Saturday, October 1, 2011

Today I am Soulful

I'm the kind of person who gives everything I've got when I do something. That might seem like a blessing, and it is something that I wouldn't change about myself, but it is exhausting. I want so badly to be laid back and casual, but it just doesn't happen that way for me. I find that something as simple as writing a blog post can set me off. I have never been able to define the tone that I want to portray when I write. I usually allow my instincts to lead me when I am unsure, but putting myself out there in an honest, soulful way is scary. And then there is the whole "come across like a business person" thing that I struggle with. Truth is, I don't know how to be a business woman. I somehow created this amazing set of customers that have supported my creativity and dreams. And they told their friends. And then I get to go to work doing what I love to do. So I guess what I'll do is be honest, be myself and trust in what I have to say. Sometimes, I feel like emptying my soul. I definitely have that tendency. But other times, I guess I'll just share some awesome and exciting news of features and new products. It is a woman's prerogative to change her mind, right?!

I have always been tickled by the wonderfully inspiring stories of people who create their future. They have a passion and they make that their life's journey. It seems that they intuitively know all of the steps and have all of the resources that are needed to get where they want to go. I don't think that it magically happens, but it sure does happen. These people know the outcome they are trying to achieve before it even shows up.

In my case, I build upon what I am creating. This is not a comfortable way to be. Believe me when I say that I wish I worked like those other people. It feels more like reacting rather than interacting. And so I chug along. Lately, the chugging is more like crawling.....

In the meantime,  my husband, Ira, and I are so unbelievably grateful for the business and support that you have given us. This journey is leading us places that we never had an idea existed. We work every waking moment to stay on top of what we are doing. We rarely ever turn business away...even if it means taking no days off or staying up until the sun rises. I work the equivalent of two full time shifts a day -  with no breaks. Ira rarely sleeps. It is obviously time to take the next step in expanding our operation. Our first big step was 6 months ago when we were blessed to hire our fabulous baker, Lola. I don't know how we happened upon her. She is a blessing and a godsend. She bakes hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of cookies a week and then works her full time job on top of that. Lola is my savior.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Just Popping In

I really do exist! I do!

Funny story...just when you think that you have had it up to your eyeballs, an amazing person comes along and goes wayyyyyy above and beyond.

Let me back up just a tiny bit. Working the amount of hours (ok ~ sleeping as little as we do) can leave you feeling like you are the only one out there putting in the effort that we do. I LOVE what I do, but I sometimes wonder how I can be this dedicated. So many people go to work and come home. And that's it. I get very frustrated with that. Ask my family.

Shipping is very time consuming. It is a necessary evil to our business though, so Ira tirelessly works his magic. He is a saint and I love him dearly for the hours upon hours that he dedicates to getting all of your cookies to you safe and sound and on time. Once in awhile, they don't. I hate those times. we have worked many hours to create those cookies and a little one is usually standing by the door waiting with baited breath (not to mention all the mommies as well). Today, we found out that Fed Ex made a mistake. They sent out the cookies to the wrong place. How can this happen?! Actually, I always wonder how they can even get through all of the steps and still be delivered! Anyway, Ira got on the phone, like usual. He happened to come across a wonderful young man who cares about his job. He was just getting off of work and picked up the phone one more time. Little did he know...! Turns out that he offered to go get the package and hand deliver it to that little two year old who was waiting by the front door with baited breath! He called us to tell us of his success and I don't know who was more excited! You could actually hear it in his voice.

He will be receiving a package of cookies for his kindness. We asked what sports he liked and he said he would choose flowers for his wife. What a selfless person. It really renewed my faith. Ira and I needed this today and we are more than grateful to you Dan...even if you are a Braves fan ;)

Sweet Thoughts,

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Whew! A Week In Review! Kate Landers and HGTV in ONE Week!

Ok. So I started this blog and then abruptly disappeared! Unfortunately, that is how it is going to be. I knew when I decided to blog again that I would have a hard time finding the time. But, I knew that it was important to me to have a place to communicate with everyone. So, while I was working, I came up with the idea of doing a "week in review" type of post.

This week was my most challenging week to date! And the most rewarding as well. We are so busy that we have decided to expand. Having your own business is scary enough, but bringing on new people to take over what you have had full control of and have nurtured exclusively, is a BIG step! We have been talking about this for a long time, but we have continued to push the limits alone. The time has come and we are very excited to begin the process of looking for a baker's assistant. I am ecstatic about the prospects!

