October 22nd, 2021

young + creatives

My Recipe for Success with Cookie in the Kitchen

Have you seen those Harry Styles Cookies on Tiktok?

This week on young+creatives we had the opportunity to interview a very talent young creative, Emily Henegar, Owner of Cookie in the Kitchen based out of Nashville, Tennessee.

In this episode of young+creatives we cover several key topics including:

  • Why Cookies?
  • How I realized my Hobby could be a Full-Time Business
  • How I caught the Attention of Harry Styles and other Artists
  • The Process, Research and Design Process
  • Knowing Your Value
  • People are your biggest Support System

Connect with Emily!

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Team RMG  00:00

Welcome to the young creatives podcast brought to you by revisione. Marketing. Young creative will serve as a platform to promote, discuss and give advice on Millennial creatives coexisting in traditional job.

 

Mikayla Anderson  00:13

Okay, so welcome back to the young creators podcast on so we have Michaela here, obviously and then we also have a very, very special guest here today. This is Emily. Emily, do you want to introduce yourself?

 

Emily Henegar  00:27

For sure. Hi, I’m Emily Henniker. I am 21 years old, and I’m the owner of cookie in the kitchen.

 

Mikayla Anderson  00:36

I’m so excited for this podcast because I kind of went out on a limb and I was actually scrolling through tik tok. And I found Emily’s content because it was blowing up because of your Harry Styles cookies. And it’s just crazy to think because I was scrolling through Tick Tock went out on a limb reach out to you. And we’re here now. And so I want to thank you so much for your time. This is super exciting. And yeah, so why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself? Like how did you start cooking in the kitchen? Where did where did it all start?

 

Emily Henegar  01:18

Yeah, absolutely. And thanks so much for having me today. This is my first podcast that I’ve been on. So exciting. Very exciting. Yeah. Yes. So I started cooking the kitchen when I was 11. Is 10 years old now, which is absolutely not. I was in fifth grade. And I wasn’t like, Okay, I’m in fifth grade, like, I really need to get on this whole, like, what am I going to do with my life thing? Like, you know, it’s coming close. I yeah, just like baking enough. I am just a really creative person. I always have my hands and a number of different creative projects. And at the time, my sister had this little like clay figurine business selling stuff on Etsy. And I was like, that’s really cool. She’s an older sister. So as you know, older, younger sibling dynamic as well, she has a debit card. So that’s kind of exciting. Why don’t I just start my own business. And it wasn’t like motivated by anything other than the fact that I was like, literally, why not? Like, okay, I could start a business. And I’m kind of in a family of entrepreneurs. And in some respects, my dad is a church planner. And my grandparents are entrepreneurs as well. So my parents were very supportive. And so I just started by I came up with the name cookie in the kitchen, and my sister drew a logo for me, and my mom helps get like Office Depot business cards that we just printed out with the logo. And then my, like anniversary date was, I was when I did all that. But I walked around my neighborhood with a big tray of cookies with samples and just went up to doors and was like, Hey, I’m starting this cookie business, like, here’s a cookie. And if you want to sign up for more orders, like here’s a list, and I walked in, like one big street in my neighborhood and had orders for 19 dozen cookies, and my mom was like, ailing us 90 times 12. Like what? Well, yeah, you cannot go any further. And so that just kind of kick started the whole thing. And then when I first started, I was doing this really simple baking and cookies. So just like regular drop cookies, like chocolate chip or peanut butter. And then did like a little bit of decorating but not a lot. And so and I just like was having fun in the kitchen just playing around with it. And yeah, so I just got like orders from a lot of church friends, a lot of neighbors. And then kind of venturing into like the end of middle school, early high school, I started getting a lot more orders for decorated cookies, and just really focused on that. And then was like, wait, I actually really loved this decorating like, this is a really fun thing to do that’s like involves baking, but is a little more creative, a little more artistic. And then in particular, in high school. That was really when I was like, Oh, this is like an art form. Like this is really a skill that I want, like I’m getting a lot better at and I can really put anything on a cookie. And so that just kind of opened this whole world for me of what that could entail. And at that point, too, like people were starting to know me at school. I’m like, Oh, that’s the cookie girl, or that’s the girl that does cookies and and so it became a big like identity thing as well. And yeah, and then it just kind of kept growing from there got orders from people that I didn’t know and bigger name, names of people ordering and my junior year of high school, I started getting really into concerts. And so I decided to show up at concerts with a box of cookies and try to meet the band. And that is like a whole thing that we can ask to go into. And yeah, and then I decided to come to Belmont. So I’m originally from Atlanta, Georgia. And and Belmont is in Nashville, Tennessee, and yeah, so I decided that my senior year And I’ve kept growing or kept going with my business. through that time. I’ve always been a student when I’ve been doing it. And I’m sitting entrepreneurship and graphic design here at Belmont and senior Currently, I’m going to graduate in May. And yeah, that’s kind of the the cookina Kitchen spill.

