We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie Covington and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katie, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I would say passion, but I think the key factor in my success is actually putting all of my passion into the right place: the product itself.
Several years ago, I started a business selling children’s products with my illustrations on them. I was passionate about my art, and about making my business succeed, but that passion didn’t have a focus. I tried to do too many things at once, from drawing characters and getting the products made, to business plans and marketing. All of that is important for a business of course, but I had a thousand postcards printed before I had even tried to sell anything. Ultimately that business didn’t succeed.
Last year, I discovered the exact right way to combine all of my hobbies/talents/skills into the perfect medium for my art. Decorating sugar cookies and cakes brought me joy, and that joy was so easily shared with family and friends. My new business began as just a social media account, documenting photos of my work. I didn’t focus on anything else besides honing my abilities, and making my product the very best it could be. If you are pouring all of your passion into your product, there is no time or energy left for marketing strategies and business plans, so I figured I would have to try and make a real baking business “someday.” But when your product shines with all of your creative passion, the business seems to find you. Before I knew it, I had more orders than I could manage, and was scrambling to find time to make a website, and get the logistics of my business figured out. I still don’t have my website completed, or a business card to hand out. But I have the thing that matters most: the best product that I can make.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I used to be a graphic designer/illustrator who enjoyed baking. But those two halves of my creative personality never met to make one cohesive whole until last year, during the quarantine. I finally had time to follow my dream and just see where it led.
I think what sets my desserts apart is that they are as tasty as they are pretty, because I’m both a baker and artist at heart. I use traditional piping techniques to decorate cookies, but I also paint food coloring details on them to give them that extra pop. I get so much joy out of making someone’s request or idea come to life, and I think that excitement shows through in my work.
I have learned so much about the baking industry since starting this adventure. I knew the artistic side, but I had to gain a lot of experience with the rest. I needed the right tools. I tried new things and practiced until I got it right, read every article and watched every tutorial to learn new techniques, and just kept on learning by doing. Now I have the confidence and experience to tackle any baking challenge that has come my way, and I get to just enjoy the creating!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love my community in Bixby Knolls, Long Beach! I would definitely visit the Expo gallery during a First Friday music and art walk on Atlantic. I would eat at Lola’s or Rasslebock, grab a drink at Wilmore Wine Bar or Ambitious Ales, and coffee and dessert at Steelcraft. My family loves the Aquarium of the Pacific and having a picnic near the lighthouse in Rainbow Harbor. I would also swing by the Wednesday afternoon farmers market at Marine Stadium, and shop on 4th street near the Art Theater!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
So many moms here in Long Beach have been so supportive and encouraging! Fabiola Morales of #fabeescelebrations took on chance on my cookies when I was first getting started, and used them as customer giveaways for her holiday yard signage orders. From that, word spread to the local FIT4MOM group, who’s members supported me with custom orders and a cookie decorating class for a Mom’s Night Out. I would also love to shout out Katie Barish and her amazing #betterhalfboutique who invited me to do my first pop up shop for Valentine’s Day.
Facebook: Bixby Baker