Hey everybody, this is Kim. Earlier this year I attended a “Cookie RoundUP” with Todd and Tammy Colitti of 2 T’s Stencils. The Colittis are THE BEST! I first met them when they came to film a McGoo U segment with Liz in October of 2016. It took me about a millisecond to like them. They are great conversationalists, very personable, and super sweet. (If you haven't met them yourself, be sure to stop by their booth at CookieCon next week!) You are probably already familiar with their awesome stencils, but may be asking yourself, “What is Cookie RoundUp?” Well, let me tell you! It’s a lovely, relaxing weekend where you have a slumber party with other cookiers, learn cookie design from a visiting teacher, get expert stenciling instruction from the Colittis, and get fed and waited upon by Todd, who will make you lots of bacon if you’re eating low-carb, and insists on taking your dishes to the sink. It was while I was there that Todd and Tammy graciously agreed to sit down and answer all of my questions!
How did you get started in the stencils business?
Todd: It was a happy accident. Tammy had a Silhouette at the time and she cut some stencils and made cookies for her parents’ 50th anniversary. She posted pictures of the cookies and people said “Where did you get that stencil? I want one”. And we said “we can get you one”. Then people started to say “can you make this? Can you make that?” And it slowly started building to the point where we thought “there’s a market here that people really need” and she started creating her own designs and it expanded from there. We’re at 600 plus designs now.
Tammy: I wanted a Silhouette really bad, but they were expensive, I got it and hated it...I wanted to throw it out the window. I finally figured it out. After my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. It got around that “Tammy makes stencils”. That was in 2013. Two months after the anniversary party we formed the company.
"Keyhole Heart" and "Skeleton Key" are two of the stencils that Tammy designed for her parents' 50th anniversary...and they're available on her website!
What is your favorite Stencil that you make?
Both: Swirls 3
How was “Cookie RoundUP” born?
Tammy: I wanted people to have cookie friends. How much fun is it to have an adult slumber party? I truly learn something from everyone that I meet at a Cookie RoundUP. And it’s not always about cookies. (She laughs) Like that three teaspoons equal a tablespoon. (I had shared this invaluable information with her earlier that day.)
What is your favorite thing about the cookie community?
Todd: The close-knit group that you see form; the friendships, the kindnesses that are done back and forth. It’s just a wonderful, wonderful community. It reminds me of the brotherhood of the firehouse. People who are willing to do anything for anybody, even perfect strangers, because they are part of the same community.
Tammy: Supporting each other. I love watching all of us come together when someone’s in need.There’s something about the cookie community that seems to be so genuine, loving and compassionate. I want the cookie community to touch everybody to make the world a positive place because there’s so much ugly out there. When you close your doors to the outside world and open up your cookie groups, 99% of it is love, compassion and kindness.
What is your favorite kind of cookie to eat?
Both: Oatmeal Butterscotch. (He makes them himself from his Grandmother’s recipe)
Before you made stencils, did you cookie?
Tammy: We had a bakery and deli. That’s how I started making cookies. One year I made some ghosts, and then moved on to Christmas cookies. Later I started the Austin cookie group because I was bored. There were 12-13 people to begin with. We tried three times to have a get-together before the weather finally cooperated. We met for the first time the Friday before CookieCon #2. Monica (Holbert) and I met there and flew out the next day for CookieCon.
Tammy, who were your first cookie idols?
Tammy: Sweet Sugarbelle and LilaLoa. I thought “If LilaLoa can make a cookie in a toaster oven in Korea, I can do it”! And I think I read every one of Callye’s blog posts. I think she’s pretty special because everything she’s done, she’s shared with the world.
I think you know that you have a reputation for being some of the nicest people in the cookie vendor community. You are generous with your product and your time. Was that a conscious decision or is it because of who you are?
Todd: It’s who we are. We want people to learn. And we want to make our prices reasonable and fair. We want to give people a good bargain while still having a quality learning experience, a good time, and feeling pampered and relaxed.
Note: You can buy 2 T’s Stencils at a Cookie RoundUP. But be forewarned, when you hand your stencil pile to Todd or Tammy so they can ring you up, they’ll try to talk you out of buying most of them. They insist that they are your friends first and are looking out for your pocket book. It’s HYSTERICAL. I'll bet they do the same thing next month at CookieCon!)
What do you want 2 T’s to be known for?
Tammy: Kindness and opportunity. I don’t want anybody not to have the chance to cookie or have a cookie friend. Most cookiers don’t have a friend local to them to share their passion or hobby or frustrations. So I really like sharing that cookies are fun. A box of cookies can brighten someone’s day. So I want everyone to be able to pay it forward with cookies.
Are there any last thoughts you’d like to share on the blog?
Tammy: Keep being kind!