 

Mikayla Anderson  05:19

That’s awesome. That was a lot. But that was a good, like, that’s crazy, because you’re only 21 and you are getting a lot, a lot done at 21. And so going back to when you first started, so why cookies like Why? Why did you want to do cookies? Like Did you just like cookies? Or like,

 

Emily Henegar  05:50

yeah, Yes, I did. cookies have always been my favorite dessert. And we primarily my family, would you do a lot of family movie nights, we just get like breaking big cookie dough from the store. And I was like, wait, why are we buying Kroger, cookie dough, if I can just make it myself. And like, that can be like a fun thing for me to do. And my parents were like, yeah, sure, whatever. And so yeah, it started. It’s mainly just my appreciation for cookies. And I feel like a lot of cookies, especially in bakeries and other places, like the kind of just the add on and like, Oh, yeah, we’ll just like have a chocolate chip cookie for whatever reason. But they aren’t really like the focus. So I really wanted to highlight that. And, yeah, and have that be the main focus of my business.

 

Mikayla Anderson  06:33

That’s crazy. Because I think you’re right, a lot of people are like, Yeah, everybody likes cookies. It’s a safe option. Right? And I, I’m, like, absolutely stunned by hearing like, okay, I went to this neighborhood, I went down the street, nine dozen cookies. And now you’re just like this icon? Of course, of course. So getting into it. I just want to talk about your business. So like, what’s the so you’re currently studying entrepreneurship? And how do you really? When did you understand like, I’m starting my own business? And this is real, like, Yes, I’ve when you were making cookies at a very young age, and now you’re 21 you’re like, this is a full time. I want to do this for real? Um, yeah.

 

Emily Henegar  07:27

Yeah, absolutely. I’d say that they’re kind of two pivotal moments. And one I would say is when I started, again, that kind of transitioned over into really focusing on decorated cookies, and had a lot of people that I didn’t know reaching out to me for orders. And, and even like, my junior year of high school, my parents put me on a cookie ban, like the entire year, which they were like we were putting it on right now. Like if things change, like it was just a very crazy year of school and life. And so and I remember like that fall semester, there’s maybe a two week period where I got like, 13 emails asking for cookie orders, and I had to turn all of them down. And so like, definitely, I think that influx of like, so many people were wanting this was very much like, Oh, this is a real thing. Like, people really want this. And, and sure, cookies have always been like popular, like people know of them. But I think in the past couple of years in particular, people have been seeing them as more of this art form. Again, not just like an add on at Starbucks, but something that’s actually really beautiful, and the taste good, too, because that’s the thing, like, like cookies actually taste good. And that’s so many people don’t think that they do but yeah, so I think seeing that kind of influx of orders personally, and just in general, people really liking it, that was like, Okay, this is a real thing. This is for sure, something that I could keep growing and want to keep growing. And then I think, like coming to Belmont, and get just that transition of being in college was also really affirming. Because since the beginning, since I started my business, I’ve always had a dream to have a bakery. And that has still something that I’m very passionate about. And when I decided to go to school, it’s like, well, I don’t have to go to school, like I don’t need a brewery or expensive degree to do is my parents were like, yeah, I mean, we could just give you the money we’d spend on school and you could start a bakery and it’s like, Don’t tell me that you’re supposed to encourage me better my education. But for me, it was a pretty clear decision that I wanted to go to school because I was like, I have no idea how to open a bakery and everything that that entails. And Belmont has a really great entrepreneurship program. And so that was really affirming to not just be like okay, I love doing this and now there’s people in there people that are interested in it, but the ways in which that I want to grow it is something that is like possible but I now have skills for and also that like running a cookie business on my own. Just doing custom orders is a completely different beast than running a bakery. And so through a lot of my experiences like in my classes are internship has been super helpful to not only affirm like, okay, I love making cookies, and I’m a creative in that way. But also like, I really love being an entrepreneur and I’m very, like suited for that lifestyle as well.

 

Mikayla Anderson  10:11

Absolutely. Well, that’s, that’s amazing. Because I think like the biggest thing, the smartest thing you did was go to school and learn about the outside stuff. Right? So yeah, that because it’s there’s a lot and obviously, everybody wants to go to and do what they really love to do. And they know they’re good at, but my biggest thing was okay, I want to learn what I’m not good at. Yeah. Yeah,

 

Emily Henegar  10:42

yeah. And that’s super sorry. No, it’s okay. Go ahead. Yeah. Yeah, that’s super important with any creative field because it helps you also realize, like, if you actually like doing that stuff, or if eventually you want to just hire out and have somebody else do it.

 

Mikayla Anderson  10:57

Yeah, absolutely. So I guess branching off that. Was there ever a moment where you felt like, this is really hard? I don’t know if I made out for this like, job, especially with you being in school full time to like, yeah, how are you dealing with those pressures and stresses? All of it?

 

Emily Henegar  11:20

Like two days ago? Yeah. Well, yeah, I’m currently in the middle of midterms. So it’s been kind of a whirlwind. Yeah, I don’t know. There hasn’t been any, like, major turning point for that, per se, but I think, um, I mean, I’m generally like a busy human. Like, I would rather be busy than bored. But, um, yeah, it’s definitely just a lot to manage. Because just time wise, I think is the biggest stressor. Because I’m also someone that like, wants to put my full self into everything. Like I’m not just gonna like half assed my schoolwork, or half of my business. Like, I want to put my full self into it. But also I’m, it’s only me. And so I think that has definitely, yeah, been a difficult balance to manage. And it always has been and I think sometimes it just means like, Okay, I’m gonna skip the class today. And I just, that’s what I have to do. If I’m making cookies, you Harry Styles, like I think I can maybe weren’t that good, in fact, the last week, but, or it might mean like, none of my dams are responding, responded to where I have an email that’s sitting in my inbox for a week. And I think eventually, once I’m no longer in school, I’ll be able to have like a better consistent balance of that, but that’s definitely always a challenge for sure. And really, it’s hard when it like, affects my sleep schedule and my wellness or my relationships. So that’s definitely Yeah, a stressor.

