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How a Graphic Designer Turned Cookier Started Miss Cookie Packaging

Meet Miss Cookie Packaging Founder Missy Clark

At Miss Cookie Packaging, we're committed to creating high-quality, irresistibly adorable packaging solutions to make your products stand out. We're thrilled to launch a blog to bring you behind-the-scenes brand stories, cookie packaging inspiration, and education to get the most out of our products. 

We sat down with Miss Cookie Packaging's owner and creative director, Melissa (Missy) Clark, to kick things off. Like many of our customers, Miss Cookie Packaging is a family-owned business that runs on creativity and an appreciation for all things sweet!

Read on to hear how Missy blended her corporate graphic design and cookie decorating experience to make big waves in the world of cookie packaging. 

What did you do before starting Miss Cookie Packaging?


I started my career as a graphic designer in the scientific world, designing everything from collateral to packaging. From there, I moved to an organic food distributor, where I did packaging design. It was really fun work and a lot of responsibility—from art directing photo shoots to going on press approvals and overseeing packaging design for sixteen national brands. I can still walk into the grocery store's organics section and see packages I designed. 

Miss Cookie Packaging has become one of the industry leaders in cookie packaging over the past several years. Tell us, how did the business come to be?


In November 2018, I took a cookie decorating class for fun. I started making cookies for friends and family on the side while working my corporate design job. 

When my entire department was eliminated unexpectedly after a corporate merger, I decided to make the leap and get my residential kitchen license. I spent a year making and selling cookies and enjoyed getting to know other bakers and the cookie decorating scene. 

When the holidays rolled around, I wanted to offer my customers a cookie advent calendar. I searched high and low for the right packaging, invested in boxes I thought would work, and was frustrated to discover that they didn't fit the cookies I wanted to make. 

I made adjustments to my cookie sizes and got calendars out the door that year with sub-par packaging, but then I had that “aha!” moment: 

With my packaging design experience, I could do this myself! 

I worked for much of the next year developing, designing, and perfecting the first-ever cookie advent calendar—made by a cookier for cookiers. I launched that first calendar in September 2020 and completely sold out of it! 

Wow, that’s incredible! What was it like to have such dramatic success with that very first product launch?


It was exciting, and I knew, based on the reception the cookie advent calendars got, that I was onto something. 

So, I started creating more and more cookie packaging, drawing on my experience in design and making and selling cookies.

Our house was buried in cookie packaging for a year, and I still baked and sold some cookies on the side. 

Then, in 2022, my husband Ryan quit his job, and we rented a warehouse. We went all in! It's been so cool how we've both used all of the skills from our prior careers to build this family business. I bring packaging design, marketing, and baking skills to the table, while Ryan has experience in manufacturing, operations, and health and safety. 

How amazing that you embarked on this journey as a family. What are the best and most challenging things about running a family business?


Being life partners and business partners definitely requires a new level of communication. We've grown as a couple and are so proud of what we've built, but work is woven into the fabric of our daily life. 

Our daughter, Emerson, loves stopping by the warehouse with us on the weekends sometimes and is our Chief Sticker Officer, volunteering to put those cheerful little finishing touches on orders before they head to their destination. 

We know that so many of our customers are small businesses built by moms and families, so it's fun to support others who are building their dreams just like us. 

Small business owners have to wear a lot of hats and do a lot of learning on the job. What was your biggest learning curve as Miss Cookie Packaging took off?


The most significant learning curves for us were inventory management and shipping. At first, we kept selling out of everything, and customers were getting frustrated. 

And then adding Covid supply shortages into the mix didn't help! 

We also had to figure out things like international shipping and how to ship pallets. They were all good problems to have since they stemmed from rapid growth, but those have been the trickiest things to learn. 

What do you love most about packaging design?


I love that packaging design requires me to think in 3D. It's more than just making something look good—it's about understanding how people pick something up, flip it over, and open it. 

Beyond that, it has to keep the product inside safe and fresh and meet specific industry standards. It's like a giant puzzle that requires me to use so many parts of my brain to solve. 

One of my favorite parts of packaging design is the number of panels and surfaces to work with. They all feel like opportunities to surprise and delight people. One of my favorite little details is adding a funny little message to the bottom of our stand-up cookie pouches. Our customers and their customers love it! I get to be silly and fun while creating what I love—what could be more satisfying than that?

That does sound like fun! How do you approach the design process?


When creating a new design, I always start with the structure itself and think of it as a blank canvas. I need to answer many questions before I even begin thinking about color, imagery, and fonts. What material will be strong enough? Will the package have a tear notch or a zipper? How strong does the paper board need to be? All of these factors need to be locked in before the fun and cute. 

I constantly challenge myself to be original—to see the gaps in the market and develop fun, creative, irresistibly cute solutions. It's much more satisfying to lead the pack than to remake something already out there. 

What is your favorite thing about your work?


The best part is putting new, fun, creative things into the world that people love. In my corporate roles, there were many levels of approval and specific restrictions regarding the design work I was doing. Now, I'm in charge and have the creative freedom to see my customers' needs and come up with solutions that bring them joy. 

What are you most excited about when it comes to the future of Miss Cookie Packaging?


First and foremost I'm excited to see our customers be super successful using our products! Nothing makes me happier than to receive an email or message from a customer letting me know that they sold out of something that they packaged using our products. It's the best feeling in the world and truly the 'why' behind all of this.

I'm also really excited about our many new products that are ready to launch this year! 

We have a bunch of new designs and variations on our flagship product (cookie advent calendars) and our latest viral sensation (surprise calendars). We just launched our new 8-day Countdown calendars with designs perfect for teacher appreciation, graduations, and Hanukkah. We also have three new 12-day Christmas Advent calendar designs launching this year and will be releasing graduation and birthday themes of our larger DIY calendar as well. 

If you want to get to know Missy and Miss Cookie Packaging even better, follow us on Instagram. We love sharing peeks at the design process and our latest products. 

Follow @miss_cookie_packaging and DM us a hello!

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