We had the good fortune of connecting with Kirstyn Shaw and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kirstyn, what principle do you value most?
Treating others with respect and kindness. Growing up the motto “treat others how you want to be treated” was instilled in us from a very young age, and I’ve taken it with me into the business world. It is ultimately what has inspired me to create a business. The handful of jobs I’ve had working for others left me wanting more. Oftentimes they didn’t practice what they preached, played favorites with departments, and undervalued/demoralized employees. It is EXTREMELY important that I build an inclusive culture that appreciates employees, pays fairly (i.e. no minimum wage here!), and builds in feedback both internally and externally every step of the way.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I think my name says it all… The Very Best Cookie In The Whole Wide World! Ambitious? Maybe. Accurate? Hell yes! What makes them the best (to me), is the chocolate – three different kinds I’ve worked hard to get right, and the sea salt over the top, which balances out the sweet. Unfortunately, that is all I can share with you 🙂 This biz is FRESH, but I have learned a lot already. One of the groups that helped me a lot was Trends, which is a community on Facebook, that answered all questions I had regarding marketing, ads, Shopify, everything! It has not been easy at all, I work all the time (which I mostly enjoy), and I’m continually asking myself if this is a business I want to pursue. While pursuing it. I think any entrepreneur who has felt like they’re onto something, would tell you the same. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is to make sure money you’re spending early on is going to directly bring you new sales. Like, you need to see a direct impact. My sales took off at the start and I used some of that money on things that weren’t directly going to help me increase sales. So, then when my organic growth slowed I could have used that money for PR, email marketing, ads, but I didn’t have it and didn’t want to spend money I didn’t have. I am doing my best not to spend beyond my means at this stage in the game. Don’t talk me into going into debt, please, CAUSE I’LL DO IT! As for what I’m most proud of… raising money for the BLM movement. Qookie Monstas SHOWED UP and put their money where their mouth is! We raised over 4k in one week! My friends at The Hustle gave the story a mention, and word spread on Instagram. The cookies sold out twice!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Huntington Library is one of my favorite places in LA. I was born and raised here, but I only discovered it like 5 years ago. Now my whole family has memberships, it makes a great gift! Eat! So many favorite foods. Pizza at Terroni, coffee at Menotti’s, focaccia at Felix, drinks and seafood starters at Rose Cafe, brekkie at Botanica followed by a jaunt around silverlake. fish tacos at Ricky’s. I could go on forever. My favorite thing about LA is the food. Send me an entire questionnaire on LA food. I would reach the end of Google docs completing it. You can get amazing tacos off the street for $1.25 or have a crazy sushi dinner for $500, and everything in between all over the city. Thank goodness!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
SO MANY THANKS!!! I don’t know what I did to deserve the adoration of Gaby (https://whatsgabycooking.com), but she has bestowed so much love on the cookies it’s been transformative for my business. I don’t know her personally (long-time follower though), but she was gifted cookies a couple of times and BLEW THEM UP on Instagram. Her community has been so supportive, it’s incredible to be a part of it. Trends group on Facebook, which I recommend to all business people and entrepreneurs (they’re my entrepreneurial fam – https://trends.co/?ref=kirstyn). They have answered countless questions as I’ve gotten this biz off the ground, and the integrity and intelligence in that group are unrivaled. And of course my fam (who has let me completely overtake the kitchen AND helped me drop cookies all over LA), and my QOOKIE MONSTAS on insta that remind me why I’m doin the damn thing and spreading cookie love.
Portrait: Cindy Lynn Portraits Pink background & checkers: J Pebbles Handheld cookie: Pascal Shirley others I took