From behavior analyst to cookie decorator, why a Hawaiian mom made the switch during the COVID pandemic

HONOLULU (KHON2) — “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life again.”

It’s a quote we’ve all heard before, but rarely act on. While most people are opting for something more stable, a local mum is making the jump – in the middle of a pandemic – to do what she loves. It’s something, she says, that will be worth it, but be prepared to put in the work.

Get the latest morning news from Hawaii delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 you

“Decorating sugar cookies takes a lot more time, physical labor and concentration than many people realize, and I honestly believe I couldn’t have pursued this full-time if I hadn’t really enjoyed create custom edible artwork for popular events,” she said.

For 12 years, Cat Langan worked as a behavior analyst, most recently helping autistic children and their families during the day, while decorating cookies at night. Although she enjoyed working with them, she also enjoys being creative and giving people treats.

“I’ve always been artistic and have dabbled in hand lettering and drawing, but when I started working with royal icing I knew I had found the artistic medium I needed. had to,” she said.

In July 2021, Langan decided to put her career on hold to pursue her cookie business, with the support of her husband who she says gave her the confidence to do so.

“The pandemic also helped influence my decision to bake cookies full time,” she added. “My kids are six and eight, and I wanted the flexibility to be able to take care of them if they needed to quarantine at home or go to distance learning.”

Cat Langan made her kids Santa’s Beard Cookies with some extra dough she had in December. (Courtesy of Cathryn Langan)

The 37-year-old mom behind Sugar Cookie Co. says running her business from home gives her the freedom to meet their needs. While she has no regrets about switching careers, it wasn’t all sugar and nuggets at first.

“The biggest hurdle I had to overcome was impostor syndrome,” Langan explained. “I started selling my decorated cookies just two months after I started decorating, so I went through a period where I doubted my abilities and felt like an impostor.”

But as more customers came in, Langan learned to overcome that hurdle because she knew they wouldn’t keep ordering if her cookies weren’t worth it. She says hearing customer feedback is what motivates her and helps remind her that she has quality products.

“I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my cookies,” she said, “but I’m learning to realize that it’s okay if my cookies aren’t 100% perfect because I’m not not a machine, I am a human being who creates cookie art. That being said, I always strive to produce cookies that will make “WOW” at your event.”

Cat Langan’s DIY Cookie Kits in December included 12 vanilla sugar cookies, 5 colors of frosting, 2 ramekins of premium sprinkles, and a brief instruction sheet. (Courtesy of Cathryn Langan)

Langan says business stayed busy over the holidays as she worked on custom orders and offered DIY decorating kits — she also offers them for holidays like Valentine’s Day and Easter.

Currently, Langan only gives private decorating lessons to his clients. She mainly teaches beginner classes where cookies and frosting are provided and starts intermediate decorating classes where she will review different airbrush and painting techniques.

His long-term goal? One of his dreams was to open a cookie studio to give these classes.

“I started looking for potential brick-and-mortar spaces in February 2020 right before everything closed in March,” she said. “This year I’m renovating to have a designated cookie studio in my house with more oven space, so I’m looking forward to being able to take on larger orders this year.”

For those also looking to change careers, Langan offers this advice: look for a career that you are passionate about or find enjoyable to do.

Find more COVID-19 news: cases, vaccinations on our Coronavirus News page

“Even if you’re not completely in love with the potential new job, if it’s something you’re interested in and can find fun doing, I think it would make the career change worthwhile,” he said. she declared.

About Nell Love

Check Also

Brighton aims to welcome tourists with new artwork across the city

THE mayor took a walking tour of the town to see the work of artists …