The Transcript Is Auto-Generated and May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors
Lauren Anderson 0:00
Preston told me Hey, you’re not making any money. I was like, Well, my will let me figure it out. And that was like the home when I was actually selling physical cookies right? I figured out how to make that profitable before I went online.
You’re listening to biz ninja entrepreneur radio. This show was created for entrepreneurs, business owners, marketers and dreamers who want to learn from the experts of today and drastically shortcut their own success to build a business that supports their dream lifestyle. Since 2011, Tyler Jorgensen has been interviewing business thought leaders from around the world a serial entrepreneur himself, Tyler also shares his personal insights into what’s working in business today. Welcome to biz ninja, entrepreneur radio.
Tyler Jorgenson 0:48
Welcome out to business to entrepreneur radio, I am your host, Tyler Jorgenson. And for over 12 years, I’ve been interviewing entrepreneurs on their entrepreneurial journey. And today I have the pleasure of talking with one of the sweetest, and I always intend my pawns might one of the sweetest entrepreneurs out there, Lauren Anderson, the founder of cookie camp and lollies home kitchen. You can learn more about her at lollies cookie camp.com. But welcome out to the show. Lauren.
Lauren Anderson 1:16
Hi. Hello. Thank you, Tyler.
Tyler Jorgenson 1:19
Before we even dive in, I mean, normally I have like five or six questions that I start with. But is there money to be made in in just teaching people how to decorate cookies?
Lauren Anderson 1:30
Short answer, yes. Yes, a lot of it actually. And I didn’t believe it until a couple years ago.
Tyler Jorgenson 1:38
So we’re gonna dive into your business and what you guys do and but I love stories like yours, because it’s things that people would just say, Well, why is that even possible? Or what no one would pay for that. They can get it for free on YouTube, right? And then all of a sudden, you’ve got this amazing business. So we’re gonna dial it way back before we come up to what you’re doing now. When was the moment where you first realized that you were an entrepreneur?
Lauren Anderson 2:00
Oh, oh, that’s a good question. There are probably multiple. Yeah, both my parents were kind of worked at home. I don’t know that neither of them finished college. But they both worked at home and I was probably growing up I realized, Hmm, I’ve got some ideas and I like want to do something different than the normal like nine to five. But of course that’s I got into that when I was like growing up and college and nine to five everything. And then I think it was I was actually did graphic design for a long time. So yeah, in college, I realized I didn’t want to work for everybody else all the time. So I took off on my own and started doing freelance graphic design. And then there was the point where the whole cookie thing started and I realized, okay, well no, I really want to be an entrepreneur now and do it with cookies. So
Tyler Jorgenson 2:50
alright, so that’s obviously the big one. Right? You so you had an entrepreneurial spirit, but then you how how? How are you making money teaching people about cookies? Like down, but let’s first tell us what lollys cookie camp is. Okay, then tell us how it is start?
