This woman left her six-figure salary at Saks to open a cookie business, and she says the pay cut was worth it
- Juls Waxman established a career in retail, working at department stores, like Macy's, with a six-figure salary to boot.
- After 20 years, Waxman left the industry and took a significant pay cut to start her cookie business.
- While the store has been open for two years, Waxman's earnings still don't match her salary. But Waxman says the entreprenuerial freedom makes the pay cut worth it.
Following is a transcript of the script:
This is Juls. For 20 years, she worked for department stores, like Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy's. With a six-figure salary, her career was set. But she ditched it all to bake cookies.
Taryn Varricchio: Juls took a significant pay cut to get her business started. And two years later, she's managed to make it work. Let's find out how.Juls Waxman: I just felt that I wasn't learning as much as I had previously been learning and I was ready to try something new. And timing is everything in life. So that's what led me on my journey to cookies. And I had a cookie business in college, and I had a fabulous recipe for chocolate chip cookies, so the light bulb just went off. Who doesn't love a chocolate chip cookie right?
Taryn: Baked in Color is known for baking super colorful desserts, like rainbow cookies and Oreo brownie cookie cakes. Juls says working in retail and baking cookies can have a lot in common.
Juls: The consumer tends to go for what you feature. So we tend to show a lot of our classic rainbow cookies, and those tend to drive our sales. In retail, if you promoted, if you offered the blouse in five colors and you feature the beautiful royal colored blouse, you would sell about 75% of that blouse. So they're pretty similar in that way.
Taryn: Her classic rainbow cookies are her biggest seller. She sells about 3,000 a day. She has a kiosk at a market in Manhattan and also sells online. But the start wasn't so easy.
Juls: Everything about my retail business helped me run this business. Retail is fast paced. It's exciting. You're dealing with all sorts of personalities you're negotiating everyday. It is creative, it is strategic. It is financial. All of the things you need to know how to do to run your own business you deal with in retail everyday.
Taryn: She started by baking cookies for friends and family for free. It took Juls about six months to start making a profit.Juls: I basically allocated $500 for marketing, which entailed giving out free cookies, and we found that people love free. Of the 500 bags of cookies that we gave out, 75 percent of those people placed orders. So, a 75 percent return on our investment.
But even after two years, the money still doesn't match up to her salary in retail. And yet, Juls says it's worth it.
Juls: I don't make as much money, but I'm so much happier. I'm building something that I absolutely love. I'm happy to take a pay decrease now to do something I'm passionate about and that I absolutely love.