipped into the account yet, but it's there if this goes on too long or I need it.
Moondance: EXCELLENT tip! I was out of flour, but my husband has a business stake in a local catering operation, and they gave me several pounds of flour recently.
They had no use for it, since their sales are nearly zero right now.
I think I'd enjoy adding even teaching because many of my co-workers don't know how to bake. Thank you Dotty for the info.
Onto question #4.
Lou Lou - My pleasure.
#4. If so, are you making cookies in different ways or for different reasons or people?
You may have already addressed this one too.
I think we covered #4 already too, but if others are making in new and different ways, please chime in!
#3 I take my scale and containers and weigh out ingredients one pound at a time for flour, and confectioner's sugar, and pay the baker for that amount, whatever they want to charge.
Agreed - you should pay the bakery for ingredients. I got a donation of flour, but that's because we've invested a lot in that business.
I’ve also had neighbors give me ingredients (flour,sugar) and I deduct part of the cost in exchange for these hard to find items
Not a whole lot of custom cookie orders, but like I said before, more-so DIY cookie kits that people can take home for their kids to entertain and occupy them. Even adults are enjoying them.
Going to post Tina's answer to #4.
#4 FROM TINA: I’m not creating anything at the moment and feeling terribly guilty.
#4. I feel like the decorated cookies I’ve been able to make lately carry more meaning. And the kits provide quality time for families.
I'm still trying to find my best sugar cookie. And I was surprised that flour was becoming scarce. I can find it in 50 lbs. That's way too much for me to use up before it would go bad.
Amanda: Yes! Agreed!
Regarding Tina's remark, I can relate to feeling guilt. I tend to feel guilty whenever I am not working (strange, but I have always been wired that way). So this time is rough for a Type A control freak with an obsessive-compulsive work disorder (speaking of me, LOL)!
I think we need to learn to be a bit more gentle on ourselves in times of crisis and anxiety. And to look more outward at how we can help others, as so many of you are doing.
For all of you making kits...are you sole distributing in your local communities or are you shipping the kits?
#4 Many community/neighborhood Facebook pages have really relaxed their usually strict rules about businesses posting what they have for sale, which is a great way to reach people. If you aren't sure, check out their page and see if any other businesses have been posting, then jump right in. It's a direct line to a lot of people who now have more time than ever to be on FB and want to know what's going on in their neighborhood.
lou lou... you can freeze flour if tightly wrapped if you are concerned about it going bad
Julia: lol. I feel guilty that I'm not bringing in the money that I was before. But we're still working! Always still working. lol.
Onto Q#5. BTW, Tina has no answers for Qs#5-#8, so I will pick up with her answers again at Q#9.
Cookie decorating takes up a lot of time, but the cookie kits are kind of mindless to put together, you know? Not a whole lot of creativity. They look cool, though. And they make people really, really, happy.
I planed to go the Cookie Expo in Orlando until this Covid happened. I hope there will be another one because their classes were very interesting for a beginner like my self
Lou Lou - You'll get to meet Julia there hopefully!
Lou Lou, I was supposed to teach at Cookie Expo. They had a great line up. I have not heard when they have rescheduled though. They were talking about November at one time.
Unfortunately, what I am finding is that all of my events want to reschedule for the same time. It's unlikely that I will be able to do Cookie Expo if it moves to November, because a number of other events already have.
Jennibakes4U, I wasn't sure you could freeze flour.
I've shipped a few kits within the province. They ship well, as long as you bubble wrap them. You gotta keep in mind, though, that shipping is a little hectic right now. I shipped something a few hours away that should have taken a day or two. Took a week.
Most of my cookie kits are for local pick-up.
I was going to take Julia's class
Lou Lou - Cookie Con is scheduled for orlando then dallas, it is a great way to learn more about cookies
Yes, CookieCon is in September in Orlando. (I'm not doing it though, as had other events already scheduled then.)
