Amber Spiegel, also known as SweetAmbs, has reached viral fame with over one million followers on Instagram and six million+ Internet-wide who can’t get enough of her picture perfect sweet treats. The cookie decorating expert and Culinary Institute of America grad, now runs her own online company doing what she really loves – decorating. (And yes, also posting about it!) She has also created the Cookie Art Club, inviting fans and future decorators to learn from her techniques and participate in the Sweet Ambs community. We caught up with this super sweet (pardon the food pun) baker to hear about her work, the challenges of starting a business and some of her favorite designs.
Your job sounds like a lot of fun. What do people NOT know about it?
The biggest misconception is that I own a bakery and I sell cookies. I started out selling cookies many years ago, but now I work from home where I create cookie decorating videos.
Do you still enjoy the baking process or are you all about the decorating?
I focus mostly on decorating. One of the reasons I got into cookie decorating is because it allows me to do minimal baking and get to the fun part faster.
Why cookies as your medium?
I love decorating cookies because each one is like a little blank canvas and an opportunity to do something new and creative. They’re also easily shareable and shippable.
Have you tried other forms of artistic expression?
I like to draw and paint, but edible art is my favorite; my drawings are usually sketches of my cookie ideas. I’ll use a pencil to sketch it and then color it in with markers or colored pencils. Sketching the cookies first helps me figure out what size the cookies need to be and what icing colors I’ll be using. And when I have time (it’s rare these days), I also like to create abstract pieces with acrylic paint on canvas. There are a few of those hanging in my house!
Do you have a favorite holiday to decorate for?
I love decorating for spring holidays like Mother’s Day and Easter. I’m all about the florals!
What’s the most challenging request you’ve gotten from a client?
Painting Jason Momoa on a cookie for the Netflix film “Slumberland.” It was so much fun to create the cookie, but definitely challenging! (Check it out here.)
What tips do you have for people just getting started?
Don’t put pressure on yourself to make perfect cookies. Work on getting the right icing consistency (not too runny, not too stiff), and most important, have fun!
What was the scariest part of starting your own business? The most challenging?
Leaving my full time job! The most challenging part was (and still is) knowing my boundaries and learning when to say no.
And one particular highlight of your career so far?
Creating cookie art for a cookbook version of “Pride and Prejudice” with recipes by the one and only Martha Stewart.
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