Thank you for meeting me today Katie! Tell me a little bit about your business and when you got started?
Katie: I made my first decorated cookies in October of 2018 so I’m super, super new at this! It was sort of like I made my first cookie and I found my thing! I literally baked a set of cookies for my nephew for his third birthday, and as I was baking them, I was like, this is my job. Then I had to get up the courage to tell my husband – after one set of cookies – this is what I’m going to do. Please fund this experiment, haha! We started looking into it and I got cottage food certified through the state in February of this year. I’ve been officially in business since February and I love it!
Q. That is such a fun story! Awesome – so how is it going so far? How are you getting your business – finding your customers?
A. So, the first thing we did was set up a website and I get all of my business through the website. I get requests for orders from people, but my marketing has just been social media and then word of mouth of course, which is huge. I do have a Facebook page and I’m on Instagram too! It’s been so fun getting things starting and building it up.
Q. What is your favorite part of the cookie business at this point?
A. I really like doing business logos because you have to figure out how to get a picture onto a cookie and like there’s so many different techniques of icing and, and how you do it and stuff like that. But I think that the fun artistic part of that is to figure out how to take this logo and then get it on a cookie, so it looks great.
Q. What did you do before this?
A. I worked as a nanny. I had been working as a nanny for about five years and I loved it. I ended up working as a nanny for people I was already friends with, but their kids were getting older and I knew that I didn’t want to be a nanny forever. I had already kind of started thinking what am I going to do next after the nanny jobs. I was trying to find something and kind of just mulling it over when I baked my first batch of cookies. It turned out to be super good.
Q. Isn’t that awesome how sometimes we do something, and it just feels so comfortable all of a sudden and it’s so clear that ‘This is what I’m supposed to do!’ So excited for you that you found your thing – so fun! Well, let’s talk about Kirkland for a bit. What is your favorite thing or something unique about Kirkland? How long have you lived here?
A. So we bought this house just a little over a year ago. This is our first house, but we’ve kind of lived in this area forever. I grew up in Bellevue. I went to Sammamish High School and my parents still live in the Lake Hills area, so this feels like home to me. I came down to Kirkland when I was in high school and suntanned on the beach, you know? I consider myself a local. I think the most interesting thing about Kirkland, is that it’s a city in its own right – it’s big and it extends so far, but you still have that neighborhood feel of community, right? It’s a very community-based city, which I really like.
Q. What is your favorite restaurant in Kirkland and what do you love about it?
A. Oh, my favorite restaurant… I have a lot. I like to eat. I would say for something quick, I would choose Duru and I would choose their takeout. We just had pizza two nights ago from Deru! Then if I wanted to go into a sit-down place, I’d probably choose Bottle & Bull. I love that. I really like it, they have really cool cocktails. Their truffle fries are really good. They change their menu regularly and it’s nice to go in and have new things – variety.
Q. Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Kirkland? Is there anyone that you can think of?
A. When you think of Kirkland, you think of that downtown are by the waterfront. I just think that is a cool experience because there’s so many small independent business owners down there. There aren’t a lot of cities that have that kind of independent area in their downtown anymore. One of our favorite places with the dogs is, um, we love is Booboo Barkery & Boutique. They sell dog ice cream and neat collars, all kinds of things for dogs. It’s such a cute little place and it’s right by the waterfront closer to that end.
Q. Who would you like to see nominated as a face of Kirkland? Is there anyone else that you can think of that I should interview as a face of Kirkland?
A. Well, Deru has become such a staple. That would be an interesting one to talk to. They have their little brother restaurant and they’ve just been so successful, doing their thing and expanding on it.
Q. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
A. Well it’d be somewhere with a summer, because this year….haha! Gosh, if I could go anywhere… We went to Spain as a quick stop on our way to Italy. We only spent about 24 hours there, so I’d have to say Spain, in Barcelona. I think I’d like to see that because I just got enough that I’m like, wait – I need more time here! I do want to go back.
Q. What is your favorite movie or the first movie that you remember seeing?
A. I love terrible action movies. I am excited for the next Fast and Furious to come out. I am going to be in there first – I’m so excited. Anything with Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone. Love them. I book the tickets a week in advance.
Q. What advice would you give the people of Kirkland, if you had their attention for a full 15 minutes?
A. I would encourage them to take advantage of the community that we have, you know, use what we’ve built I guess. Become a part of it as much as you can. Volunteer or shop small, get to know your neighbors, and support them. Go to the little neighborhood block parties, you know, get to know your neighbors because that to me is what makes Kirkland different from the other cities around. That’s what makes Kirkland different and we should celebrate it.