I’m in Texas and unable to ship. All my kits have to be local.
Shipping is zany. I've been waiting on a package from India since March 1. That's another story . . .
I never ship; and I restrict my cookie kit sales to my neighborhood, though if sales slack off I'll deliver them within a 10- mile radius of my home.
#5. If you are in business, what are the most challenging obstacles your business has faced because of the coronavirus pandemic?
We may have hit this question already too - but feel free to elaborate.
I just can't imagine that we will be safe having large conference gatherings for awhile...I am looking forward to Cookie Con in Orlando, fingers crossed it will be OK by September!
#5 – The most challenging obstacle has been the sudden and complete cancellation of all scheduled parties/classes and no new ones going onto the calendar. Thankfully the private classes that I had scheduled are on hold to hopefully be rescheduled. No refunds sent as of yet.
I agree - I am dubious about CookieCon even happening, but for Karen and Mike's sake, I hope it can be done safely, That is a huge decision for them to have to make.
Cookie Con, sounds great hope we can have gathering's of more than 10.
#5. Having to find other sources for ingredients. An unprecedented number of cancellations. Refunding thousands overnight. Having to switch gears really quickly and come up with new ideas to provide income
We're so lucky that we got through the last CookieCon!
#5 - My experience is similar to Dotty's. I've only had one class refund, but there are opportunity costs. I have to shove the same number of events into less time to see the same amount of revenue, and that's just not going to be possible. Also retail sales have been very hard hit. But, for me, the biggest thing is just not being able to plan - or knowing how to plan - with so much uncertainty.
Julia, if Cookie Expo comes back to Orlando, will you be there?
# Getting ingredients. But also, fearing that I will meet with some disapproval for not shutting my business down; this kept me from doing anything for weeks! Luckily everyone so far has been thrilled that I'm still open.
Moondance: Everyone has to do what's right for them! There's no one clear way to handle this! Glad you're back in business!
Lou Lou - It depends on when they reschedule. I gave them my availability, but their rescheduling has more to do with when the venue has availability. If it's in November as they suggested to me a while ago, I can't do it. I am already doing rescheduled events up until Thanksgiving day . . . so there isn't enough time in that month to take on another event. We'll see.
No business yet for me, I'm still trying to come up with a name for a business. And I will probably stay local.
I have noticed that many cookiers and cutter businesses are making masks and ppe 3-D equipment to supplement income by selling on Etsy
Yes, Tweets - more on that subject in a sec!
moondance: I had the exact same fear! Fear of being crucified for still trying to operate. I have not been met with any backlash yet
As a planner Julia...I'm struggling with the same issue and it just makes me feel unproductive!
Onto Q#6 . . .
I'm going to extend the chat about 15 minutes too, just in case. I don't want the chat to automatically time out on us.
Almost all of my orders generally revolve around big events, parties, and gatherings. Since all of these things have cancelled, so have these cookie orders. Many stores have closed down, so I cannot carry my cookies in the stores that I typically sell at, wholesale. And the Summer Farmers Market has also cancelled, so I will no longer be a vendor there.
#6. How, if at all, have you adapted your business?
Covered this one too. So let me post #7.
#7. If you live in the United States and have a business, have you tried to take advantage of any of the Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and debt relief options that came about via the recently signed CARES Act? If not, why not? If so, what's been your experience so far?
#7: I have not experience with the SBA loans. I figured the admin hassle would not be worth the possible benefit, but hopefully I am wrong. Anyone else have any experience with this?
#7 – No, I haven’t. I don't need (thankfully) or want a loan. I doubt that I would be eligible for any type of grant, so haven’t looked into any.
#7 I actually did apply for some debt relief options and it’s been crickets ever since. Haven’t heard a word about it and when I check online they say there’s no information yet.
