Who doesn’t love cookies? Especially cookies that are giant, creatively stuffed with your favorite sweets and candies, and shareable (or not). Whether it’s a bougie ingredient, local products, or over the top mix ins, if they can stuff it in a cookie, you bet they will.
These next girl bosses are friends, moms, and serial entrepreneurs who find baking to be incredibly therapeutic. The combo of their love for baking and entrepreneurship is what led them to create their fast growing business, Cookie Therapy ALB, where all of their cookies are small batch and made with the highest quality ingredients. So let’s learn more about the therapists we all need in our lives and creative geniuses behind these popular and highly demanded cookies, Ashley and Faye.
Tell us more about YOU BOTH, the dedicated and hardworking Girl Bosses behind the business.
I (Ashley) grew up locally & graduated from Shaker in 2004.
I (Ashley) grew up locally & graduated from Shaker in 2004. I started my own business as a photographer (Ashley Brown LLC) in 2007 & have been doing that full time ever since. Faye grew up in Syracuse but moved to the area about 10 years ago. She worked as a stockbroker and also has a curated gifting business, Upstate Crate. We both are moms to three girls between us, and Faye is due with a little boy in May. We are serial entrepreneurs and love everything to do with business!
Tell us more about your business and how you became a Girl Bosses.
Cookie Therapy ALB was a totally unplanned business. We both enjoy baking as a means of stress relief and were “anxious baking” last winter. Right around when COVID hit, we started playing around with baking big cookies and posting them on our personal Instagrams. There was a lot of interest so we decide (one year ago today!) to create an Instagram and call it Cookie Therapy, since baking was really our own form of therapy. My business was temporarily shut down as non-essential and Faye was laid off from her full time job, so we had the time and energy to devote to seeing what we could make of this new little venture.
It grew VERY quickly (the upside to a pandemic… everyone was sitting at home bored and seeking comfort food!) and in April we partnered with the Old Daley Catering Company in Troy to take over production. The rest is history!
What does it mean to you to be a #GIRLBOSS?
It goes without saying that women encounter a lot more hurdles when it comes to being entrepreneurs, balancing work/home life, etc. We think being a girl boss means being dedicated, innovative, willing to pivot and seek out opportunities (even if they are not in your “plan!”) and being willing to put in alllll the hard work. We also feel as women we have an extra responsibility to be good role models to other young women in the community, and show them that with drive & determination, you can start your own business and carve out your own path.
What do you love most about running your own business and being Girl Bosses?
We both love being challenged and hate being bored. Owning a business means we’re always challenged and never bored, haha! It’s so gratifying to see that 100% of the effort we put into our ventures is reflected in our success… or lack thereof, if it’s not enough effort. Running a business has also connected us with some many amazing people, businesses & organizations in the community, and has given us the means to give back.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in being business owners?
More like five obstacles a day!! From little ones to big ones, we’ve had them all. Neither of us had ever run a high volume business like Cookie Therapy, nor had we ever worked in the food service industry before. Figuring out things like shipping (especially perishable goods), procuring supplies, food safety, etc. were all things we quickly had to figure out. We also realized very quickly that we had to have a thick skin. Not everyone celebrates the success of others, and that was a tough realization for us.
Is there a moment during your career that stands out to you and validates your decision to become a Girl Boss?
All three of our girls see their moms working and putting in effort to build their dreams every day, and we like to think they’ve all inherited our entrepreneurial spirit. Hitting 10,000 Instagram followers and some of our various media coverage, especially the Tamron Hall show (nationally syndicated) were huge for us. Getting sweet emails and messages every day keeps us going, even during the frustrating days. Also, when I was recognized by the cashier at Fred the Butcher, LOL.
What advice would you give to aspiring Girl Bosses?
Unfortunately, school and the world in general doesn’t foster entrepreneurialism, especially in women. We were both encouraged to take the traditional path of college and student loans, and we are so glad we didn’t. Our biggest advice would be to surround yourself by business owners and entrepreneurs that you admire, whether it be through internships, volunteering, a job, etc. Put in your dues and show your work ethic and you will foster those connections. Also, don’t be afraid to take a leap. Very cliche advice, but all of our business ventures required MAJOR leaps of faith. Success just doesn’t happen without them.