Q. What is something on your bucket list?
A. I’m not a real adventurous person – I don’t want to go skydiving or anything like that. I’m a big runner though. I’ve run marathons and Ultra marathons and stuff like that, and there’s a race in the Grand Canyon called the Grand to Grand Ultra. You run from one end to the other end and back. I want to do that. You have a guide and you carry all your food and water and stuff like that. There’s another one that is more local that you do the Enchantments, um, you can run from one end to the other of the Enchantments and it’s like a twenty-mile run. So, I’ve been trying to do that one too. My husband would hike it, and I would run it and with all the hills, we’d probably finish about the same time. It would be super fun.
Q. What is your favorite music or band that you would like to see?
A. My all time favorite band is Weezer. They just did a show a couple years ago, and John got us tickets. It was so fun! Metallica would be great to see in concert too. They have such a catalog of music since they’ve been around forever. We went to go see Smashing Pumpkins, last year and like I was saying, they have 30 years of music. Visually it was a beautiful show, but they haven’t changed their artistic style since the 90s.
Q. What current or former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Kirkland?
A. The Ben and Jerry’s, just because it’s been there forever and then Kidd Valley, which closed to make way for Iver’s. Kidd Valley to me, like we went there on beach days in middle school and my parents would take me there if I did good in school, or we’d get a meal as a celebration of something. Yeah, I’m going to miss Kidd Valley!
Q. Who is someone that you would like to sit down and have a meal with?
A. I think I would choose John’s grandparents. Because I never got to meet them, and there are so many stories. His mom’s side is from Sicily. Then his dad’s side had 12 kids and lived out in the country with livestock and all kinds of stuff. He does have relatives still in Italy, in Sicily. We were in Sicily a couple of years ago and we could have looked them up, but it’s like, Hey, I’m your great, great, great grand nephew twice removed or something. So, there are still Perna’s there, which is his mom’s maiden name. I just think it would be cool. He has some good stories about them and it’s this whole side of his family that I never got to meet.
Q. Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years?
A. So in five years, I still see myself here. We’re planning on it. We bought this house just over a year ago, like I said. We bought it planning to remodel it into a bigger house. We have the plans all drawn up and we’ve met with architects and stuff like that. So, in five years I still plan on living in this house, but it will be bigger. Probably even in 10 years, we still want to be here. We want Kirkland to be our home. We’re in the best location – it’s amazing. We have a giant yard. We’re going to build up a second story over about half of the house and we’re super excited for that. I’m very excited to have a new kitchen with an area specifically for baking my cookies!
Q. What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you, that you want to share with the whole city?
A. Sometimes I feel like I’m such a boring person. I kind of pass as a kind of a girly girl and I dress cute, I love high heels and lipstick and stuff like that. But I actually worked, after Hurricane Katrina, I went down and worked for FEMA and I did emergency roofing and then we had to camp in Pascagoula Mississippi. We stayed in the park and lived in tents and hammered roofing materials. It was a really cool experience.
Q. What made you decide to go down there? Obviously, I’m sure you just felt they needed help -but what made you go?
A. I was just working a part time job. I was just out of college and I was just working a part time job at a bookstore and a friend of mine found out about it and he was able to take time off from work. We ended up being gone about eight weeks and I wasn’t doing anything. So I was like, I’ll go! It was really fun.
Q. What three words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word home?
A. I think of family of course. That’s kind of the one thing that makes a home a home is who you share with. I don’t know, it sounds silly but kind of ‘open door’ – our favorite thing is just to have last minute gatherings. We built a fire pit and we’ll invite the neighbors over and be like, come over in five minutes! I like being comfortable and having a space that people want to spend time in. Also ‘warm’, like when you’re home and you’re all cozy, curled up, warm and so happy and your dog is laying on the floor.
Q. If you were cast into a major motion picture, and had your choice of anyone to be your Co-star, who would you choose?
A. Oh I know – it would be Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, I adore him. My husband got me one of those little figurines. He’s in my little office space, just sitting there.
Q. Last question – If you could have a full-time staff member, like fully paid for by someone else, who would you choose?
A. I would choose someone to put away my laundry. That’s all I want, is just keep up with the laundry. All I do is put it in a basket and then magically it’s back in the closet. I don’t even think there is a service for that, I don’t think, but that’s what I would want!
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