Are you getting excited about CookieCon? Tickets will go on sale this Wednesday (October 9) at 8 PM ET. and because the anticipation is already killing us, we thought we’d share some thoughts about it…from 2 different perspectives. Today’s post is from Kelly Ramos (The Cookie Geek) who has attended EVERY SINGLE CookieCon! Tomorrow’s post is from a “newbie” who attended her first CookieCon earlier this year (more about her tomorrow). But for now, heeeeere’s Kelly!
CookieCon Confessions from the CookieGeek
CookieCon has been one of the most joyful and exciting events I’ve been fortunate enough to experience. It’s not just a convention where decorators of all skill levels gather from all over the world, it’s about spending several days with like minded people and geeking out over the sweet art of cookies and cookie decorating.
Attending that first CookieCon in Salt Lake City back in 2012, I didn’t know a single person, but I knew that I just had to go and see what it would be like. By the first break, after the initial kickoff, I found myself excitedly telling my husband “I’m amongst my people!” There were so many differing styles of cookie artistry; it was all very intimidating at first. However, as I began to interact with the other attendees, I quickly realized that I didn’t have to be perfect at every single style and technique to feel like I belonged. By the time that first show ended, I had not only met cookiers from other countries around the world, but also people within my own state. Incredibly, I even met a fellow attendee who resided right within my own neighborhood! One thing was certain, everyone attending was as passionate about cookie decorating as I was. I couldn’t help but be inspired! I left that first CookieCon with an “I can’t wait to do that again!” attitude.
Ever since then, I continue to establish lasting connections with other cookiers who have collectively helped me grow in my cookie journey. Everyone is always open and willing to share, helping one another grow in this wonderful art form. Relationships formed at CookieCons have helped me shape and perfect my cookie-ing style and motivated me to keep improving my craft. The time spent bouncing decorating ideas off of people who can directly relate, discussing various techniques, and sharing our struggles and successes is truly priceless.
CookieCon participation has also enabled me to go beyond just cookie decorating improvements. It has brought some unexpected, deeper, changes. Overall, I’m much more confident in my abilities, and have found myself casting away mountains of self doubt concerning my work. Looking back, I am extremely proud of the progress I’ve made with my artistic techniques, none of which would have happened without taking that first step and diving into CookieCon with both feet! I have attended every one of the CookieCon conventions ever since!
Attending multiple CookieCons has made me a firsthand witness of the sheer growth of the event. What was once just a little group has grown into the thriving tribe of Cookiers it is today. Every year CookieCon gets bigger and better. Just when you think Karen and Mike couldn’t do more, they outdo themselves the following year!
Simply put, CookieCon never disappoints, and one cannot help but be in complete awe!
At the most recent CookieCon 2019, in Reno, NV, I was blessed to instruct my own open decorating sessions about using projection systems for cookie projects. Although it was scary and unlike anything I had done before, it was truly a rite of passage, and ended up being one of the coolest things I have ever accomplished! It was such an incredible feeling to share with fellow cookiers how I use the tools of my trade to do what I love every day. Who knew it’d be so energizing helping others achieve their dreams in their cookie world?
One highlight at each CookeCon is the award banquet that wraps the event. Spending that final night amongst all of the amazing cookie artists and friends I’ve made, seeing the super sugar show winners, and listening to Karen and Mike speak to the tribe one last time before making our journeys home is always so heartwarming.
Looking back, attending that first CookieCon gave me the boost of confidence I needed to do what I love and to keep pushing through the difficult times, no matter what. My continued attendance has brought me amazing inspirations from the likes of Bake at 350, Arty McGoo, Sweet Sugarbelle, and LilaLoa just to name a few. I’ve established lasting relationships and forged incredible friendships, not only with like-minded cookiers close to home, but around the world who share in my passion and love for cookie decorating. CookieCon for me has progressed beyond a convention to learn about the cookie decorating art form. It is a much larger opportunity for self growth and progression, to bond, laugh, collect buttons, and most of all make wonderful memories sweeter than all the cookies we’ve collectively baked.
All this to say, CookieCon has become a mandatory pilgrimage for me, but I realize it may not be that way for everyone. That’s just me. However, I encourage anyone even slightly interested to attend a CookieCon and see how it impacts your passion. It’s truly a blessing in disguise to share in the love of cookies.
I’m eagerly looking forward to CookieCon 2020 in Louisville, KY, where I will join once more with my cookie tribe for another awesome infusion of mastering the sweet art of cookie decorating. I can’t wait to see you there!
Kelly, the CCO (Chief Cookie Officer) at The CookieGeek in Tampa, FL has been honing her skills in cookie baking and decorating for over 9 years. While attending an evening cookie decorating course, the onetime computer geek discovered her outlet for stress reduction…baking and crafting custom decorated cookies! Friends, family, and coworkers began to enjoy taste testing her confectionary treats, and soon orders for custom cookies began to fill the computer geek’s evenings with the smell of butter and sugar. After a few more years of working in the high stress world of information technology support and turning away more cookie orders than she could produce, the computer geek put down her mouse and picked up her icing bags full time. Trading the Computer for Cookies, she became better known as the CookieGeek!
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