No. But here in Canada, we have the CERB (Canadian Emergency Care Benefit) which provides us $2000 a month (taxable, so we'll have to pay about $400 of that back each month, come tax time next April 2021) if it absolutely comes down to that. I'm hoping I can keep going, but we will see what happens in the coming months...
#7 No. Because I've so far very thankfully been successful with alternative ideas to market my cookies.
It's really encouraging to see how adaptable so many of you have been.
I've also been using the extra time to start work on a new product line with a partner in India (thus, my reference to India before). It's been interesting to watch the pandemic and how it's revealing itself there; the impact it's had on that business.
I have tried to apply for the PPP loan ...unfortunately the online application is not available right now because my bank has reached their cap on money for the program. I will try again on Monday with the latest updates through unemployment for gig workers and sole proprietors.
I think the funds have run out on that loan program. Teri, I hope I am wrong.
How do you market yourself considering the unusual circumstances we live in now and probably going forward a year?
Good question from Lou Lou. Let's all answer this one before going onto #8.
Lou Lou: Good old Facebook, for me. Lol.
Lou Lou - I think marketing is the same, but maybe even harder hitting! Social media is my biggest form of marketing.
LOU LOU: For me, it's pretty much the same way as always - social media. I did no local face-to-face marketing of my classes and videos before, so that bit has remained unchanged for me.
Lou Lou: I’ve been marketing through local moms groups and targeted Facebook ads.
Julia hope the new project is a new air brush, hoping to buy my Lou Lou a new gift
COOKIE HELPER - It is not, but it is related. I, unfortunately, have not come upon a system that I like better than the one I previously released, so, until I do, I will not be releasing another airbrush system.
I've been wanting to get my cookies in more upscale local shops, and now is a great time to contact them about that, especially if they are closed and have much more time on their hands.
I'm also going to finally get a website, thanks to Dotty, who will make one for you at a great price!
Social media is definitely where it's at.
Social media...IG, FB, daughter tells me tic tok is the new social media I need to look into...hahaha
Facebook, OK I didn't think it would a market that would work for cookies.
Moondance: Lol. Thanks for the plug!
I started at a new job in September to add additional income as my daughter will be going to college shortly. As the baker at that store, and assistant with cooking classes I was super busy, and put my own JenniBakes 4u on the back burner. Store is now closed, due to covid restrictions, and I cant do my JenniBakes4u as my licenced kitchen is in another state, just over the state line, and we are under a stay at home order. So Ive applied for unemployment, hopefully that will come through. I have been doing alot of planning of cookie sets for the future, and also participating in a few online cookie/cake collaborations just to keep my name out there.
tks Julia
#7: I am finding I am getting less response to my online marketing though now. I feel like people are just too distracted and not buying in general.
My daughter mentioned Tik Tok too.
I've heard a lot of people doing collaborations. That's a great way to keep making cookies and content for social media!
I hate chasing the latest social media. Just as one platform gets going, another one starts. It's exhausting, but I suppose important to stay abreast of.
Julia: I definitely agree with that.
I've heard the same about TikTok. Not sure I can handle another social media platform!
#8. Has there been any “silver lining” to the pandemic? What is the most positive thing to come out of it so far?
#8: I'm going to refer back to Tweets' (Teri's) earlier comment about so many cookiers realigning to help out those on the frontlines. I think that's awesome.
Yes, SugarDot, Ive been doing the Collaborations!
Yes Jenni...collaborations and Giveaways on social media has been helping my tweet pen sales.
#8 – I have been daily amazed at how people step up in times of need! I love seeing all the ways people are helping each other out – mostly helping our healthcare workers. I see cookie cutter makers using their 3-D printers to make parts for medical masks. I see local women here making thousands of facemasks for nurses. Also, I am AMAZED at the ingenuity of people! They are inventing and re-inventing items that can help others. For example, First we were seeing tutorial on how to make facemasks with elastic. Then we hear back that the elastic on the masks can be painful on our nurses’ ears. What do we do? Adapt! Then you see tutorials on how to make masks with ties, instead of elastic, then on making headbands with buttons so the elastic can go around those instead of nurses’ ears! Then we see someone come up with using a short piece of ribbon with buttons or crotched straps to wrap around the back of a nurse’s head to hold the elastic. Then we see 3-D printed strips to hold the elastics. Hard to explain, but my point is that it’s amazing to see how we do indeed adapt and invent and help.