 

Mikayla Anderson  12:40

Absolutely. Yeah. And I applaud you for doing all that because I owning a business full time making cookies for very well known celebrities like Harry Styles, the Lumineers like that’s crazy.

 

Emily Henegar  12:58

Thank you.

 

Mikayla Anderson  12:59

So I guess another question I have and this might just be like a fan question at this point. How did you like how did you get to that point? Because obviously you started with like the smaller local bands and everything but like did Harry Styles team reached out to you like Oh, yeah,

 

Emily Henegar  13:21

yeah, absolutely. So I essentially just went to as you said, there’s a lot of really small like general admission shows in Atlanta and Atlanta has a pretty big music scene so a lot of the people that I was listening to went through there and I literally just shut up with cookies I didn’t tell anybody I like on their team or anything I just showed up in hopes that they let me take them through security usually doing what I never really got them turned away or and then I would kind of see like depending on the venue it like if they would come out afterwards inside or if they would if there would be fans lining out by their service outside so yeah, essentially I just waited after and then I would try to like sometimes I’d keep them at the merge table and so I was in like inside the show and usually they were working with the band and they would be like oh my gosh like you know there’s this you know vinyl that they are selling that like has this album cover that’s in this like tiny three by three square that they’re sitting on a cookie and they’re like what the heck so I really got like not surprised or impressed reaction if I like showed the box pictures to someone. So then from there like it was just sometimes I’d pass off the cookies and hope they got to the band and would see if they posted on Instagram and or would try to beat them myself, which usually did happen a good bit. And then it wasn’t until coming to Beaumont because obviously Nashville is a big Music City. And Beaumont has a lot of connections with music industry say that the music business program and I didn’t like I wasn’t looking into anything but then I got messages from a lot of people like from Music Business companies. So, Bridgestone Arena is a big one that I’ve worked with. But I worked with Harry Styles recently. And they reached out to me like over Instagram dm and they’re like, Hey, can you make cookies for Travis Scott when he comes in like a few weeks? Like literally just in my DMS, I was like, Sure, yes, I can do that. Like wanting cookies for dude in the lion for promo, or like Live Nation, I’ve done some for them. So it kind of like word started getting around. It’s like, Oh, these are really cool cookies. And I think especially in Nashville, it’s a big, like creative city and a big, small, business minded city as well. So everyone was really like, excited to support me and support a student. And it was just like, it’s such a great product that they were interested in and terms of gifts for artists themselves, or for promotional reasons. So just kind of hit all of the markers for that. So, um, yeah. And then from there, like with Harry Styles, I just had a relationship with the venue, and they would reach out to me for other bands like the Lumineers. or forget Travis Scott and john mayer and Ariana Grande. They are all the people that I’ve done for them. And then they’re like, Yeah, do you see anyone that’s like coming that you want to make cookies for? Like, just let us know. And so I reached out to them, because I didn’t like do any cookies. Like this during COVID, obviously. And so I reached back out to them and was like, hey, yeah, it’s coming. Could I make him cookies, please? And they’re like, Yeah, can we get a set for both nights? Yeah, no. Yeah. Yes, you can. Do I have a test in the middle of that week? Yes, but I’ll make it work.

 

Mikayla Anderson  16:47

Yeah, yeah, that’s crazy. And so Wow, first of all, congratulations, because that’s just something you don’t hear ever. And so as far as, like, do you get to meet the artists? Like, how does that work? Or, like, 90% of the time? Do you meet them? Or like, yeah,

 

Emily Henegar  17:08

so I haven’t met any of the artists I’ve worked with, with Bridgestone. And for a number of different reasons. I mean, with Harry Styles is like COVID was a big concern. So his backstage was like, very locked down. And I also like, I don’t really want when it’s a professional thing, I don’t really want to be like, Hey, can I meet this person? Um, and like, risk hurting that relationship in any way. Mainly with smaller bands. I mean, I haven’t done a ton of like, sets for bands that I’ve gotten paid for. And most of them have all just been for fun. So I don’t know if I have like a percentage, but maybe like, at least 50% of the time, I got to meet them.

 

Mikayla Anderson  17:48

So that’s pretty good smell though.

 

Emily Henegar  17:50

Yeah, that’s crazy. Or if I didn’t meet them, I’d say maybe it would be about the same or if they would post about it as well. Like, for example, I made cookies for do aletha and 2018. And I didn’t meet her but she posted like a ton of things on her story about it, like each of her friends coming up to the box of cookies and like getting one and eating it. So that was absolutely nuts.

 

Mikayla Anderson  18:12

I yeah, I was looking at your website and I actually saw that story. And I was like, that is like, I just felt like so proud of you. And I just like seeing like something you create can bring not only so much joy to like, yeah, so many people we idolize, but like they’re people too, which is great. Absolutely. So the real question I personally really want to dig deep into is where do you turn for like ideas on how do you create these cookies like and how long do you like take on them?

