Let’s face it, we live in a crazy, social media world where influencers are born every day and lives change with a viral video! And then there’s Grace Fredericks, of Gracie Mae Cookie Co, who has amassed a huge following of fans, but you would never know it talking to her! Grace is a bubbly, happy, incredibly talented cookier who you can hear smiling while she’s talking. I’ve been a follower and admirer of Grace’s work and recently had the pleasure of connecting with her. Read on to learn about her journey, her following and what she’s whipping up now to delight all her fans!
Grace grew up baking with her grandma and had aspirations of owning a bakery when she was young. Throughout high school and college, she was always baking for friends or having others over to bake. But her professional career started as a teacher…with dreams of tutoring kids using baking measurements as visual tools. From the beginning, these worlds of baking and teaching always drove Grace but she never could have known how they would converge to bring her such success and joy.
How Much For Cookies?!
Her first child was born in 2014 and Grace was faced with potentially having to return to work when he was one-month old. Grace could not leave her newborn and so she decided to stay home with him. As an excited new mom, Grace started planning her son’s first birthday party about 8 months in advance! While planning, she discovered some beautiful, decorated sugar cookies and decided she had to have some at his party! She contacted a local cookier and obtained a quote at $36 per dozen, which left her shocked. She was not about to pay $3 per cookie and was determined to figure out how to make these cookies!
Grace’s first attempt is pictured here, and she shared that they “tasted really bad and the icing was really hard”. But she was determined to have cookies at this party! So, she practiced regularly in the months leading up to his birthday and would you believe…the cookies were a HIT! She also understood why that cookier was charging $3 per cookie! “That’s how I got started; I had a really intense need for these decorated cookies at his birthday party,” Grace confessed.
But now she conquered the beast and had no plans to make more cookies. She went back to teaching, then her daughter was born, and she was back home. She LOVED being home with her kids but was struggling to find that sense of accomplishment on a daily basis. So, Grace started playing with cookies again! She shared that in those days, she thought, “our laundry is not done, but I made these cookies, and they look pretty good!”
Gracie Mae’s Cookie Co is Born
Grace started regularly making cookies for holidays and naturally, people started asking if they could buy them. But Grace was reluctant as it really wasn’t her intention to start selling cookies. That is until her mom, a school principal, requested holiday cookies for the teachers and Grace couldn’t say no. Pictured below, are Grace’s first paid cookies!
From there, Grace started taking random orders for friends, but it took a while for her to gain confidence and comfort with these new skills! Grace admits that when she’d take an order, she’d practice the exact cookies for weeks prior to actually making the final cookies for the customer!
For the following Thanksgiving, Grace made some Paint-Your-Own turkey cookies and quickly sold 50. She was pleasantly surprised, still in disbelief that people loved her cookies!
What Is This TikTok Thing?
It was in the thick of Covid that Grace and her husband, who is also a teacher, were hearing all the craze about TikTok. At first, Grace did not have any desire or even understand how the platform worked. But since she had a lot of videos on Instagram, she thought she’d put one on TikTok to see if it received any views. Much to her surprise, her videos were garnering A LOT of views! One of her early videos was a simple demo of how to cut a leaf tip using a tipless bag…it received 36 MILLION views! Grace didn’t realize that this was not the norm since it was just happening naturally, but she grew to love the platform and engaging with her audience.
One follower asked, “Could you put 50 layers of icing on a cookie?” So, Grace launched a series where over a period of time her followers diligently watched her create this cookie with 50 layers of icing! That series earned 50 million views. She’s also had an engaging series called “Cookie Flip Friday”, where she showed a cookie cutter and then followers can screenshot it, draw or mock-up what it should be and then she attempts to make a few of the creative ideas.
Grace admits she doesn’t really know how she’s garnered almost 900K followers on TikTok; it just happened! If I had a guess, it’s a combination of her effortless skills, her bubbly personality, the way she engages with her audience and a splash of viral luck! She’s hoping to reach 1M followers by the end of 2022, but doesn’t take it super seriously, she loves the process and her followers.
You Want Me To Teach Cookie Decorating?
Grace had launched some in-person cookie decorating classes from her home in 2019 but Covid brought those to a screeching halt. But she LOVED the combination of being able to teach and decorate cookies. She launched a new class in Dec 2021, which immediately sold out. Her students LOVED her classes and were begging for more. Jan 2022…another sell out. Feb 2022, she offered 2 classes…all 80 seats sold out. I think you see where I’m going with this. Grace told me, “I have my dream job,” and is so thankful to her students, some of which come to every class.
Her husband is a huge supporter and also doubles as dishwasher, tech support, student helper and other important roles during her classes. Sometimes Grace is still in disbelief that her journey has unfolded the way it has, “I get to teach and bake! It’s really fun and I love it!” But her husband is right there to help and fuel the dream wearing many different hats!
Grace also enjoys decorating live on TikTok and it’s her devoted followers who convinced her to launch a digital class so that they can learn from her regardless of location. She recently launched another digital class where she provides the recipes, all the instruction on exactly how to make the icing consistencies and decorate the cookies step-by-step! Students can rewatch the class as many times as they’d like and it’s very much like having your own personal teacher. To be honest, I’m planning on taking one of her classes too, I’m always looking for ways to improve! If you’re interested in learning more about her classes, visit her website HERE! And here is a photo of the latest class cookie set that you can learn alongside Grace!
Where Is This Wild Ride Going?
Grace LOVES teaching and sharing her skills with others, especially in-person. But she also LOVES the balance she’s finally achieved with her family as a wife and mom of 3 young kids. She would love to keep creating digital courses so she can teach beyond her local area and bring joy to her huge following. For now, she is focusing on her classes, her family and enjoying how the stars have aligned for her to be living her dream. She quite literally has the world at her fingertips and I’m so excited to see what she does next. Lucky for us, we all have a front row seat via TikTok and Instagram! I highly encourage you to follow along with the fun!
I hope you enjoy this gallery of Grace’s beautiful edible art. She thought it was important to show the evolution of her skills throughout this piece. When she was just starting, she found it so helpful to see where other cookiers started. I think it’s the teacher in her that is always thinking of how she can help others. ❤
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