We had the good fortune of connecting with Kirstyn Shaw and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kirstyn, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Well… this time around it was out of necessity. I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and drive, but I lost my (paying) job at Rose Cafe at the beginning of the pandemic and immediately shifted into a different kind of hustle mode. I costed out a bunch of foods I knew I could make and sell -sauces, broths, baked goods – but was not sure people would buy. So instead I started ding-dong-ditching all of my friends all over Los Angeles quarantined at home with chocolate chip cookies. They’ve always been my party trick – Super Bowl Parties, party favors, pretty much every gathering they make an appearance. The beauty was we didn’t have to talk, or even see each other! But it brought me joy to know the cookies might brighten their day. Sure enough I started getting requests to sell them! My friends loved them and they wanted to spread the chocolate chip love to their friends. I set up shop on Shopify, unsure of what would come of it, and I’m now four months in and sending out cookies nationwide! Thanks…Covid-19?
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!
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?
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!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Ummmm I wouldn’t be anywhere without the support of all my groups (Trends, BRA, MFM), my fam (who has let me completely overtake the kitchen AND helped me drop cookies all over LA), and all of THE VERY BEST QOOKIE MONSTAS In The Whole Wide World! And my friend Suzanne that answered all my rookie shopify/klaviyo questions and reassured me that even though I don’t know what the **** I’m doing, I should still continue doing “it”.
Other: Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/theverybestcookie/