 

Emily Henegar  18:52

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, they’re very time consuming. And I do a lot of designing the thing cookies I definitely think that that’s something that kind of sets me apart from other cookie decorators I think was in recent years more people have been getting into the design aspect but and in particular, I mean as I said, I studied graphic design as well so that’s something that I really love to use on my cookies so yeah, I do a lot of research for bands in particular I do a ton of research because I my goal is to not just like you know have their top songs on it or just like represent their singles or what they’re most well known for but something that’s really meaningful to them as a person and as an artist and and usually when I have met bands those are the ones that they connect the most to like there’s one band that I made a cookie of their first ever EP cover that like they took a offline so it’s not even online anywhere. I just found the photo of the cover on like a random article. And they were like, Are you kidding me? Like you made this design like this doesn’t even exist. online, and or maybe one of like the logo of the pub where a band was formed. And like that always is really meaningful to them. So I always tried to like find things that are significant to like their whole life. Because that’s my, my end goal, again, is to represent and celebrate, like their work in a unique art form. Yeah, so in order to do that, it takes a lot of research. And so I will discount, like, go through Wikipedia and Google and redbubble, and Instagram and Twitter and Pinterest and to see like, what are like meaningful things that I can, like, know about that I can try to represent in some way and come up with some design for that, or like, what is it interesting, like seeing art or something that like, visually is really interesting that I can capture and, and then like, some within recent because I hadn’t done very well before the Harry Styles cookies. And, and then I posted a tick tock was like, Hey, I’m making cookies for Harry Styles. And I don’t know a lot about him. So like, tell me what I should put on a cookie. That was really fun, because I knew we get a lot of engagement. And I had already like, a couple of days prior had a decorating video that also just blew up. And that just kind of kick started that as well. Um, and yeah, so that was really awesome to have, like, fans that already know all these things about him. So I don’t have to like scroll through Wikipedia and see what’s on there. And kind of bring input in that way. Yeah. And then just for other orders to like, it’s kind of the same process. I could do a lot of design research on Pinterest or Instagram, see what other like designs other cookie decorators? Do. I follow only other like cookie people on my Instagram. So it’s really easy to find other people that are doing cool stuff that I can kind of take inspiration from?

 

Mikayla Anderson  21:51

Absolutely, absolutely. So as far as your process, you go, and you do research, and then you narrow down the designs or create the designs you’re looking for. And then my biggest thing is I was watching your tiktoks and seeing the amount of frosting you’re going through is that is crazy. Yeah. So walk us through like how like, let’s say I want, I don’t know, three dozen cookies. How much frosting would you? Or even let’s do the Harry Styles. Like how much frosting did you do? How much cookie dough Did you?

 

Emily Henegar  22:34

Yeah, I’m trying to think of what terms I could set and I weigh all of my ice into so it helps us the difficulty with really detailed sets is I have a lot of different colors. So you don’t use up all the I saying like, I have to have enough in each piping bag that like it’s comfortable to use. So I think I made maybe like a quadruple batch of icing for those. And it was around three dozen cookies, maybe. And yeah. So it’s Yeah, it’s not like that. But it’s just a lot of colors and a lot of times but mixing colors. Absolutely.

 

Mikayla Anderson  23:11

Yes. Oh my goodness. So as far as the entrepreneurial side, how, how have you been able to? Or Where did you get the ideas of being able to say, Okay, I have this cookie. I’m gonna start marketing towards these artists or start getting in contact with these different companies to then promote my own business.

 

Emily Henegar  23:39

Yes. Well, yeah, I mean, as I said, it kind of happened naturally without me realizing how I should market it. And I mean, I knew when I was doing it in high school, I knew that like my my mom would always say like, Oh, this is great marketing. Like you’re like you’re getting your name out there and you’re making this fun product like this is it’s a win win. And so I wasn’t I mean as shocking as it was to receive the DM for Bridgestone Arena. Like I wasn’t like I wasn’t that surprised in the sense that it’s like oh, okay, now I like yeah, now I found the people that want to pay for these. And yeah, so I think in like my recent entrepreneurship classes, that’s definitely something that I’ve been nailing down of like, what exactly do I want to do with these cookies? Like who exactly do I want to market to who do I want my customer to be? Because there’s a number of many different avenues that I could go into and kinds of cookies that I could make. And yeah, so I think a big part of me a big part of it that has shaped for me is just like who are people that will like really be interested in the design aspect and really not like just in a you know, an artistic sense but in a way that was like people appreciate the craft and the like personalization of it meaning something to someone which that does mean they’re more expensive. So right as kind of like way out, like, who is my customer, I would say

 

Team RMG  25:05

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Mikayla Anderson  25:48

Right. And I think another thing is, is, as young people a lot of the time we feel like we have to sell ourselves short. And so how have you overcome that? or How are you overcoming that because it is a really tough topic because a lot of it is like me as a website designer, like going and seeing what an actual website would retail at. Yeah, and then seeing my work and seeing what I’m charging for. I’m like, Okay, yeah, so, yeah, just kind of how do you do that? Kind of?