Lauren Anderson 3:08
How did it Okay, so it is it’s a series of like workshops that teach you how to bake and decorate the perfect sugar cookie like down to the basics exactly what thickness to roll the dough and how to put on that royal icing. So it looks like it came out of a magazine. Right? Right. That’s what cookie canvas. It’s kind of crazy. And it came about because of my youngest son. So my husband and I pressed and we’ve been married for 11 years now a good long time and we started having kids we had a girl and we had a boy and then I got pregnant with another boy and and the six was a six week appointment 20 week appointment 20 week appointment. They told us that he was gonna have some heart defects and we’re like, what like we actually looking back we weren’t as stunned as we were after he was born but like for like, okay, no, we got this like it’s going to be fine, no problem. And then he came and went into his first open heart surgery at a week old. We got him home from the hospital and we needed to get him to an eight month old eight months old so he was big enough for a second open heart surgery to fix all the like plumbing issues that that were wrong with his heart. And then after that second open heart surgery at eight months old like who man I love it’s it’s crazy ever thinking about it or talking about it because like our entire lives changed in like an instant like he got he was so sick. As soon as we brought him home. He started having issues. We took him right back to the hospital and he didn’t leave the hospital for nine months. Wow. And so we lived there. And then even after that nine months. It was a couple of years in and out of the hospital for long periods of time because his lungs were fighting for space with his heart And we were we were just we were like, how do we get this kid home? And what’s it going to take? And there were no he needed a specific surgery that no other hospitals would do except the one that we were at finally, like, we finally figured out like, okay, the real issue is that his his airway needs to be moved like a fraction of a fraction of a millimeter away from his heart so that he could function long enough to grow. And so no other no other heart surgeons were willing to do it at any surrounding hospitals. But we we got the heart surgeon there at the hospital, we were at finally agreed to it. And like we went into that final, that final third open heart surgery, not knowing like what was going to happen, right. And luckily, he came out of that able to breathe long enough to not have to get a trach. And he was left with lung issues. I mean, he was on oxygen. We were on like breathing masks and things for a long time. And so our lives were a lot different at that point than they ever had been. And we were trying to figure out how to how do we do this, you know, at home, I was his I was his main care caregiver at home. And like, my days were filled with pressing going off to work. And then me taking care of all of our little babies and trying to keep my youngest alive. And I got to I got to a point where I didn’t even realize it, but like caregiver fatigue is real. And I didn’t realize I was experiencing it. And I was like, I was just going through the motions doing the stuff that needed to be done. Yeah. And it wasn’t until my mom, she could tell. So we lived in Chicago at the time, my mom lives in Oregon. But she could tell that man Lauren needs some help. So she she came out to visit us and she brought with her these airbrushed sugar cookies that she had made in a class. And she told me everything that I know about cooking and baking and, and all that. And so I took one look at those. And she demonstrated how you can airbrush like edible food paint on a cookie and I was like hooked. I couldn’t believe it. So I got obsessed with it. I learned everything I could about it. I was like, Well, I’ve done graphic design. Like, I’m just going to try this because I had seen those kinds of decorated sugar cookies in magazines before and I’d always wanted to try it. And I thought it was too hard. In fact, I tried it once about a year before my mom showed me and I failed miserably at the royal icing. I was like, Oh no, this is it. This is not for me. Like I’m gonna go back to graphic design. And then once once my mom showed me that, I don’t know it just took off. Like I literally so obsessed. I couldn’t stop watching Instagram and YouTube about how to how to make them but let me tell you lots of hours and and fails in learning how to do it myself. And, and then I eventually started making them doing orders. People were asking me to make cookies for them. I was like, okay, yeah, I can make this business is the long version. Okay, sorry, right.
