People of Georgian: Clerk sweetens life with sugar cookie business

Dec. 2, 2022

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The Georgian community is full of unique, inspiring perspectives —and we’re sharing them as part of an ongoing series.

People of Georgian: Meet Ariana Christoff

When my husband and I moved to Barrie, I had just left my job, we had a two-year-old son, and I was home all the time with him. I needed something to do.

I had done a cookie decorating class with one of my good friends and enjoyed it, so I started watching other people decorating cookies on Instagram, YouTube and Facebook. I was like, “I can do that.”

That’s how Lil Mrs Cookiecakes began.

Side hustle a happy accident

It started with me making cookies for friends and family, and then for their parties, and then other people started asking me.

It was never my intention to do it full time, and I don’t think I would really enjoy it as much if I did.

Still, I tend to make maybe three- to four-dozen cookies a week. That keeps me busy enough, and some weeks there’s more.

I do a basic sugar cookie recipe, a vanilla cookie, with a vanilla or royal icing.

For the designs, I kind of do a bit of everything – characters, florals, emojis.

Cookies created by Ariana for her business.
Ariana uses different decorating techniques, such as airbrushing and marker detail.

Self-taught baker starts with difficult recipe

I actually never really baked before I moved to Barrie.

The first thing I taught myself to bake from scratch was actually a pie. So, like, the hardest thing to do, but then I started doing the cookies. I also like making cinnamon buns for my family.

I just like having my own time. It’s something I can do to get in the zone.

You know what’s so funny? I’m not really a patient person, but when it comes to cookies, I can sit and do a cookie for 20 minutes and not be bothered. But if it was anything else, I’d be like, “Why is this taking so long?”

Ariana made these cookies featuring actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

‘You just have to roll with it, you know? Just like everything in life’

When I’m doing the cookies, I don’t focus on anything else, my kids do their own thing or they’re doing something with my husband. I mainly work on them in the evenings after they go to sleep.

When I first started doing cookies, I’d watch people decorating online, and I never realized that the videos were sped up. I went in thinking, “This is going to be so easy, like a cookie is going take me two minutes…” It does not. It’s taken me 20 minutes to do one single cookie due to the detail.

Ariana is a self-taught baker who didn’t learn until adulthood.

But for me, baking is half just fun.

Mistakes happen even with the best bakers; they have bad days, too. You just have to roll with it, you know? Just like everything in life.

Ariana Christoff, a part-time ONEcard Clerk in Georgian’s Office of the Registrar.

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