The story of one entrepreneur who grew her talent and ideas into a unique business.
Two years ago Amber Spiegel took my class Start & Run a Home-Based Food Business. Saturday I had the privilege of attending her Valentine’s Day Cookie Decorating Workshop.
SweetAmbs began as a hand-decorated cookie business; but her focus now is teaching classes and making tutorials of her specialized techniques. Other products can also be found in her online store. Amber’s story is a classic case of someone with talent and a strong work ethic who sees an opportunity, taps into a growing trend, and is flexible enough to change her business focus to meet a growing market.
I asked to come observe and write another post so small home-based food processors can see there are many ways in which to start and grow a business.
The focus of this workshop was teaching how to use some of her favorite technique. Students learned how to thin down icing to flood consistency, flood a cookie, use the wet on wet technique, pipe a bead border, do brush embroidery, and how to paint with gold luster dust. It was a full day!
Setting up before class entails behind the scenes work.
The room was set up before we began. All students received a tool kit, binder with recipes, supplier list, an apron, and cloth tote bag. Once class started, everyone was given fresh, fully baked cookies for practicing technique.
Everyone gathered round while Amber demonstrated how to make royal icing. She then talked about the right consistency, how long icing will stay fresh, how to deal with air bubbles, and icing that separates.
Back at the table students received tubs of icing. Amber continued talking, sharing her immense knowledge.
Learning to mix the perfect shade.
How to simplify using pastry bags.
Amber demonstrated her flooding technique. Then students returned to their seats to practice.
Practicing on fresh cookies.
After each demonstration, students returned to their seats to do it themselves. Amber was in constant motion. She circled the room, watching each student and stopping to point out ways to improve technique. Throughout the day she shared secrets that one can only learn attending a class.
Amber demonstrated her wet on wet technique
to make lovely little hearts.
Above, Amber showed us the filigree technique.
Next, the stunning brush on brush technique.
Throughout the day students learned tips and tricks from how to mix, to easy clean-up methods, to getting the perfect shade, to how to compensate if you’ve made a mistake.
In response to a question Amber demonstrated her Christmas reindeer technique.
Attending a class allows for watching first hand, receiving one-on-one help, and as above, asking questions and receiving a live demonstration.
Answering questions about her icing transfer sheets. The transfer allows for beautiful cookies when we are short on time.
Above, some other cookies and techniques. (Photo courtesy of SweetAmbs.)
For more information about Amber Spiegel, her online store and workshops, visit SweetAmbs. And visit Amber on Facebook.
Several photos courtesy of SweetAmbs.com
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