We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicki Ung and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nicki, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The two most important factor behind my cookie business is my family and my customers. I started this business because of my kids. I’ve learned so much about my customers and their stories. Some say it’s just cookies… I say, it’s a story about the person/family that ordered the cookies. I love doing Favorite Things (12 cookies for 12 of their favorite things). For one customer, I made cookies to look like all their favorite modern art pieces.
The success of my business? I guess success is pretty subjective. I am certainly not making millions, but I thoroughly enjoy what I do and this is my creative outlet. I tell stories – through cookies.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started cookie decorating for the FIRST time when my daughter turned one. I saw a few photos and thought….alright easy enough. Nope. Not easy at all. My daughter is five now and when I look at the photos I made for her when she was one, I cringed. They are atrocious. I gave up after that initial attempt. I tried again when she was turned four. She desperately wanted Frozen (Disney Movie) cookies. I said, ok.. lets try again. After weeks and weeks of practice, I finally piped a straight line. I made those cookies, and they didn’t look nearly as bad. I laugh now because I look back at them and think, wow those 12 cookies took me nearly 3 weeks to make.
I guess this is where the typical message comes in – what is the lesson I learned? Never give up. I tried and tried. Perfection takes time and practice. Today, I pride myself on taking time to learn about my customer and what story they want to share in their cookies. It could be as simple as a first birthday, but I learned so much about the customers and how special this event is for them.
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.
First things first: 1. Urth Cafe for some coffee (and breakfast but lets go light)
2. Huntington Botanical Garden for a nice stroll around the gardens to catch up
3. Lunch at Mama Lus (Arcadia), have to get my dumpling and Shanghai noodles fix
4. Target…because we will always need to get something we forget
5. Boba Break at DingTea for some Jasmine Milk Tea with Boba
6. Call it a day because I’m tired and I probably ingested too much. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I guess this is a hard one. I have so many I want to dedicate success to. My mom, my husband, my kids, and my sisters. My mom is the reason I’m here. She raised me to be who I am today. She encouraged me to give what I do 200%, never settle and always strive for perfection. My husband for always giving me the hug I need to keep going. My kids for being my inspiration for everything I make, My sisters for liking, sharing, and buying everything I make no matter how ugly. I am forever grateful for my family.
Other: Tiktok @Soencookiegram
The photo of me decorating a cookie should be credited to @ErichChen