But I started making them getting orders and then realize there’s a threshold and making physical actual cookies themselves, right? Because it takes a while. And there was only so much money, I think to be made that way. And so right before the pandemic, I decided to start doing classes like in home in person cookie classes, I’m like, I can get more I can reach more people, I can show them how to do it. They actually have cookies to take home with them. This is awesome. Let’s start doing that. And it was kind of the thing that everybody was always cookies. They called cookies, right? It was the thing that all these cookies were doing. Right? Like, okay, well, I’m gonna do orders and I’m gonna teach classes. So I think I think I had taught maybe three, and then the pandemic happened. And I was like, Okay, well, obviously, we can’t ever get together with people right now. So what am I going to do? You know, because I was determined to make this worse, something. And then we were at a cash Preston and I were working on his business, actually, and starting to learn how to build sales funnels and digital marketing. And we were at a marketing conference. And he’s like, do you want to just do cookies because I was gonna, you know, we were gonna work on his business, I was gonna maybe do some more graphic design, and he’s like, he could see the stress in me because he could like he could tell like, that’s not really what I wanted to do. He’s like, do want to just do cookies. And I was like, Well, yeah, but how am I gonna, like turn it into something that really makes like a really good living, you know, right. We had some ideas, but he kind of gave me that permission that I didn’t know I needed to, like go all in on it. And so I did. I decided that building a course teaching people how to do it would reach millions of people instead of just maybe the 100 have 1000s that were in my local area. And I was like, that’s the way that’s really i start i want to do I want to teach them how to make cookies. And I want to provide supplies, you know, kits for him. So I started building cookie camp. I procrastinated a ton. And then Preston, he was like, my husband was like, he almost he basically told me, he didn’t believe I could do it. And that just made more, you know, that just lit my fire. I was like, I’ll show you. And he wasn’t, that wasn’t really what he was saying. But it just, it hit a nerve, you know? And so I was like, No, I’m gonna prove to you, I’m gonna do this. And it’s gonna be awesome and amazing. And to build this whole thing, you just wait. So I did, I finally built cookie camp. And we launched it, we started running ads. Because I had no following like I had, well, we had people like, because in hospital with mica, I had been sharing almost every day, like stuff going on with him and updates, you know about how he was doing. And so but I didn’t have anybody other than that, like,
Tyler Jorgenson 10:59
you weren’t like a famous cookie, or Yeah, no, no, you were just you’re baking cookies in your local neighborhood. And you taught a few of your friends how to do it, too. But that was really it so far.
Lauren Anderson 11:08
Exactly. Yeah, that was it. So um, but
Tyler Jorgenson 11:11
so you built out the whole course and the and the, the sales funnel? And then you just said, Hey, let’s start running ads. Right now. That was when how quickly did you know that you were onto something? Well, after
Lauren Anderson 11:22
two weeks, so we ran it two weeks, and it was profitable. And I was like, holy cow. Okay, what do I do now? You know, my goal. My goal at that point was, I wanted to make $10,000 a month, because I wanted to be able to shop at Target and buy anything I wanted for my kids and not have to worry about like if we could afford it or not, right. And so that was my goal. And we hit it. And then we both looked at each other. We’re like, Okay, now what do we do? I guess we just keep going, we just keep going. So so we did, and then we were running ads ourselves for a while. And then we broke ads. And then started to kind of make our way into having to hire people to start helping us do stuff.
Tyler Jorgenson 12:08
So what where would Where did the business get to? Monthly before you decided, hey, maybe we need some support?
Lauren Anderson 12:14
Yeah, I think we had 20 grand in profit. Okay, that’s good. First month or two? Gosh, I should bring Preston on. He can
Tyler Jorgenson 12:21
as we know from Preston. Yeah. If it is not the same as top line revenue. Oh, no, no, no, it’s not everybody else would have answered that question. top line revenue, but you?
Lauren Anderson 12:32
Exactly. I’m kind of I’ve kind of turned into a profit Hawk, because I’m like, Okay, there’s not enough money made like, really, man, I don’t care about revenue. I mean, I care about revenue. I don’t care about revenue. So it
Tyler Jorgenson 12:42
shouldn’t be the bragging number. No, no, yeah, yeah. Okay, so you started bringing you started? You were in profitable every month. And you said, Okay, let’s bring in some support to get this to even even further. Now, to break it down. For people that are listening that may not have checked out lollies cookie camp.com Yet, what how much was the initial offer? Like what were people paying? $47. Okay, so you had, you’re making $20,000 a month in profit. So for those listening, there’s a lot more of that in revenue at a $47 product. Now, if you haven’t done low ticket offers, if you haven’t worked in sales funnels or these kinds of things before, that’s amazing. Like there are we Yes, we have case studies of a lot of people that do that, but very few of them do it right out the gate. right the first time they try it now. So what that tells me is that there was product market fit and that there was people that wanted to learn what you were teaching, and you’ve met them at a price point that it became very easy for them to say yes. So what was the first thing that you had to do from a pivot in your business? Like you’ve been doing? Well, things are going probably going well, you broke ads once. But where did you first have to make that first audible? And make a change?
