Published on March 28, 2022 at 8:00 AM PST
As part of our continued celebration of Women’s History Month, we’re excited to highlight an inspiring female business owner each week for the remainder of March in a Founder to Founder interview series, led by our very own Zain Pirani!
March may be coming to an end, but the number of women who inspire us is endless! This week we’re excited to introduce you to Melissa Temling – Founder and Owner of Missy P Sweets and co-creator of Cookie Chats. Check out the interview below to learn more about Melissa as she shares what motivated her to start her brand, tips for success, and how stay-at-home-moms do it all!
Tell us a little about yourself and Missy P Sweets!
Melissa: My name is Melissa (Paige is my middle name which is where I got the “P”) and I was born and raised in Plano, Texas just outside of Dallas. If you ever watched the show “Dallas” – the Southfork ranch is just down the road from my high school! I grew up doing all of the performing arts things: dance, piano, theater, choir. I graduated from SMU with a degree in Advertising and Theater and quickly took to the account management side of the advertising agency world. Once I married and had kiddos I chose to leave the 9-5 world for the exhausting 24/7 world of bottles, Barbies, and cleaning. But I always knew I wanted to find a way to work for myself in order to be creatively fulfilled, contribute monetarily to the household, and continue to challenge myself.
What inspired you to start Missy P Sweets?
Melissa: A neighbor had recently moved from California and first introduced me to the idea of cookie decorating. I picked her brain at how it all worked and best practices before finally trying my hand at it for some teacher cookies. I hated it. But those first cookies got me an order that very day and I knew it was something I wanted to learn to master. So I jumped in head first and within a month I was Missy P Sweets.
You and a fellow baking aficionado have a YouTube series called Cookie Chat. Tell us a little bit about that!
Melissa: Chelsea reached out to me via Instagram (how millennial of us) about a year ago after I had launched a small “cookie business” educational series online. She also loved mentoring others and was such a wealth of knowledge. We both saw the need for more mentors and a safe space for our cookie community to ask questions and find answers to starting and maintaining successful at-home bakery businesses. So Chelsea and I got to work first with Instagram live episodes and growing into a YouTube series with merchandise, business tools, Patreon page, and more.
As a woman, what were some of the challenges you faced when building your business that you may not have had if you were a man?
Melissa: I had a unique leg up in that this is a female-dominated space. That is not common and I don’t take that for granted. I honestly think the biggest thing I had to come to terms with that men generally don’t have to (or have the ability to in a lot of situations) was that being a stay-at-home-parent wasn’t enough for me. I think a lot of women who have the ability to and choose to stay-at-home feel pressure to only focus on that and that it’s a luxury that so many don’t get. And while that’s true, it is OK to admit you need and want more. It was not easy balancing those two worlds but now that our girls are getting older I have absolutely no doubt it was the right decision.
How did you overcome them?
Melissa: I have a very supportive husband who knew and could see I needed more. I dabbled in a lot of things before landing on Missy P’s and he supported them all. It didn’t come without hurdles and lots of trial and error but I knew with my whole heart I couldn’t let this one go. I knew there was a bigger piece to the puzzle with it all.
Who are some of the inspiring women in your life, personally, professionally or both! Any lessons you learned from them that you still adopt to this day?
Melissa: There are so many in my cookie community! One of the very first I so looked up to was Jennifer from @adancingbaker – Her girls were about 5-8 years older than mine so I saw my own situation playing out before me and what the end goal was. I saw the finish line of what it could be and a lot of times that kept me going. I also so admire my mom. She was an incredible stay-at-home mom that never EVER sat still and was always finding ways to make our home or lives better while also creatively keeping herself inspired. The moment I made the decision to stay-at-home she told me “I support you and I think you’ll be great. You may not see or feel this right now, but remember how important it can be to have something for yourself too.”
For all the other women looking to start their own entrepreneurial journeys, what advice would you give them?
Melissa: Jump in! Yes, do your research but often times its fear holding us back versus really being “ready.” Believe me, you’ll never fully be ready so you just gotta go. And embrace social media – don’t let it control you, but use it to help find and build a support community for you. I have business partners, mentors, and best friends who I have never met in person. USE IT.
Where can our community find you and your company!