Meet the Maker: An Interview with Sweet Charity Cookies
If you are missing a sweet something then I have found the business for you! Not only is the product sweet but what it is built around and the person who has created it is too! I am fortunate enough to have met Michelle at The Family Showcase and she truly is the loveliest, most humble person I have ever met! I have also ordered from her and I have to say it is by far the best customer service I have ever received and definitely the tastiest happy mail. Her business and nature is purely built on giving and if I can implore you to do one thing, it is to give some love to this business!
1. Tell us a little about you and your business.
I'm Michelle Jones, a 50 something mad baker living in the beautiful Peak District.
2. What inspired your business name?
My business name came about as my business is a charity with every single penny going to my local children's hospice -Francis House - so Sweet Charity seemed apt.
3. How did you first discover your passion for your craft?
I first got interested in cookies about 5 years ago having seen them on the Internet and decided to have a try. I've always been a keen baker so this seemed like a logical step despite the fact I have no artistic ability at all! I look back at my first attempts - which I was so proud of! - and can see how far I've come. I like the fact there are no rules, just you and an icing bag and off you go wherever your imagination takes you.
4. How long has your business been running?
The business has been running for about 5 years and goes from strength to strength with lots of lovely customers supporting me and the hospice.
5. What inspires your creations?
Inspiration comes from all kinds of places - it can be from pottery to a piece of curtain fabric, from nature to the texture of a tree. Often it's the unexpected that gives you an idea.
6. What is your proudest achievement to date?
My proudest achievement is winning 2nd place in a competition in the States for my iced biscuits!
7. What is the biggest lesson you have learned?
Patience! Without a doubt. This is a craft that cannot be hurried, layers of icing are applied and have to dry before the next is applied. The process can often take 3 days from start to finish and then it's eaten in the blink of an eye!
8. What is your favourite make?
It has to be making the red car because it really challenged me and my icing skills.
9. What is the best feedback you have received?
I get lots of lovely feedback and only last week had a customer who said that the cookies had made her mum cry! In a good way I hasten to add.
10. Is there anything you regret?
I wish I'd discovered cookies sooner!
11. What are your goals for the future?
My aim is and always has been to raise awareness of the hospice, of all the children's hospices in the UK, that do THE most fantastic job whilst receiving very little government support. Without fundraising these places would not exist and unfortunately it is a service that is needed.
12. What is the best part of being a maker?
That I can do what I want, when I want and there are no rules.
13. What is your least favourite job to do?
Clearing up the icing bags at the end!
14. What advice would you give your old self?
That's an interesting question- I think not to worry and agonise over every detail and don't compare! There will always be people better but just like we are all different so is our work. Worry stifles your creativity so let it go!
15. What advice would you give other makers?
No matter what craft I'd say just have a go and most importantly have fun!
To find out more about Michelle and to see more of her incredible work follow her here: