Tell us something about yourself. What is your niche? Why did you start your business?
Hi, My name is Sloane, one of the owners of All about cookies N cakes, We sell cookie stamps for fondant or soaps. We started our business back in 2013, under a different name, mostly doing cake toppers and other wooden products. We purchased a 3D printer to be able to produce cookie cutters and stamps as there weren’t many people in Australia making them, and it was my hobby, but I didn’t enjoy the 3d printer, I found the end result messy or nonexistent when doing smaller detail, and not great for what I wanted, so we decided to use the laser, and focused all our creativity on the Debossed stamps as there was no one was really doing them on cookies when we began, and it really is an amazing finish on the cookie. And here over a year later selling to all over the world.
What type of products do you sell? How does your manufacturing process look like?
We sell cookie Debossers and Premium cookie stamps, to be used with Fondant to create awesome cookies that look like a professional made them, They are manufactured out of 100 % food-safe acrylic. the beauty of this particular way of producing cookie stamps is we can get such fine detail compared to ones made on the 3d printer, we also can reproduce logos no matter how detailed they are. Because we produced with the laser.
What are some challenging aspects of your business? How did you overcome them?
Some challenges we had was not being found, no one knew us, We were the best-kept secret. We had amazing products which no one knew about, We don’t have a huge presence on social media even though we had been around for a couple of years. So we decided to use Etsy as our selling place, which helped us open up our market worldwide, which has been a great move. it is an affordable way to get started.
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s the hardest about it?
I love being my own boss, I love to be creative and can do this with my own business, The hardest parts are the long hours, it is really hard to switch off when you are so passionate and want your business to be successful. And the other one is not having a constant pay packet in the beginning, It is becoming more consistent now that we have greater exposure and regular customers who often return to purchase from us. Which is very exciting. I love hearing how happy they are with the product, I love our products but it’s better to hear lots of people love them as well.
What are some beginner mistakes you made? What advice or words of inspiration would you like to share?
LOL, we have made lots of mistakes….too many to mention, but that’s good because we have learned from those mistakes. One of the biggest mistakes we made was not pricing our products correctly, Especially if you want to grow. Another mistake was not getting a business coach from the start we are great at what we do but not running a business, it has been the best investment we ever did, yes they are expensive but invaluable.
What inspires you while designing and/or creating new products.
I often listen to music when I am designing, I also like to purchase illustration from artists on Etsy for my stamps. as it is nice to have lots of varied styles. We have also just created The Stamp Champ © to use in conjunction with our Cookie debossed and that was purely created out of necessity. It has made using the debossed so much easier.
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
Way back in 2003 when I become a stay at home mum, you look for ways to earn an income. Having an unusual name as Sloane prompted me to make room signs, I hand cut each sign painted, etc, and then sold at the local Markets, Eventually couldn’t keep up with cutting them myself so found a company to cut them for me. Then it went from that to the new trend of your names on the bridal table which is still popular today, I eventually stopped the room signs as I didn’t have time to do the detailed painting, and just did the wedding signs. The family company that I was using decided to move back to Indonesia, So I purchased the CNC router and they taught me how to use it, I needed a business partner to help and that is the beginning, we then purchased a Laser and here we are today. To be honest we had no skills to start with we have learned along the way,. And we also hired a business coach which was great.
What are some of the most effective ways in terms of marketing products to your customers?
We have found Etsy is great for our marketing, so we do a lot of paid marketing through them, which helps us get noticed on Esty, and Instagram is really good for our products.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful online business?
Find a hole in the market, something that people not necessarily need but want, keep it simple. Have something unique, and try to show people you are not just a robot at the other end of the keyboard and that you are approachable.
How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else?
I personally define a business that is doing well money-wise as successful, The reason I say this if you haven’t got the money to keep the business going you won’t be around for long. Also, one that can adapt to the times, we were such a different company 5 years ago compared to what we are today. We have been able to change with the environment.
Describe your day-to-day operation. How do you manage your time?
Since Covid I have currently had a day job and operate the business after hours, As my husband lost his job, and unfortunately our business couldn’t support a family of 4, as well as a business partner. Just yet. I Work from 6 am – 3.pm during the day, then come home and work on All about cookies, answer all the emails, and get started on the jobs, while that is in the laser. I am getting the orders ready to post from the day before. I like to get my orders out within 24 hrs. Then when I can try to design new stamps. I try to get new designs every week. Or whenever an idea pops in my head. As I am always thinking of the next special occasion, thinking of Easter and valentines in Sept, And during this time have dinner socialize with the family, and maybe trying to sleep.
How do you plan on growing your business? What is the biggest impact on your profitability?
We would love to grow the business but at this stage, we don’t have the funds, We would love to purchase another laser which would double our work time and help improve our profit margin. which in the future would be able to help us to supply to shops. We have been approached by many shops but we just can’t supply them at the moment.
Anything you wish to add, feel free to do so here. We value your opinion
Thanks for asking me to participate, I hope it will be of some help to someone out there.