We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Greeno and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Ten Thousand Cookies started as a fundraiser! My husband and I had decided to grow our family through domestic adoption, which can cost $40,000-$50,000 in fees and expenses. So I started selling cookies as a way to earn some extra money for that. My goal was to sell 10,000 cookies and we hit that goal in 18 months! At that point, I had so much momentum that I decided to keep going and turn it into my full-time business.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I definitely took the long, winding path to creative success. I’ve always loved creating and making things beautiful, but it took me years to find the confidence to create a thriving business with my art. I did hand-lettered projects and created greeting cards for awhile, but I’ve always come back to baking. I love to bake and share my creations with family and friends, and when I learned to make art on cookies with royal icing it was a game changer! Now I could bake comfort food + little art projects at that same time. Even after discovering my talent for decorating cookies, I spent years thinking it was just a “cute little side thing”. It wasn’t until I had a crystal clear vision for growing my family, that I found a way to build a profitable business with my art. I’ve learned how to teach others my craft and streamline my systems to be able to offer more/ better products. And I’ve learned how to be confident about what I have to offer a relatively small niche… as a gluten free/ vegan cookie baker I was worried I would be missing out on business from standard cookie shoppers. But I found the opposite. There is a huge need for my art in the specialty food area and I’m definitely finding my people by sticking to my expertise! I love telling people that if I can do, you definitely can too! It’s always worth pursuing your passion… even if it takes a long time or several failed attempts along the way. I’ve learned to trust myself with my business decisions and that confidence goes a long way.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I have family that just moved to Colorado Springs and we have been loving sharing our favorite spots! For food: Bingo Burger, Dos Santos, and Rooster House of Ramen are some of my absolute favorites. I love grabbing drinks at Cork and Cask, coffee at Switchback Roasters, and both at Stir. I always swing by Pikes Peak Lemonade for drinks and treats, and Ladyfingers Letterpress and Eclectic Co for gifts and shopping. Hiking at Red Rocks Open Space and gluten free treats from I.C. Bing & a drive to 11 Mile Canyon to show off our beautiful state. 🙂 I also love shopping for treasures at Ashley’s Attic!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This is a long list for me! My family, friends, and online community stepped up in the BIGGEST ways to support my launch of Ten Thousand Cookies. They shared, commented, liked, donated and bought cookies for so many occasions. I never could have made it past the first few months without that support system! Lisa and Ches DiDonato from Pikes Peak Lemonade also played a big role in my success. They have a special place in their hearts for adoption and connected with my story early on. They offered me my first commercial baking space and have sold my cookies and shared my story in their store since the very beginning! I’m so grateful for their support and mentorship!
Other: Google Reviews: https://business.google.com/u/1/reviews/l/06104005354679692439 Pinterest: pinterest.com/tenthousandcookies