 

Emily Henegar  26:29

I might be asking you. That’s interesting, actually. Yeah, it’s definitely hard. Um, I think for the most part, I think I, the bulk of that kind of figuring out that question was in high school, because now like, I’ve had my business for so long, but I do feel a little bit more established. I mean, I remember in the beginning, like very early on, when I was setting my pricing for cookies, like I think literally the first week, my I was like, I think I should charge like 75 cents a cookie. And my dad was like, 75 cents, like you should charge a quarter. And my mom was like, what his name is Walter. She’s like water? Like, it’s, you know, do you have you seen the cost of butter? Like, come on?

 

Mikayla Anderson  27:08

Yeah.

 

Emily Henegar  27:13

Yeah, so in the beginning, it definitely. I mean, my pricing, I have changed it so much. It’s always steadily grown. I’ve never really redacted it. But, um, yeah, I think I think what was harder in the beginning was just saying, like, there weren’t a lot of other people that I knew were doing what I was doing, like, I’d say, in the past, maybe three years, like cookie decorating is an art. And like, in particular, like, just people that are doing cookies on Instagram, like, the amount of Instagram accounts have just like completely skyrocketed, because of like decorating videos, and people just being interested in cookies. And then they’re like, wait, I can do that. And then they start a business. So I think because of that, like when I was first starting, like the only people that I knew that we’re doing it were like people on blogs, and they didn’t really talk about pricing that much, it was more like tutorials and things. So like we I had some family friends in our church that would maybe help with, like pricing that are, you know, in some business field that my parents would connect me to, but it was a lot of just kind of, like I don’t really know. And it was typically I always got the response of like, you should charge more, or like these should be more expensive. Rather than like, these are too expensive, like I can’t buy them, I’m not going to work with you. I got that maybe a couple of times, but and even now, I mean, I’m definitely now kind of looking at what other people are charging, I’m definitely on the higher end. But and I honestly probably could go higher, too. But I don’t have a lot of overhead. It’s really just the time. And I think it will help when I’m doing it full time, I have a bigger quantity of orders that I’m working with, to kind of cut down on some of my time. But for now, like I feel pretty content with them. But it is a lot of just like, Oh, this is hard. And I for the most part too. I got I got a lot of people that were surprised that I was a student like there’s one time I responded to this one woman’s email that’s like, yeah, like that all sounds good. Like, I just gotta check with my parents, like, see if I can take it sorted. And she got in. She’s like your parents, like, why are you here parents? And she’s like, go to my website. And she’s like, Oh my gosh, she’s in high school. And like, totally had absolutely no idea. So I think that’s a lot of times, like I mean, even now I’ll get orders from people that they’re like, Can we get 700 logo cookies in two weeks? And what’s your quote for that? And I’m like, Oh, I’m a student. I cannot take this order. So sorry. Yeah, yeah. So for the most part, I get more people that are Yeah, that don’t expect that I’m a student. So I think that kind of helps as well. With my, like pricing and other issues with that, that. Yeah, people don’t really it doesn’t Same as much of a deterrent for my business

 

Mikayla Anderson  30:02

that’s good though because I think a lot of people are just looking for something that’s quick and easy and then they can see like you put a lot of effort into it but they don’t want to necessarily go for that in a way and so with adding value to yourself it’s always a struggle right especially because you’re doing the student work and you’re doing the work and so I guess the biggest thing is is how have you made time to improve upon decorating and doing different icing work and flooding and all these things that I didn’t even know existed until I was

 

Emily Henegar  30:48

yeah yeah. Yeah, I mean a lot of it really just is in the margin and I don’t take a lot of orders like I mean I yeah, I barely like make amount enough Well, what I’m struggling to decide if I should say or not and then I’m just gonna say it I don’t pay taxes, but it’s because I don’t make enough money to pay taxes but it feels a little dicey whenever I say but like so I’m doing very very small quantity like Yeah, not a lot and that’s because of school like I just have to turn away so many because I just know I will be maxed out if not so i think i there’s not especially with decorating I don’t think I really sit down and and like Okay, I’m gonna work on this technique or whatever it’s really just like when I have orders that in because of that to my skill has kind of grown more steadily over the years and I just had a really big learning curve where I just sucked for a while in school, but nobody really cared because I was a middle schooler and still surprised with the quality and now I look back and I’m like, ah, Cookie looks so differently now but like two people I mean I still have on my website people are still gonna think looks good but for me it Yeah, it was I just suck for a while in terms of what I think and yeah, so I’ve just gotten opportunities through the orders I’ve gotten to

 

Mikayla Anderson  32:13

practice it. No, I totally agree because even with like website design, I don’t sit there and code for six hours like I definitely I definitely go as the projects go and I think it also helps with like putting it in perspective because it’s like okay, I could practice this but I’m not going to see how I can apply it unless I’m given an actual project

 

Emily Henegar  32:37

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah there even with I see a lot of creepy decorators doing really cool techniques on my Instagram and a lot of that too is like I’m not like oh, I’m going to practice this royal icing technique but I’ll be like, oh like I had this sort of coming up and I can try this when I do this so we’re it’s again based on like an order basis.

