What have you dreamt of becoming ever since you were a child?
Is there something you learned to do and it just stuck with you? My special things were hair and baking. I was always somewhere playing in somebody's hair, dreaming of the day I could be in magazines and educating people about their own hair, and it came true...yes, God! Then there was baking--girl you could not tell me that the reason my Auntie's cakes were scrumptious wasn't because I held the mixer! Fast forward to now and I am still pretty good with hair, not to mention, I can make brownies that will make you forget where you are, I'm just sayin'. Come to find out I am not the only one who followed her natural talent. I want to introduce you to two amazing ladies that are making their dreams a full-time reality.
Meet Jessica Wells, 28, Owner of Ms. Stugie's Cookie Shoppe.She is also the w ife of Joseph Wells, and the m other of two beautiful girls, Leyah (Stugie) and Carmen (Cookie). Jessica started baking at 12 years old. When I asked, why cookies?, Jessica says, "My mother mentioned that cookies would be a great Christmas gift to give my family members each year. By the time I was in high school I would bake for family and friends and they started sharing with their family and friends after all who doesn’t enjoy a nice, soft cookie?"
By the looks of things Jessica is one smart cookie herself; she has a BS in Psychology with a concentration in Criminal Justice. Jessica also works a full-time job outside of Ms. Stugie’s Cookie, but she says she was pretty much forced into her cookie destiny by family and friends.
"While pregnant with my youngest daughter, my mother mentioned that when I go on maternity leave in January that I need to consider getting my Georgia Cottage Food License," Jessica explains. "I constantly came up with excuses about not having a business name, juggling being a wife and having two kids, etc. My mother was tired of my excuses so she came up with my business name Ms. Stugie’s Cookie Shoppe, the nicknames of my children. Then my father got involved and for my birthday in June they gave me money for the start of my business. The next month, I passed my inspection to have my Georgia Cottage Food License and obtained my business license and the rest is history in the making."
Jessica credits her success to a supportive family. "My worries and stress are eased daily with the help of my husband and family…my mom and dad will take the girls out for fun so I can bake and my husband can deliver. Everyone helps out. In 5 years I see myself having a storefront and Ms. Stugie’s Cookie Shoppe as my primary income."
Meet Kristi Cook, 42, Owner of Honestly Sweet Gifts.
She is the wife of Allan Cook, and the mother of three beautiful girls, Neriah, Madison, and Karissa.Kristi admits off the rip that she learned the granny square at age 16, from her 14 year old sister, explaining that working with her hands is relaxing. Kristi’s business started off as a gift giving hobby. “In 2009 I was simply crocheting unique gifts for others," she says. "Then people were paying me for the gifts. One day I was looking through a jewelry making magazine saw the crocheted metal and was in awe. The crocheted metal is by far my favorite thing I make--it’s such a unique way to make beautiful one-of-a-kind jewelry.”
For those of you who are not really into jewelry: Kristi makes practical gifts that everyone can use, such as washcloths, and even scrubbies for your face or your dishes. “Yes, I know your Grandma probably made them, but they last forever," she mentions. "The quality is much better than store-bought washcloths." While Kristi balances home and work like a pro, but she admits, “I am not exactly sure how I’m doing that. I sit on the couch with my husband and crochet so that is time with him. I have had many nights with very little sleep to get orders filled but my girls help a lot and we just take it one day at a time.”
Within 5 years Kristi envisions Honestly Sweet Gifts as her full-time job, “I will be creating new and fun items, writing my own patterns, teaching classes and who knows, maybe have my own crocheting television show (working on that now)."
Do you know a young entrepreneur worth a shout-out?
Let us know in the comment section below and on Facebook!
Stacy is the owner of Augusta, GA-based curly hair salon, DyeVerCity. Follow her on Instagram @DyeVerCity.
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