Lauren Anderson 13:52
Yeah, I would say, oh, gosh, there’s been a few of them. Are we talking more about the beginning? Or
Tyler Jorgenson 13:59
either way? Yeah. So we know you had some big ones recently. So let’s talk through that. I know, you were you were planning some really big things. And I love I’m going to preface this for our listeners that I love this story, because I think quitting things in business should be celebrated. Because you have limited time and resources. And sometimes quitting is is what has to happen for everything else to thrive. So I know you had something big tell us a little bit about the event and what went around that and the decision you made?
Lauren Anderson 14:27
Yeah, yeah, definitely. In the beginning, having to figure out how to hire an agency. And all of that was a definitely a pivoting point. But this has recently so recently, we actually I would say, six, nine months ago, we decided hey, are our community has been wanting a live event? Let’s get together and do cookies. Like that’s a dream come true, right? For me, too. And I thought, I’m going to put on the most amazing cookie event and it’s not just going to be about cookies, we’re going to have speakers. We’re gonna have so much energy and motivation and it’s going to be like this was like, incredible thing. And so we started planning it. And then we still had all these other things going on and producing classes and like hiring new people and figuring things out, just from a business perspective. And so I got to the point where, holy crap, I’m overwhelmed, we have to postpone this. And so we tried, we tried postponing it. And I think during the pandemic, hotels and venues were a lot more. They had to be, they had to be gracious with how they operated. Well, it was post pandemic, so they were like, oh, sorry, no,
Tyler Jorgenson 15:36
well, the problem and so most event venues, they only allow for what they consider acts of God is, you know, as a, that’s the only thing that allows you to get out of your contract or make changes. And a pandemic is reaches that threshold. But if once you’re out of that phase, if you sign a contract, you better show up and pay. Flexible,
Lauren Anderson 15:59
not at all. And so we learned that and then we looked at the numbers were like, well, they gave us some options, which really are awful. So let’s still do it. Right. And at that point, we had postponed planning. And so we were in a really sticky point that we basically had to put on a year’s worth of planning in six weeks. And we also had had some other read a challenge already planned that we couldn’t stop or say no to, you know, we’re like, we still have to do that. But then then from then on out, it’s all events. So we did it, we pushed and we started making things happen. We built the funnels, we built a marketing plan. I mean, we were going full steam ahead, and then realize there’s so many other pieces to get ready together. I still didn’t have all the speakers, I still needed contracts from instructors, because it wasn’t just a speaking event. This is I need cookie people bakers to come in and show, you know, demonstrate and teach these many classes and try to cram way too many things into the timeframe. Man, I was I was I was stressed, I’ll be honest, I was so stressed. And I was really trying to talk myself into into that everything was going to be okay. But then then something happened, which we were not compliant for so about. Let’s see. Yeah, a little a little ways into that planning time, my brother passed away super unexpectedly and tragically. And so I was pretty much you know, all hands on deck and forced to take two weeks off. And not to deal with grief or anything like that, but to like, you know, be with family and help take care of my sister in law. And so, so So that happened, I got back from that. And just, I wanted nothing more than just to work and continue to do and like, let’s make things happen, right. So I dove right back in. And we kept pushing on the event planning, and I woke up with crushing anxiety every single morning, no matter how hard we were pushing ticket sales were not coming in and things weren’t working. Affiliate traffic wasn’t hooked up. I so many questions. Were coming through my, my slack messages and Voxer an email that I was like, I don’t know how to answer any of this stuff anymore. Like I. And I remember I got to the point where I had a couple kind of Yeah, a couple a couple of difficulties with getting instructors on board. And the next day I walked into Preston’s office to kind of talk about some of those struggles. And I hit a wall like I couldn’t function anymore. I was holding zoom calls with people and I just I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t answer questions. I couldn’t. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I’d been shaking for weeks. And so yeah, I told Preston, I’m like, Honey, I can’t do this. And he’s like, What do you mean, you know, I’m like, no, like, I can’t do this. I felt like my, my, my inner voice was screaming at me to like, stop and slow down and like Lauren is okay, you gotta let this go. I don’t know. I’m pretty determined person. I don’t I don’t quit stuff. But Preston looked at me and heard what I was saying. And he’s like, it’s okay, I get it. I get it. It’s okay, it’s done. It’s over. We’re canceling it and I was apologizing profusely because my husband’s a CPA and accountant you know, and I’m like, I know how much this means and I’m so sorry honey, but I think we’re gonna lose more money if we hold this event and I just like everything about me says like, I like I have to stop. And let me tell you what, when I walked out of his office after crying a ton and talking about what are we going to do and and the repercussions and what do we need to do for damage control and I have never felt so much relief in my life. Having quit something it felt so good to quit it and I knew it meant like I’m learning to lessons and you know we’re going to be work eventually going to be okay, but like man, I have, even all of the time that I spent in the hospital with our son Have I never felt that level of like, I don’t even know how to describe it. I’ve just never felt that level of anxiety and like, pressure.