 

Mikayla Anderson  32:57

Absolutely. So this is kind of a heavy question, but after school What’s next? So are you thinking about opening the bakery hiring more people you’re going to open the bakery by yourself are we yeah

 

Emily Henegar  33:16

yeah yeah that’s my questions yeah well I have big answers I so definitely absolutely still passionate about opening a bakery for sure want to do that is very clear does for sure. Like my calling I did an internship this past spring in a bakery in Nashville and I was just like, giddy the whole time it was just it was very affirming that it’s like oh, I super want to do this like I have to do it. But with the bakery comes like a lot of things a lot of overhead a lot of people a lot of costs and it’s also like I can’t just be like okay cool, I started this bakery and I’m gonna go like hop over to Europe for like two weeks and just lay on itself. Like it’s you know, it’s like a birthing a child except the child chained to the ground in permanently permanently so so while I absolutely am so passionate about I’m also very much open handed of when that timing will come. And I also just don’t because I’ve done so few orders here in Nashville and also like seven out of the 10 years that I’ve been in operation I was in Atlanta so there’s also good people asking me for quickies in Atlanta are asking and fellowship and I just do local orders mainly for the timing reason and but I don’t really know like how big my customer base is here. I don’t know if I’d have like a sustainable enough customer base to open a bakery yet. And so all of those reasons like kind of point me to like okay, when I graduate My plan is to do this full time because I’ve never done it full time. I’ve always been doing it part time, even over the summers like I’ve always had like a second job or a third And so I think for and I also don’t really know what my like systems look like on that larger scale because I’ve done against so few orders that I I don’t know exactly how to best scale it and I can do some prep work now but I won’t really know until I get into it and see like what takes me forever and well it’s made a lot easier so um yeah so my plan is just to do it full time and then I like possibly am in talks with a family friend that’s doing this development in Nashville and that about having like a small kind of retail space so what would it be like a full fledged bakery would be more of like a window or something and but that would be like a couple years after I graduate is one that is set to open so that is kind of another idea as well that I could kind of scale up to that point and then kind of scale that into a bakery as well and have more of a consistent scaling process rather than just an immediate jump from like doing my home kitchen to like a huge bakery space.

 

Mikayla Anderson  36:05

Absolutely. Absolutely. And obviously that also comes with buying commercial equipment

 

Emily Henegar  36:13

yeah and then like debt or equity like do and I actually the I have a friend through my grandmother who is essentially signed on to be my angel investor so that’s absolutely wild that that is a thing and so but like investors or financing like that’s I mean I’m a college student so don’t have a lot of money saved up Yeah

 

Mikayla Anderson  36:36

exactly. Oh my goodness so if you so through your time of when you first started to write now what would you say are like the top things like I couldn’t get I couldn’t have been where I am today without these things and they can be resources people yeah, like Yeah,

 

Emily Henegar  36:57

yeah, that’s a great question and there are so many things that I could list Oh my goodness. I’d say definitely my family is a huge one I absolutely could not be doing what I’m doing without them in so many respects and I’d say especially my mom in particular one thing that’s also kind of unique to the beginning of my business is that my mom has celiac disease to she’s like super allergic to gluten, which is incredibly ironic given that her daughter yeah so her doctors are like kidding me right now but she I mean that is like something that I cannot thank her enough for and thankfully we have like an extra like space on our mudroom that we kind of turned into my cookie studio so I was using the same like kitchen equipment and like ovens and such but I was out of like the kitchen counter space but I mean the fact that you’d like sacrifice a lot of like her health concern like to let me do that is so huge. And and even again, I think at every step along the way they’re always like even if they didn’t have like tools to help me themselves like even if my mom didn’t know how to start a website or what it entailed to run a business like she would be like oh like I know this friend from church or this person that I connected with once about this like running can actually do them and so she was always like helping me find people that would help me just be able to launch and do whatever I wanted to do this and yeah i think that it was super instrumental not just for like logistically to help me to actually do it but I’m just like to have that support from them that was like Yeah, do whatever you want like and not in a flippant way but I like yeah we believe in you like and if this doesn’t go anywhere that’s fine but if this is right now like we need to turn our mudroom into Kaikeyi studio like shirt us it’s okay to you

 

Mikayla Anderson  38:51

yeah

 

Emily Henegar  38:53

but I think that it was helpful that they did that while also still like wanting me to see like again like what it would cost or what goes into that and and again, whether it was like hey I like really need to clean my dishes on time because if there’s like cookie dough and the saying like that’s not great for my mom or fit me it’s like just learning the responsibility like if I you know, run late on a cookie order because I stayed up like having a movie night with my friends and then I’m late for like the customer pickup or something like that’s a responsibility that like I have to take on myself. So they were always very encouraging but also still like realistic in that and just remind me that like I’m more than my gifts and I’m more than what I do. And because I think I love cooking the kitchen is a huge part of my life, but it would be so sad if the people that cared about me the most like only saw me is the cookie girl. Also, as my kind of second piece I’d say like my peers as well and I friends like that has also been really huge and how they supported me. And especially like my close friends in particular, even yesterday, I did this little pop up at my school and had lots of really kind compliments from people like complimenting me on the Harry Styles, cookies, or just about my business or my table or the cookies I made or whatever. And it was so kind, but then like, I was talking to a friend afterwards, and he just affirmed something about me personally, and aside from that, and, and I was like, all of those couple of months, I’m so grateful for them. But also they don’t mean to me as much as what that just meant to me. So I think that’s really huge. That, like a lot of my closest friends are like, one of my best friends, my roommates like she always is, like my biggest supporter, and we’ll post on Instagram when something big happens. And just like it’s so kind, but she’s also again, so affirming of like, hey, you’re more than this, like, I don’t just see you as cookie. And I think belts really huge because I would hate to be, especially as I grow this business, and I have more people involved and more customers. And eventually employees, like I would hate to be a business woman that is making it all about me and is only seeing myself in that role. And so to have a community that is supportive. And so encouraging of all of the things that I’m doing and all of the really wonderful opportunities I’m so thankful for and just like naming that and being grateful for it, while also not just sitting in that, but like looking outwards and extending myself to see like how can I use this to step out of this space into letting other people well as they are loving me?

