Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Liz Sawyer, Founder of Sawyer Sweets, located in Atlanta, GA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I own and operate Sawyer Sweets- an Atlanta-based cottage food bakery specializing in bespoke decorated sugar cookies. Most of my customers are fellow neighbors and parents looking to add something extra special to their events, celebrations, and holidays.

Tell us about yourself

I have been baking with my mom and grandmothers since I was little and have always enjoyed being in the kitchen. My degree is actually in photography, and I worked for years as a photographer and creative director. Shortly after my son was born, my family moved to Atlanta, and I worked independently as a surface pattern designer. While exploring other hobbies during the pandemic, I began making decorated sugar cookies in the Fall of 2020, and it felt like a great combination of all my interests. I'm motivated most by the joy my clients get from having that extra, special addition to their party and knowing a part of me and my edible art gets to have a place in all their wonderful life event celebrations.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

For me, I think it's that I'm able to own and run a business. I'm grateful for my clients and the trust they put in my design and artistic skills. I'm grateful to my husband and family for supporting my vision and dream of being my own boss. And I need to give myself credit for finding a way through the difficulties, burnout, and imposter syndrome.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

I mentioned burnout above. I do really struggle with doing ALL the things. I think it's always difficult to find a good work/life balance, and even more so when you run your own business and you're the sole employee. Sometimes it's hard to keep up with all the business and even grow a business while still keeping up with all the needs of your child and family. Add to that a feeling that you HAVE to post and keep up with social media and guilt from having to tell people no... It can be really overwhelming.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Start small- it's easy to want the business to just take off and have a ton of orders and make a ton of money, but if you haven't established a good foundation and plan first, it's likely that growth would be too much to handle and you'd likely burnout and maybe never really get off the ground.
  2. Follow your heart but don't take yourself too seriously- If you feel a calling to create, to drive your own dreams, do so. But also give yourself some grace, especially to make mistakes. I'm a perfectionist... There are times my bakes are off, or I don't like how a cookie design is working out in real life versus on a drawing. I'll get upset, but then I have to remind myself- these cookies are getting eaten, and the parents and kids eating them won't be as scrutinizing and harsh as you're to yourself!
  3. Be kind- Don't burn bridges.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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