Tyler Jorgenson 20:11
Yeah. I think entrepreneurship absolutely gets glamorized. And it, there are amazing highs of being an entrepreneur. But what people sometimes don’t see is that the pressure isn’t, doesn’t ebb and flow, it is constant. And so when that when the pressure is constant without the wind or without the outlet without the support coming through, right, and so the pressure builds and builds and builds to where either that’s when entrepreneurs quit completely, or that’s when you know, or when they have to just take a break. And the best thing to do, right is is to learn. Okay, where do I take those, the short term quits, or short term losses? To make sure I’m still moving? Because I think one another thing that entrepreneurs learn is that your business isn’t you. So like, if if something if your business had to close, you could build something different, right? Because you’re an entrepreneur you’re creating. But sometimes you have to say no to things that you thought were the big thing. Yeah, in order to get that freedom and that energy back to do the things you need to really be doing. And it’s hard, especially for people like you have the personality where they don’t quit. Nope. I committed to this. I’m doing it.
Lauren Anderson 21:22
I told you anything. Right? Yeah, yeah.
Tyler Jorgenson 21:25
But I think inner integrity is something that we have to pay attention to. And and again, you can damage control, make sure you make it right for all the people. I’m sure that sure you’re doing all of those things, too. What was your big takeaway from that? Because you’ve talked so far about you had caregiver overwhelm, right? And then you had this entrepreneurial overwhelm? What did what did Lauren learn through these that? Like, was there a commonality between the two
Lauren Anderson 21:47
Kyler? Man, I’m so glad you asked that. But I didn’t expect to have this kind of reaction, I learned to listen to myself. Because in the hospital with mica, and all of that, I don’t think I listened to myself, because I just went through the motions. I was like, Okay, this is what I need to do. And it’s what I have to do, like, and also the pressure of I don’t know, I mean, we were literally trying to save his life, right? You would think that that would be feel a lot more heavy. And it did, but I was like, it’s the doctors and the surgeons who are going to keep them alive, not me. Right. And so like, I never I don’t think I listened to myself and took care of myself like I should have back then. Yeah, I think with this, this with this event and canceling it. And I learned that because I remember distinctly thinking like, if I don’t stop this, I will lose everything. And I’ll end up in the hospital. I don’t want to end up in the hospital. I don’t like that’s not what this is about. Like, I love my family. Like I want to be here and I want to do this. And so I was like you I better listen to this. Or I won’t have the opportunity to have a business. And like you said, Yeah, I would have built something else. But this whole this whole lollies business. It’s it’s me, it’s my creative artwork. Like you asked you, when did you realize you were an entrepreneur, I actually do not have the personality type of an entrepreneur. I I know like this is what I’m meant to do. So I think it would be hard for me to even try and build something new or different. But
Tyler Jorgenson 23:20
so with with the event, kind of this current event past and you’ve said hey, I’m not going to be doing it. But I know you guys are still doing courses and supplies and things like that. What is what’s something on the horizon? What’s your next big goal for lollies home kitchen.
