SAN MARCOS — Educator and mother Kristen King has always loved baking. She said she often baked with her three daughters as a pastime, especially during the holidays.
But what began as a hobby has now become a thriving, small business out of her San Marcos home.
King is the owner of King’s Creations, a cookie company that specializes in custom designs and fulfills those gourmet taste buds. She’s designed cookies for every occasion, from baby showers to birthdays to simple gifts for teachers.
King, an instructional aide at Discovery Elementary School, said she launched her cookie business after her youngest daughter wanted to decorate their regular batch of cookies.
“I was a little reluctant because I knew enough about sugar cookies to know they were not easy,” King said. “Our first batch was with orange icing and they were flower-shaped cookies. We had icing everywhere. It was a mess, but the cookies were adorable, and they tasted amazing. So, of course, we had to try again.”
From there, King said, she began researching the cookie design business and testing out her research in her own kitchen.
“The better the cookies looked and tasted, the more my friends and family encouraged me to sell them,” King said. “At first I thought that was a silly idea but then … maybe?”
In May 2019, King said she received her first, paid order for cookies. Since then, the longtime San Marcos native has sold more than 1,000 cookies by promoting her baked goods on social media.
“It was so rewarding to make something that someone else appreciated so much,” King said. “I knew I had something special and I really wanted to see it develop.”
Trisha Onate, a longtime friend-turned-customer, said King’s cookies stand out because they are both delectable and beautiful.
“It’s real simple why I keep ordering from her — the cookies are mouthwatering and look spectacular,” Onate said. “The cookies are unique because often times cookies will look good and not taste so great or vice versa, but Kristen has nailed both taste and design.”
Regular customer Corina Ballard said she’s ordered from King several times for the same reason.
“Kristin’s cookies are extremely unique because not only the flavor is delicious, but the detail is exquisite,” Ballard said.
Although King has found success in the gourmet food industry, it hasn’t come without its challenges. In fact, she said she’s had to decline requests because she’s overwhelmed with orders.
“I truly wish I could do every order,” King said. “One of the biggest challenges I’ve had to overcome is telling customers I can’t do their order. I’m a people-pleaser and telling someone ‘no’ makes me uncomfortable. I had to learn that it’s OK to say I can’t do something. “
King said she’s also had to rely heavily on friends and family to keep her business baking.
“My family is a huge help,” King said. Although they leave the decorating to me, my girls help me with packaging when they aren’t busy with sports or school. My family helps in other ways too. Decorating cookies is very time-consuming, so my husband takes care of dinner during the week, my mom runs errands for me and my mother-in-law taxi’s my youngest for us.”
King, who hopes to eventually have a “pop-up” location, offers this advice to other full-time mothers looking to start their own business: “Lean on your family and friends.”
“Mine have helped me so much,” King said. “I definitely could not do this without my family. Don’t hesitate to put yourself out there. It can be scary. Trust me, I know. Nobody likes rejection or criticism. But it’s so worth it … I’m so glad I did.”
Find or contact King’s Creations on Instagram @kings_creation_s.