 

Mikayla Anderson  41:40

That was so sweet. Like, that is so like, the most down to earth answer you. Honestly, like I think that opens up a lot of what people need to hear right now. Because when somebody is so talented at something, I think not only themselves get caught up in it, but everybody sees them as that thing. Like they’re like, oh, they’re really good at this go to them for this, this this this this thing, but like, what am I going to be? Emily? What am I gonna be Michaela are like different things. And I applaud you for like saying that, because that’s really important for young people. And yeah, but yeah, so as far as, what kind of advice would you give to people for who want who wants to actually start and do business full time?

 

Emily Henegar  42:38

Like, yeah, yeah, absolutely. Oh, man, there’s so much that I could say, and well, I would say, look at my notes that I wrote. Yeah, well, I’d say first of all, just related to that, it’s like, find people that support you and your vision, and like, help you, like find the tools to make that happen. But also, again, like people that remind you that you’re more than that. And because also like if you’re surrounded by people that aren’t, or you’re in a situation in which like you’re doing incredible, amazing things, but like nobody’s really affirming it. Like that can be really hard. And that is like super valid. But it also like it’s Yeah, it’s hard to see the lack of that. But it also is still kind of, like you don’t want even that mentality to also make it feel like oh, but it’s all about your gifts and what you’re doing. Because then it’s like, Oh, if only people affirm this, if only people saw that, if only my Tick Tock blew up, like, then like I would be satisfied. But it’s like, you’re so much more than that. And it’s well, like, really the important thing is that like people see you as you and the whole you and sometimes again, people maybe aren’t affirming that creative side of you and like I so long for people that do like affirm that. But I think it’s finding people in communities and mentors and friends that do love on you. And both of those ways, not just one or the other. It’s like you as the whole you. And and I would also say like in the business side of things, I’d say like don’t be afraid of the business. Because I was definitely worried about that. No, and I think it’s really real though, because as a creative as I said, like it’s so easy to just be like okay, well this is my thing. And this is my craft and like you’re an artist, like it’s a it’s an art and to be like ooh, like there’s this whole other avenue of the business that goes into it. Like I remember someone telling me that did a photography business, and they’re like, you know, like with any creative field, it’s like 20% creative and 80% business. And I was like, no, yeah, that that sounds horrible. Which like it is kind of true, but I think what I didn’t know and I’m saying that it’s like the business is creative, too. It’s just a different thing. And I think for me, especially like I said, in my internship, it’s really helpful to be like, I love making cookies, but I don’t just want to make cookies, I would get so bored of it, I get so tired. And like there’s some people like that is what they want to do, or like, they just want to be like a full time creative. And that is great, just work for somebody else. Yet, if you want to be an entrepreneur, like, what it really entails, it’s not just like, it’s not when I say like 80% business, but 80% doesn’t mean accounting and finances. Like that’s what I thought that they were saying, and that sounds so bad. But what I’ve really learned through school, is that it just experiences and other people in creative fields. Is that like, the business is like, yeah, sure, it is some of that. And it’s like having a grip on like, the finances. But it’s really all like, you’re the visionary that’s directing this thing. And all of those pieces of it are a part of this vision that you’re moving forward. So like a big chunk of that, like, for me, like a big chunk of my vision and what being an entrepreneur and what my business entails, like is decorating cookies like it is time spent in the kitchen, rolling out cookie dough, and mixing ice and colors. And then a big part of that is like social media and posting on Instagram and editing photos, or designing cookies. And then it’s also like, Okay, how do I want to market this? And who do I want my customers to be? And what people do I need to talk to, to see like what this looks like, and it means, I don’t know, I’m blanking on everything else. But yeah, like management, like, how do I want like, what kind of culture do I want to have? If I have bullies? And what like, how do I want this to grow? And how, like, what vision do I have? That’s kind of like, even if it looks really different that that I like anticipated? Or even if it takes a lot of shapes? Like what is the primary thing that I want to be driving this, like, for me, that’s celebration, like I that’s my big thing that I like, want to highlight, like, I want to celebrate people. And like, that’s my vision, like, however that looks in the future, great. Like maybe it means not doing confused. I don’t know. Um, but like, if that vision is what’s driving me, then like it, all the things will kind of fall into place. So those a lot, but I get a lot of

 

Mikayla Anderson  47:17

No, I think you’re 110%, right? Because people see business as literally just finances like that your word for word, what you said, and I think it’s so much like, it’s business is a people thing, man. Like, it’s, it’s your people all the time, like, a lot. Yeah. And if you like people, I think business is for you. Um, but if you don’t, and you want to go in the cook the kitchen and just make cookies all day, then look for somebody else, like like what she said. But okay, so this has been awesome. Um, please leave us with some words of wisdom of any name that you choose of your sources.

