Grad Amber Bailey Klovski Launches Custom Cookie Business in Denver
Amber Bailey Klovski has two degrees from FIDM, Visual Communications and Entertainment Set Design & Decoration. After five years working in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles for shows including Transparent, Justified, and The Last Man On Earth, she relocated to Denver and started a custom cookie business called The Sweet Cookie Sheet. We caught up with the creative alumna to find out more.
Tell us a little about yourself: I’m a wife, mama, newbie cookier, and I’m my own boss! After graduating FIDM, I spent five amazing years working in the art department in TV, my dream job, and then made the difficult decision to leave LA and the entertainment industry. My husband and I relocated to Colorado where I focused on graphic design work before becoming a stay-at-home mom. I recently started an in-home custom cookie business called The Sweet Cookie Sheet.
Tell us about your creative journey – what led you to FIDM and the majors you studied? My family describes me as “a creative,” and it’s true, creativity has always been my driving force. It’s what led me to FIDM, influenced my degree plan, and ultimately brought me to where I am now, a cookier.
When I first applied to FIDM, my career goal was to work in the wardrobe department in TV and film. During my first semester I visited the Career Center where I saw a flyer for “Day with The Set Decorator.” This was an event which included touring the sets of the HBO TV show True Blood and a panel discussion with their art department. Because my ultimate goal was to work in TV, I jumped at the opportunity to visit the set. I was so inspired by the experience, and the all women Emmy-winning art department sitting in front of me; I immediately knew the art department was where I wanted to be.
As a little girl, I had such passion for interior design and an obsession with TV. I felt like the art department was the place where those two worlds collided. That day I also learned about the Entertainment Set Design and Decoration degree that FIDM offered as part of their Advanced Study Degree Program. I set my goal to get into this program after finishing my Visual Communications degree. I did get accepted to the ESDD program and was taught by the set decorator from that True Blood panel.
A few years later, I was hired by an incredible production designer named Cat Smith, who had been the award-winning art director on True Blood, and whom I had been so inspired by during that panel on Day with the Set Decorator. She is now an Emmy-winning production designer and still remains one of my biggest inspirations.
Tell us what inspired you to start your cookie business: It has been a dream come true to have the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom, and becoming a cookier has filled the creative void that I have been missing since making the difficult decision to leave Los Angeles and the entertainment industry.
Last year during the holiday season, I became obsessed with watching cookie decorating videos. I had seen one or two videos previous to this, but thought these beautiful cookies came out of high-end bakeries. My mind was blown when I stumbled onto a huge community of self-taught cookiers who are building businesses around decorating cookies and designing custom cookie cutters. I was so enamored by the whole concept. I loved the idea of becoming my own boss and building a business and what that could look like.
How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? FIDM gave me such a strong foundation and base skill set that has, and will continue, to carry me through so many career path options. The rigorous schedule and structured class projects gave me confidence to think creatively enough to start and build a new business, and to be my own boss. The opportunity to intern as part of the Entertainment Set Design and Decoration Program gave me an amazing hands-on education and introduced me to my mentor, Suzette Ervin. Suzette helped me get my first big interview, which led to my first big Hollywood job. She remains such a huge inspiration and support in my life, even today. She was also one of the first to support my new cookie business, placing an order without even seeing my work.
Any advice for current FIDM Students? You get out of your education what you put into it. Work hard! Be creative and take the opportunity to think outside the box with all your projects. Be open to feedback, both constructive or otherwise; it will help you in building your career, whether it teaches you a new way of looking at something or with dealing with difficult personalities in the workplace. Find inspiration in uncommon places. Take advantage of every opportunity that FIDM provides and use all the resources at your disposal. Build relationships with your fellow students, and the faculty, they may be the person who helps you get your dream job. You may even be the person who is doing the hiring, and having those people at your disposal is so very important. I still receive so much support from the school and the educators who I built relationships with while I was there.
What is your biggest goal right now? My biggest goal is to grow. Grow my skill set, grow my client base, grow my business. I would love to eventually start designing cookie cutters and stencils to sell, and perhaps even expand to other baked goods, such as cakes. There are so many different ways to build my business, and it’s exciting to be on this new journey.
Keep up with Amber Bailey Klovski on Instagram @thesweetcookiesheet.