We had the good fortune of connecting with Sydni Calais and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sydni, do you have any habits that you feel contribute to your effectiveness?
I feel like consistency is so extremely essential in starting your own business, and essential for making it last. I’ve seen a lot of people try and start a business, while not realizing the amount of time and consistency that plays into building clientele, posting content & gaining followers, getting a backbone behind your brand. A stable business doesn’t come quickly or easily- it happens over a long period of time, making good choices with the small decisions. Realizing that early on, helped me grow my brand to where it is today.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started Sweets by Syd in 2013 when I was in highschool, and became full time in 2018. It’s been a sweet ride ever since, but it has certainly come with it’s hardships- as all good things do! There has been plenty of weeks where I’ll work 60-70 hours, but it makes me so thankful for my clients, and it taught me how to work skillfully & quickly. I’ve relocated & lost some clients, but in turn gained some new ones & new business connections that are more central to the downtown Houston area. COVID has brought so many cancellations & adjustments to how I run the business, but it taught me how to improvise & still be able to serve the joy of cookies to people, even during some of the roughest times. Sometimes it can be a struggle to find a shortbread cookie that looks pretty, but that also tastes good. I’ve been told that my cookies taste similar poptarts.. a soft & chewy vanilla cookie base, with a sweet glaze donut icing. My creativity in my cookie designs typically leans towards fun bright colors, pop culture & comedy references, and modern aesthetics. I’m inspired by making people feel seen, equal, included, loved & appreciated, I love that I get to be a small part of the biggest moments of people’s lives, bringing happiness through cookies & creativity. I’m inspired by the character, diversity, art, and pride that comes from my hometown- Houston, Texas (H-TOWN BABY). The cookie community is also extremely creative & inspiring, and always so encouraging to each other. I’m blessed to be a part of it, & to share the knowledge I’ve gained over the years with new “cookiers” in the community.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Where to start?! Houston has so many fun activities & places to see. There’s the museum district if you want to admire art pieces at the Fine Arts museum or check out the artifacts at the Natural Science museum. There’s also the Color Factory, for a very interactive/”instagrammable” experience. We have relaxing parks like Buffalo Bayou (for those skyline views), & Hermann Park (for the wildlife & those peaceful vibes). Hermann Park is also neighbors with the Houston Zoo. Houston is extremely diverse with food, but a few of my favorite restaurants are Tout Suite (a good spot for studying or grabbing coffee/quick bites), Tiny Boxwoods (gorgeous aesthetic, 10/10 chocolate chip cookies), & Ninfa’s (for the best chips & salsa/margaritas you’ll ever taste). Also visit Velvet Taco, RA Sushi, House of Pies, The Breakfast Klub. Night life is always a blast in the H- with a good selection of bars in the Midtown, Montrose area (Electric FeelGood, 77 Degrees, Pour Behavior). As well as plenty of breweries in the East Downtown area (Truckyard, 8th Wonder, Saint Arnold’s).
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Big shoutout to my friends & family for always stepping up to decorate some cookies on crazy weeks! Even if it’s just words of encouragement to help me de-stress, it is always so close to my heart, and is always deeply appreciated. I always love to give a shoutout to my Highschool algebra teacher, Juleanna Lee. She was my very first client, helped me come up with a business name, & recommended business cards. She saw my potential & always encouraged me to go for it, as she did with all of her students!
Facebook: Sweets by Syd
Gavin Calais Photography