#8: I am proud of my stencil partner who pivoted right away to selling face masks . . . partly out of necessity though. They have about 20-30 employees, and with regular sales down quite a lot, they needed to pivot in order to save those jobs.
Also you can team up with a local restaurant; thinking of doing that with an upscale Mexican restaurant near me for Cinco de Mayo. They now even come to neighborhoods with a mobile margarita truck; they are really inspirational as far as new ideas to generate income.
Sugar Dot: YES! Collaborations are a great idea! I'm doing an online collaboration soon with another local baker at another restaurant a few towns over.
The silver lining for me is having the time to practice and explore new techniques
Silver linings...I don't think there are any because no one can go anywhere, no groups of 10 or more I'm lost
#8: If I may . . . I am trying to spread the word about my stencil partner Confection Couture Stencils’ (aka Stencil Ease’s) efforts to help health care workers on the frontlines. As I mentioned, they have converted many of their stencil manufacturing lines over to produce face shields – both kits that you can assemble and already-assembled shields that you can distribute to your local hospitals and nursing homes. Hospitals and other health care facilities can also directly purchase from them, so if you have procurement or other contacts at local health care facilities who might be interested, please email me and I will forward those contacts to my partner. My email is More info about my partner’s shields can be found here:
The face shields they are making:
Screen Shot 2020-04-18 at 9.57.49 AM
Realigning actually does sound like a positive thought.
#8. My silver lining has been that I’ve had the opportunity to step back and strategize on how to move forward instead of always just being go go go. And I’ve gotten to share a lot of how I run my business with my young daughter and teach her a lot. I’ve had a chance to connect with a lot of other cookiers which is something I never did before. And to see how everyone is contributing in there own way has brought happy tears more than once
Nice Julia!
Absolutely!!! Zoom and FaceTime have allowed me to connect and feel encouraged, a sense of hope and laughing with my family, neighbors, and all my cookie friend around the globe! I feel like it has helped with tips on how to be a virtual teacher...
Yes, ZOOM! I've had Zoom happy hours with my six college roommates (haven't seen them all together in three years), a good highsschool friend, and a few MO-based cookiers, all in the last week.
The silver lining is the people, for sure. I'm a small baker. I buy my ingredients at the grocery store like anyone else. I can't buy commercially because I can't meet the buying minimums. So, I've seen the empty shelves - no flour, no eggs, no yeast, etc. That sucks for a baker. I normally buy my butter by the case when it comes on sale. But our grocery stores have been putting limits on it - 2 lbs. Or 4 lbs at the very, very most. That doesn't get me very far at all. I've had some meanies when it comes to impatience - as much as I've tried to say that I've been limited on ingredients, that I'm working below capacity, some people have gotten mad that I couldn't get them a DIY Cookie Kit on a certain day. But like I said, the silver lining is still the people. I told my FB friends that I was low on butter, that the grocery stores were enforcing limits, and I was asking people if they could maybe grab me a few pounds if they were out shopping and that I could e-transfer them. Before I knew it, I was getting front porch butter. A few pounds here, a few pounds there. And then butter wasn't a problem anymore. So that definitely made me smile. I was able to make more Cookie Kits again because of these friends. Some of them didn't even want me to e-transfer them. They just "wanted me to be still be around when this whole thing was over" and wanted to help in a little way, and that they'd be happy with a treat when this whole thing was through. Another customer bought some Cookie Kits but didn't actually want them, just wanted to pay for them and make sure they went to someone who could use a treat. That was nice. Once in a blue moon I might get a tip on an order. The other day I got a really big tip on an order. I thought it was a mistake, and when I asked about it, they told me I deserved it, and that definitely made my day. And the pictures people have sent me of their kids enjoying the cookie kits.