Lauren Anderson 23:34
Our next our next big goal is to gosh, we have we have our domain or program. It’s our I teach cook yours how to be profitable with their home based bakery because that’s how I started I started I wasn’t profitable for us and told me Hey, you’re not making any money. I was like, Well, I will let me figure it out. And that was like the home when I was actually selling physical cookies, right? I figured it out profitable before I went online. And
Tyler Jorgenson 24:04
I want to pause you for a minute because I love that we we host a big vendor boutique here twice a year in the city. And every time I go around, I’m talking to all these vendors and I look at their pricing. And a lot of times I’m like, You’re not making any money once you’ve calculated your time and your energy. Like it would be better for you to get them a minimum wage job. I don’t say that to them. I think it because if you’re not calculating things correctly, there’s a small changes right between charging X for a cookie or Y for a cookie and being profitable or not. Yeah. So I love that you teach people that because I think it’s great to have a home based business. It’s great to do something like creative like that, but it should also be worth your time. Right. And so I love that you teach that first of all, I think that’s really cool.
Lauren Anderson 24:51
Yeah, so that don’t make or program is where my heart’s at right now. That’s kind of the next big thing. We just opened the doors With our challenge, we got 100 new domain workers and we are just obsessed with helping them get success get that success and profit that they’re looking for so that they can make an impact in their family’s lives and their own life and, and go on to do you know, more amazing things too. So
Tyler Jorgenson 25:16
I love that. And so you guys are doing a challenge. You have the dough Makers Program. Are you have you guys launched products yet?
Lauren Anderson 25:23
Like physical product? Yeah, supplies? Well, funny enough, we actually just purchased a ton of physical product for the event, which we have now. So good. Yeah, no physical product is something that we are. We are still planning to do this year. I’m not quite sure what the launch looks like. But it Yeah, yeah, we are because we have to have a we’re actually working on physical product boxes for our cookie camp offer. And so that’s kind of in process with now we’ve got a lot of physical products in our warehouse that we will be turning into, turn it into shop.
Tyler Jorgenson 25:57
I love that now I am a big believer that built building businesses is about creating the lifestyle you want. Now originally your goal was hey, I’m going to make enough money that I can shop at Target without any stress. Yeah, what is one item on your personal bucket list? Not the Wally’s home kitchen bucket list. Okay, Lauren’s bucket list that you’re gonna accomplish in the next 12 months.
Lauren Anderson 26:17
On the Lauren’s bucket list that we’re going to accomplish in the next 12 months. I’m always thinking business so
Tyler Jorgenson 26:23
sometimes after remember Ryan people like that could be somewhere you want to go something you want to something you want to do something you want to have
Lauren Anderson 26:30
- Okay, I’m gonna say to one Fiji Finally, I’ve been dying to go to Fiji with Preston. So ug is going to happen and also, I ran a marathon once I don’t ever want to do a marathon again. But finished goals my whole fitness all of that has been on the back burner. So I care about my health, but like my fitness, I want to do another 50 mile or bike ride. Okay, in the next 12 months, maybe 100 miler.
Tyler Jorgenson 26:57
Okay, don’t forget about Lauren while we’re focusing on lollies, right that’s right, but Lauren, I super appreciate you coming out and sharing your story sharing your journey. Please everyone go learn more about her at lollies cookie camp.com and wherever you are listening, whatever you’re doing to all my business pages, it’s your turn to go out and do something.
Thank you for tuning in to biz ninja entrepreneur radio. What you didn’t hear was one more very important question that Tyler asks each guest if you want to be a fly on the wall when the real secrets are shared. Go to visit ninja.com/vip and get your access today. Remember to subscribe so that you don’t miss any future episodes. And our one last favor if this episode was meaningful to you please share this podcast with a fellow entrepreneur so they can grow along with us is ninjas. It’s your turn to go out and do something
Transcribed by https://otter.ai