Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cookies for Santa

Today we speak with Sweet Baker Courtney Hamlin! interview by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt
Santa shaped cookies
Cookies for Santa!
I am always on the lookout for gorgeous cookies, so I was thrilled when Courtney Hamlin agreed to be interviewed for my blog! Courtney was born and raised in Orange County, CA, where she still lives and operates her custom Bake Shop. She studied the art of baking at the Apicius International School of Hospitality in Florence, Italy for one year. which  has truly influenced her approach to baking. She incorporates Old World, rustic design and intertwines them with New World, modern approaches to dessert design.

Bridal Cookies!
Bridal Cookies!
SchulmanArt:  So how long have you been selling your baked goods?
Courtney Hamlin:  I have been on professionally selling my hand-crafted pastries under Flavor Pursuit Bakeshop since April 2013. I branched out to begin selling on Etsy in September 2013.  I love being creative with all the different shapes of decorated cookies and giving a "blank canvas" a colorful personality. Decorated cookies are a perfect dessert option to customize to fit any special occasion events.
   
Hamlin with her gorgeous green & purple layer cake!
SchulmanArt: How do you get your ideas for cookie designs?
The best selling holiday is the Christmas collection, where Flavor Pursuit offers over 15 different holiday shapes. Every cookie order is hand-crafted and made to order for the ultimate freshness. My customers constantly inspire me. I love hearing their ideas and turning them into a edible creation...whether through cake, cookies, or other sweet treats. All recipes are original recipes that have been developed and perfected in the pursuit of the best flavors. The art and creativity goes beyond just the design of the desserts but is rooted in the recipe development and combination of ingredients, as well.

SchulmanArt: Describe a typical day for you.
Courtney Hamlin:  A typical day for me is always in the kitchen. I am either prepping, fulfilling orders, or experimenting in recipe development. When I am not in the kitchen, I am generally trying to connect with current or future customers.

Dream Kitchen for a Dream Career! (connect on facebook!)
SchulmanArt: What is your kitchen space like? 
Courtney Hamlin:  My space is home-based with a dedicated kitchen space solely for Flavor Pursuit production. It consists of bins for 50+ lbs of flours and sugars, along with shelving for storage and baking sheets. I have a nice view of the garden from my window that lets in the sunshine.

SchulmanArt: How have your parents influenced you creatively?
Courtney Hamlin: My parents have influenced my creativity through their support. They have always encouraged me to follow my dreams and to believe that anything is possible. At 24, I never would have imagined that I would have started my own BakeShop and pursuing my passion in pastries full heartedly.

wedding favor cookies
wedding favor cookies by
@flavorpursuit
SchulmanArt: What do advice do you wish you could give your sixteen year old self?
Courtney Hamlin: At sixteen, I didn't think making desserts all day could be a viable dream to make a career out of...but turns out, it is possible. If I could do anything different, I would have embraced pastry with more interest and focus at a younger age, only to have furthered my experience and grow my talents. Truly, anything is possible if you have the passion, love, and drive to go after it.


Have you been Naughty or nice???