Thank heavens for Zoom!
Nice stories, Sweetheart. (Sorry, everyone, for delayed posting - was taking time to read Sweetheart's!)
I really like the stencils they help with a picture to expand on.
Great silver linings!
#8 - Also, getting "reacquainted" with mu husband has been great! Today, we're going out to his/our farm to forage for morels. I haven't been to the farm in over a year, since I have been too busy with cookies.
mu = my
#9. What lessons have you learned personally or professionally from this experience?
#9 FROM TINA IN GREECE: I’ve learned that my husband needs to find hobbies when he retires. 🤣 I also realize that when you take away someone’s purpose it can get very personally challenging to stay motivated! At least for me. I have always been a doer but lately I feel like Netflix has taken over my life. I do nothing but cook , clean and watch TV. It’s the first time in all my life I am so listless. Remember, though, we have been under quarantine since early March.
#9 – Being home with my husband has shown me that I was working too much and was feeling too much stress due to the ridiculous number of things on my to-do list. I was in a hurry 24/7 to whittle down that list. Through no choice of my own – my to-do list was wiped clean. Of course I’ve re-populated it with new items. I guess that’s just my nature! But now I take my time more with it. There aren’t many real deadlines so the pressure is less. I’m learning how to cut back. I do love being home!
#9: LOL, Dotty, I could just cut and re-paste your response. Sounds just like me!
#9: I am also learning a little more patience. I am so used to buying/getting just what I need when I want it. But, with the supply chain so disrupted, I've internalized how inextricably connected we all are, and that there's a lot of stuff/systems that I have just taken for granted.
Julia, I hope I'll see you at the Cookie Expo whenever it gets scheduled.
Lou Lou - Me too! I really hope I can be there!
#9. I’ve learned that with anything in life you need to be prepared for the unexpected. You have to be able to change plans when you need to. You have to still keep going. Always. You have to find ways to make yourself happy and have to always find your purpose, even if it’s an entire new purpose
Having my husband working from home means having company for lunch and see him more during the week. I need to treasure these moments
#9 Professionally: Find courage to try new things! Personally: I'm a big introvert so staying at home away from other people is really A-OK by me. ; )
It has taught me that I apparently don't have much of a life aside from cookies. Lmao.
LOL, Sweethart!
I imagine we're all realizing that we took so much for granted.
#10. Do you have any words of encouragement for those of us who are feeling it all – anxiety, fear, helplessness?
#10 – “This too shall pass.” I want you to know that this won’t last forever. Let that knowledge help you get through it now. Stay in the now. What can you do now? (I do love to give advice. Lol) **Text someone to see how they’re doing.

**Do something fun at home to take your mind off your worries. (revisit an old hobby, read a book, watch a movie, bake, play a board game)

**Stop watching the news constantly! Get a daily update then move on.

**Is there something productive you now have time to work on? (update or create a website or social media accounts, clean a closet, learn how to film a cookie video, make/donate something) **Take a shower. Fix your hair. Put on some makeup. You’ll feel better and your family will appreciate it!

**Count your blessings. Recount your blessings. Look for blessings. Be a blessing.
#10 - Talk to others. You are not alone. Try to find a new purpose, but, if all you feel like doing is watching Netflix or eating snacks, don't let guilt overcome you. It's okay to pamper yourself in times of uncertainty and anxiety.
Hi, I am Carol, Cookies Fantastique. I live in Chandler, Arizona. I sell custom cookies only. I've been in this business for approximately 3 years now.
Hi, Carol, you're joining us toward the end of the chat, but welcome!
A lot of us are in the same boat right now, and I take comfort in that. We're in this together, and we'll get out together. Support your community - jump in where you can, and ask for help where you need it.