FaceBook has been very, very good to us! It blows my mind, but we have blown right by 1000 fans! I was planning on celebrating the 1000th fan, but I missed it! I will be announcing the winner of a dozen free cookies to that person. Check for the winner on our FaceBook fanpage.

{photo by Lyndsey Fagerlund}

We also had another VERY exciting event take place! My cookies were featured on HGTV's website!!! And our shop was even linked! Amazing. The wonderful Kara of Kara's Party Ideas styled the most adorable gumball party for the article. You just have to stop by her blog and take a look at her amazing work! There are more party ideas than you can even imagine. Thank you soooooo much for including our gumball machine cookie! They just belonged there!

{photo by Lyndsey Fagerlund}

And did I mention that I was spotlighted in Kate Lander's blog? I can't even imagine! This is something that I am so very proud of. Kate has been a wonderful, supportive friend and is an inspiration to all. She is the consummate professional and is highly respected in this incredible field of "party". We have collaborated on two amazing photo shoots, The Wizard of Oz and and I am aching to share the next bit of news with you all...but you guessed it...I can't YET! I'm trying to be patient ;) Thanks, Kate, for this incredible journey :)

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Well, I've tooted my own horn enough! It doesn't come very easy to me to be in the spotlight. I am more comfortable on the sidelines. But as our business is growing and our accomplishments mount, well, hey, I could get used to this! It feels awesome and who doesn't love feeling proud ?

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to say hello!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Forging Forward

I am so touched by the beautiful comments that everyone has left :) I think that is more support than I gathered in a year's worth of blogging put together! I truly warms my heart! Thanks for the boost.

My plan, if I even have one, is to post pictures of custom requests. On of the problems that I encounter, though, is that I am always finishing orders up to the very last possible minute. Ira packs the cookies and RUNS them to Fed Ex JUST in time to make the trucks. That man has figured out every loop hole to the Fed Ex system! I'm serious! He has figured out how to cut off the trucks as they are leaving the central facility! They all know him by name and that doesn't happen too often here on Long Island ;) Anyway, the problem is that I don't often get a chance to photograph the cookies and when I do, the light is far from optimum. I will share, but know that the pix are not my best work! Somehow, we have to change our schedule. But for now, this is all that is available.

I've been noticing puppy themes lately and luck would have it that I created a puppy set for a customer. Often, I am fashioning a cookie to coordinate with an invitation. I love to work this way as it gives me a real direction. Here is what I created:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Fresh Start

I've been contemplating starting my blog again. There are a few reasons for this. I want to have a better way to get to know my customers. FaceBook is great, but I feel like I need a forum where I can express myself just a little bit more. I have come to realize that my company has grown {THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!!!} and that there is a need to connect in a way that FaceBook does not allow. I have also come to realize that I have sold myself short. I am not the kind of girl who is comfortable with strutting her accomplishments. But in keeping quiet, I realize that I have not allowed you all to know what is going on behind the scenes at The Cookie Jar. And because I am an impatient kind of person, please know that this format is bare bones. It will get prettier as time goes on! I'll work on that!

Ira and I {Ira is my other half for those of you who don't know} have worked extremely hard for the past 18 months and have grown our business from filling orders once in awhile to filling upwards of 7 or 8 orders a day. For two people, that is an unbelievable accomplishment! We have also taken on many wonderful requests for custom cookies that are used for professional photo shoots. We have been featured in prestigious blogs, such as Amy Atlas, Kate Landers, Tomkat Studios, Hostess With The Mostess, Pen and Paperflowers, One Charming Party, Kara's Party Ideas and more. My cookies have been featured in an article and we are even waiting on an incredible announcement having something to do with a national magazine! I can't wait until I am able to share!!!!

So you see that we have had many accomplishments that have gone by unmentioned. THAT is one of the biggest reasons to begin blogging once again. I am promising myself that I will learn to give credit where credit is due *wink*! I am not all "up" on the latest blogging techniques. I do not plan on having a fancy format. I am not looking to sell ad space or compete with the beautiful blogs that abound. I just want a place to get to know each other more and a place that feels like home. After all, that is who I am.

Please stop by often and leave a quick message. I will be here as often as possible. My goal is to blog at least twice a week. That is realistic, as I work 16 hour days and everyone needs a little sleep! Thanks for taking an interest and I look forward to sharing my thoughts and pictures of my orders as they are created and fly out of my bakery before I can even get a good photo!