 

Emily Henegar  48:09

For sure. And I’d say I’ve already kind of referenced this a little bit throughout, but just a very big thing in my life that I try to live by is the mentality of open hands. And I have a tattoo of open hands Actually, I don’t know if you can really see it, it’s hard to show this direction. But, um, but that has been a big part of my life and very, very many areas of my life. But I think when it related to my calling, or my business, or my identity as an entrepreneur, like, I think a big part of that is like, it’s honoring that, again, as I said, like honoring that vision and what propels me forward, but also being like, I don’t know what it’s gonna look like, like I like I’ve said to people before, like, I know exactly what my bakeries gonna look like, but I have no idea what its gonna look like. I will know it when I see it. And I know it will be like an authentic extension of myself but I don’t know what it’s gonna look like there’s stories I’m like, this could totally shift and change or with like, you know, we I could call you in a year and be like, so I told you about my plan for postgrad completely different than I thought, yeah, but like I still again, I just feel like have that vision that’s moving me forward. And that’s something that’s like it’s having open hands is a vulnerable position. And it’s like putting yourself out there but it also is opening yourself up to receive so much like, it’s they say, like, it’s a release and I you’re receiving and so like, there’s so much goodness, and be like, if if life is going to look exactly what I think it was, like, I’m going to miss out on so much of what I didn’t think that it would look like and yeah, yeah, that might entail like a lot of really hard things. Like, that’s certainly something I’ve thought about recently with growing my business is that it’s like well, when I hire people, when I work with more people like I’m opening myself up even more Growing up on Tick tock, it’s like now I’m opening my cell phone for more criticism. And now I’m going to like deal have the potential to deal with more like, annoying customers or conflict with employees and whatnot. And like, that is scary. But it’s also like, again, this open handed perspective that, like, it’s okay, because ultimately, like your identity isn’t resting in this. And like, the biggest like, word or wisdom and truth because if my identity as a business woman, like or as a person relied on my ability to respond to emails, I’m like, Oh, crap. Yeah. Or if it relied on my ability to create a really beautiful cookie set every single time, like, yikes, like, there’s no ability to mess up. And, like, my mom always coached me, as a child that like, especially when I was doing anything in the kitchen, and just like pulling around, if something didn’t work out, I just think Well, that was a fail nothing on. And, like, keeping that mentality is so important, because they’re in entrepreneurship in particular, there’s just as a creative person, like, there are, every opportunity is an opportunity for mistake. But that is not a reflection of your person, like, you are not a mistake. You’re not a person that is like actively living out that, like, you’re a person that’s extending your dream with open hands. So take that what you will. And I don’t know, that’s, and I think it’s, yeah, it’s a it’s a really hard thing to live out. But it’s even just like, the literal practice of like, sitting there with open hands and like, okay, I don’t know what’s gonna happen, right. But he said, it’s hard. But having, as I said earlier, like having a support system that encourages you to do that. Because I would hate to go into any feature of my business, like the closed fists and be like, nope, this is my thing. Nobody’s gonna touch it.

 

Mikayla Anderson  52:02

I’m like, exactly how I think it is like, yeah.

 

Emily Henegar  52:06

I don’t want that. Right. Yeah. So those are my, my words of wisdom.

 

Mikayla Anderson  52:13

No, I love it. Because if you go on with close Facebook, you could miss so much growth that you could potentially have. And yeah, yeah. And I appreciate you being so vulnerable on this episode. And I appreciate just telling your story and being amazing, overall. And I really do hope that people take away like, you’re not just your thing that you do. And constantly, you’re awesome. Like, straight up. I’m so excited to see where you go, and you are going to do amazing things. And yeah, we love to hear you’re doing great, you

 

Emily Henegar  53:01

know, it’s very kind and very affirming. And this was so fun. I mean, it’s Yeah, it’s fun to get to talk about something that I love so dearly and hold very close to my heart. So thanks for giving me the space to do so. Of course, of course. Well, if they want to get in contact with you or follow you anywhere,

 

Mikayla Anderson  53:20

where would they go? Yeah,

 

Emily Henegar  53:22

I am at cooking and kitchen everywhere. And I don’t I don’t have a Twitter. I don’t really post if I would oh and technically I have his Facebook Do not try to contact me on there. I will not respond. I do not use Facebook, though it is there for the people that want it. The best way is tik tok and Instagram. Those are right to base platforms, Instagram in particular, if you’re interested, you can follow my personal which is just Emily haniger. So

 

Mikayla Anderson  53:50

all of her personal for sure.

 

Emily Henegar  53:54

I post scrape fit checks, I got a lot of a lot of people telling me that they can do this. I’ll post one of my stories. So if you’re interested in that.

 

Mikayla Anderson  54:01

Absolutely. And again, her her website to look at her past work and everything is cookie in the kitchen calm. Perfect. Well, thank you so much. I’m really You’re amazing. And we look forward to talking to you soon. But yeah, tune in next week, everybody. Thank you so much.

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