My husband and I have really explored the cookie business idea. He searches you tube for decorating ideas and techniques, found cookie cutters, and we are doing this very well. We are on our way to make a business.
Carol, we'll be closing the chat in about 5 to 10 minutes, so if you have prepared answers for Qs#1-10, please post them all now, so I can post them.
#2 I'm staying home and working on designs. I'm making a few cookies for family but haven't had any orders come in for a month. I'm sure that I'm not alone in this. My concern is whether or not my small business will return once our Governor gives the go ahead to return to "normal". Such strange times. It's hard to predict.
STOP watching the news. Read your cook books,
Thank you Dotty, that is beautiful!
Well said Dotty
Moondance and Amanda: Awwww. Thank you!
Yes, Dotty. I especially like the "be a blessing" part. There are so many others who are harder hit than me; looking outward and giving to others is a great way to find a missing sense of purpose.
Ditto to Dotty and Julia! I have a lot of blessings coming in June and July...a new grandson and my daughter is getting married...we have had to figure out new creative ways to share in the blessed events and it's been challenging but exciting at the same time! We are planning drive by car parades, toilet paper party favors, so many out of the box festivities will all be crazy fun memories to share in the future! Births and Weddings from a distance!
Julia! Yes! And it's pretty amazing that there are things we can actually do to help others. It's nice not to feel helpless about some things.
Congrats, Tweet (Teri). Come to think of it, there is a May wedding in my family too (my niece). Not sure how we're handling that yet.
One last question from Dotty, and then off to the farm for morels (I hope!) I go!
#11. Do you have a question for me, Julia, or the group?
Julia and Dotty, I've really enjoyed this hour with you. Getting. to read all the comments from everyone is eye opening and interesting. Thank you
Teri - I like the "crazy fun". We can still have fun - just different fun.
Lou Lou: I've enjoyed it too. I really wish we had video-chatting ability on this site. It would have come in handy, but typing out my thoughts has also been freeing - maybe more so than just saying them, because they will sit here in posterity. :
: = ; ability=capability (Typing fast!)
Thanks to everyone here; it's been fun!
What are morels?
Julia - I hope you share on social media if you're successful!
Amazing mushrooms - so tasty and so beautiful too. Will find a pic and post.
No questions. Just a lot of gratitude for getting to be apart of this conversation. Thank you so much for doing this. It’s really great to be able to connect to the cookie community specifically during all of this.
I've really enjoyed this too. I often think of my job as "encourager" to cookiers. I receive so much encouragement back. Thank you!
Absolutely! Thank you Julia for his wonderful forum to connect and thank you Dotty and everyone for making me feel like I'm not alone in all the questions and non-productive feelings...we are all in this together and will see all the silver linnings...just have to look for them!!! XOXO
Morels! Like hunting for a needle in a haystack though - the perfect COVID-19 diversion!
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Mmmm morels.
I'm thrilled that this chat may have helped any of you just a bit. <3
Before we go, a huge shout out to Dotty for composing the questions for this chat. Awesome job!
Great chat! Thank-you.
Thanks to YOU Julia!
Yes, Dotty. It was good therapy for me. I originally said I would be quiet, but it was helpful (to me, anyway) to also share my thoughts.
Thank you :-)
I can see you designing a 3-D cookie Morel Julia!!!
Julia: Glad you weren't quiet!
Tweets - I was thinking that just yesterday, as I am currently doing a series of botanicals.
Thank you
Awesome Dotty! Thanks
Tweets - I like that challenge!
Okay, gang. I am off! Thank you again to Dotty and TO ALL OF YOU for sharing your experiences. I was especially encouraged by the many stories of creative adapting! Take care and stay safe, everyone!
Bye all! See you around! Thank you! *virtual hugs*
Lou Lou=Linda
Thanks, Linda (Lou Lou)!
Bye now!
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