If you’ve read some of my cookie related blog posts, you’ll know that my favourite cookie designer is Amber Spiegel (SweetAmbs). I discovered her incredible cookie creations when I first started my royal icing cookie journey 4 years ago. At the time, I had taken a month off work and wanted to focus my energies on learning a new skill.
When I first started searching online for cookie decorating tutorials, I came across a photo gallery of her impeccable cookies and couldn’t believe that cookies could be so beautiful. Her cookies are truly spectacular and the consistency of her execution is exceptional. As an amateur cookie artist, I find her work to be both aspirational and inspirational.
Her work has been featured in high profile publications, including Martha Stewart Weddings, InStyle magazine, BRIDES magazine and Cake Central magazine. She’s also been featured on numerous blogs and websites, including The Knot TV, The Huffington Post and Better Homes and Gardens.
I contacted Amber last year and she kindly agreed to share some of her insights.
Q: What is your favourite drink, snack or meal?
A: I absolutely LOVE ice cream. I’m fortunate to live in an area where I can walk to an ice cream shop that serves the most delicious locally-made ice cream. Cookies and cream, chocolate chip cookie dough, and coffee are some of my favorites. In a sugar cone, of course!
Q: What is your go-to or favourite dish/dessert when entertaining at home?
A: We host a Sunday brunch at our house every so often and my go-to dish is quiche. I make the crust from scratch and I fill it with vegetables, meats, and cheese. My other favourite dish to make is bread pudding with caramel sauce. So yummy!
Q: When it comes to entertaining at home, what are your must-dos to ensure that guests have a fantastic time?
Q: Who or what inspires you in your cookie designs?
A: My cookie designs are usually inspired by items that I find in antique stores and vintage shops. I have a table in my cookie studio that is filled with fabrics, teacups, plates, and knick-knacks that I’ve collected over the years.
Q: Of the various aspects of your current career, what are you most passionate about?
A: My focus is always on creating new cookie designs. As long as I’m working on something new, I always have content to share on my blog and social media outlets in the form of photos and videos, which leads to engagement with my followers.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge, thus far, of your cookie creation business?
A: The biggest challenge for me was finding the right direction for my business. I started out selling my cookies in 2009, and I thought that would be it! But, when I began posting my designs online, a lot of people were very interested in how I created them. I uploaded my first cookie decorating video tutorial in early 2012 and that’s when I found my niche. I no longer sell cookies and my business now revolves entirely around creating tutorials and teaching classes. Q: What has been the biggest surprise of your career to date?
A: The biggest surprise of my career has been the response to my tutorials. Before I started creating tutorials, I never would have thought that I’d build a career on posting photos and videos of my work. It’s been an incredible experience. Q: What are you currently excited about in terms of new cookie designs or cookie decorating techniques?
A: I’m pretty much always excited about whatever design I’m currently working on for a new tutorial. As soon as I’m finished decorating the cookies, I can’t wait to get the video uploaded to my YouTube channel to share it with the world.
Q: If you weren’t a cookie designer/creator, what other “dream” job would you have?
A: My other dream job would be to make wedding crafts for brides! I got married last year and I had a blast designing my invitations, making my centerpieces, my wedding cake topper, and place cards. It’s so much fun to go to the craft store and pick out pretty papers and rhinestones for all of these projects.
Q: Any specific tips for entrepreneurs, like you, who wish to embark on a similar career path to yours or wish to turn their passion/craft into a business?
A: If you want to turn your passion into a career, I think it’s a good idea to take a class or two on the business aspect of whatever it is you want to do. For example, when I started decorating cookies, I took a class with Mimi Fix on how to get the proper permits to be able to sell my cookies to the public. Even though I don’t sell my cookies anymore, the class was so informative and the knowledge that I gained from it was what empowered me to get on the path to a successful business.
Check out Amber’s incredible cookie creations and tutorials.
*Photo credit for photo of Amber Spiegel: Tom Moore