In Conversation with Miss Biscuit

From speech pathologist to sweet success, we chat all things business, cookie decorating and Colour Mill with Julia from Miss Biscuit.
    In Conversation with Miss Biscuit

    Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Julia, the owner and lead decorator of Miss Biscuit, is royal icing royalty amongst the baking and decorating community.

    With 2 retail stores, 2 classrooms, an online decorating course and a passionate community of bakers and decorators around her, Julia has fostered a reputation of being the best of the best.

    In the lead up to the launch of the Miss Biscuit x Colour Mill Aqua Blend Collab Pack, we spoke with the speech pathologist turned sweet success to chat all things cookie decorating, business and of course, Colour Mill!

    Julia with the Miss Biscuit x Colour Mill Aqua Blend collab pack.
    Known for her stunning royal icing designs, Julia's technical and design skills are second to none.

    What got you started with baking and decorating? What was it that lit the spark?

    I have always been creative in the kitchen but had not previously done a lot of baking. I picked up some cute metal cookie cutters one day and decided to bake some cookies. I had no idea how to decorate them and so jumped onto Pinterest for inspiration. What I saw on Pinterest really sparked my interest in royal icing.

    From there, how did Miss Biscuit get started?

    I could see that royal icing cookies were starting to become popular in the US but not many people in Australia were using royal icing at that time. I had my kitchen registered and started selling cookies.  As my social media grew, people started to ask me for classes. I released my first classes in 2014 and they sold out within minutes. From there I was running classes every weekend and I had a permanent shop set up in my lounge room. 

    What was the experience of opening a retail store like? What made you go down that path?

    I couldn't keep running classes from home. My family were very supportive but I got to a point where I had to either give it up or take it further. I resigned from my job as a speech pathologist in research and took on a local lease. My mother thought I was crazy but I've always been a bit of a risk taker and was ready for something new. 

    What's the biggest challenge of owning and running Miss Biscuit?

    I had no background in retail or e-commerce so I was on a very steep learning curve when I started. I had to learn everything the hard way! And I'm still learning. Every day there are new challenges with my website, or point of sale, or in store processes. I think the biggest challenge is knowing what people want in advance and ensuring we have the stock levels correct. 

    What is your favourite part of owning and running Miss Biscuit?

    Teaching! I get to travel around Australia regularly to teach and my favourite thing is meeting new people and learning their stories. I've had so many interesting people attend my classes. I have also been fortunate to teach in the Middle East and also in London and NYC. I remember baking cookies in a bakery in Muscat, Oman for classes the next day and thinking how on earth did I get here? It has been an absolutely crazy 10 years.

    What's the biggest lesson you've learned since beginning Miss Biscuit?

    I was fortunate when I started decorating that sharing platforms like Instagram were only just starting. I had very little to compare my designs and skills to and so I created with a lot of freedom. It's very easy to look at others and think that you aren't as creative, talented, or confident as them and that stops you from taking your skills further. It's so important to focus on your own journey and enjoy the ride.

    What is the baking hack you wish you knew sooner?

    Warming up your eggs! Cookie dough is affected by ingredient temperature. If your eggs and butter are too cold your dough will not form properly. I always pop my eggs in a bowl of hot water from the tap for five minutes. When they are added to the dough they mix in perfectly. 

    Tell us a little bit about the colours you picked for the Miss Biscuit x Colour Mill pack and why you picked them.

    I teach a lot of beginners. The pack is designed as a starter pack for royal icing. I chose the key colours for Christmas and Easter and then added my absolute favourite shades to work with - Sage, Blue Bell, Blush, Dusk etc. My absolute favourite Colour Mill colour is Raspberry. The shades you can achieve with this colour are amazing. I will frequently just use Raspberry and one other colour to create a whole set. 

    Recreate Miss Biscuit's stunning royal icing cookie designs with her Aqua Blend 12 pack! Launching April 18th exclusively via Miss Biscuit and Colour Mill.

    Written By Colour Mill