Interview | Arty McGoo

So Richard comes home one night after visiting with a friend and says to me ‘Hun, you need to go check out Doug’s sister’s cookies. They’re amazing. They’re the best cookies and art I have ever seen!’

So I jump online to Arty McGoo.

Go ahead… take a peek. I’ll wait here a minute while your jaws drop to the floor. Im not kidding either.

See? Do you see those cookies? What the heck!

So I just had to find out who she was, why she does it, and maybe try some cookies? So I sent her an email, like the dork that I am, and WOW! She replied! And she said ‘Yes, I would love to sit down and chat!’. Oh, did I mention she is like 15 minutes from my house?

So early last month we met up at a local coffee house, Amsterdam, and got to talkin’. I had some questions written down, but as with any face to face ‘interview’ I also wanted things to form organically. So it may seem all over the place but I was in Arty McGoo heaven.

Meet Elizabeth Adams

Or, should I introduce you to Arty McGoo

Shut up with that cookie!

So tell me, Liz, errr I mean Arty McGoo… when did this all happen?

It started with a Bridal Shower. Then I made favors for my daughters birthday in 2010 and people got hooked, so I just kept making more!

Had you always had a love for cookies?

I have always loved to bake. The cookie thing just kind of happened, but I love it!

Who is this Arty McGoo and how does she differ from Liz?

Arty McGoo is a 50′s housewife drawn to retro. She is like me in many ways… there are bits and pieces of Liz in Arty McGoo.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself outside of the cookie biz?

I love art, creating, painting, photography. I like to sew, but I’m more of like a pretend sewer. I like to pretend that I can sew. But as you can tell, parts of the cookie biz spill over into my life. Or more like my life spills over into cookie making.

It’s interesting to see how someones business, especially in an artistic medium, can organically grow from who they are. Art is a form of expression; our own expression… you sure do show that in your cookies! You literally paint on your cookies. Its amazing! Do you like to paint on canvas too?

Thank you! Yes, I do paint on something other than my cookies. While I have painted on actual canvas, a lot of my art is ephemeral. I chalk paint on the sidewalk and it gets washed away, my cookie art gets eaten.. maybe it’s time to make some more permanent art?

Do you have any specific flavors for the cookies or are they just vanilla?

I have done other flavors other than vanilla butter. Lemon, chocolate, etc. But I typically make cookies with a vanilla butter flavor. I haven’t actually had many orders for anything else; it’s never really specified. And since I can only really bake and sell to friends and family I haven’t had any specific requests.

Wait, your cookies… your amazing cookies have only and can only be ordered from friends and family? Why??!

Up until now, small home business in the field of cooking and baking couldn’t sell from their home kitchens; you had to have a commercial kitchen in order to do so. But a bill was just passed called the California Cottage Food Law that allows us home bakers and makers to be able to sell from our homes! It goes into affect in January.

{To read more about this bill, go here.}

Wow, I had no idea! Thats a good thing for you then! Weddings, showers, birthdays, events… you can do them all!

{Laughs nervously….}

Well, yes. But that kind of scares me! Thats a lot of cookies and a lot of me out there!

But you’re amazing! You should send your cookies to Oprah! Ellen!

I’ve thought about it. I just don’t know…

{Obviously she is being modest and doesn’t realize how amazing she is!}

You know; as an artist we are our own critics. It’s hard to step back from my cookies and be amazed.

I can definitely relate! Especially when I’m making so many of the same bags. I kind of feel like an assembly line.

Right! The most I’ve made is 200 cookies for one order. Thats a lot. I love making cookies, but when its a large amount like that you do sort of feel that way.

I totally get it. Ok, so lets talk about other baked goods for a moment. Do you like anything other than cookies? Cake, cupcakes? Or are cookies your favorite?

Pie! I love pie. Every kind of pie. A Frankenstein Pie!

What is that!?

A pie made up of different kinds like apple, cherry, and do on.

Wow that sounds good.

It is good!

Describe yourself in three words

Creative, quirky, do-it-yourself-er

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Business-wise and personally.

5 years.. wow, that’s kind of far away. Hmmmm, well there may be the possibility of a bakery. I’d like to be a teacher of my craft. I see me and my family here on the Central Coast forever. I’ll probably be moving from craft to craft as well; I never really stay on one thing for too long.

Those are good goals and dreams! So a teacher… have you taught classes before?

I’ve taught some demonstrations at Church on brush technique and other techniques. I also hosted a cookie retreat! I called it Camp McGoo. It was over my birthday weekend and 11 cookiers flew in from all over the US. We did cookie decorating and baking… it was a lot of fun.

That does sound like fun! I want to do something like that with fellow bloggers and sewers. Have a sewing retreat at my house. I feel like I wouldn’t get a good response though. How did this retreat happen?

Well, we are a little group of cookiers that talk daily. One day I mentioned the idea of it and had a few responses and within a week everyone bought a plane ticket to come out! It just sort of happened. You should host one! It really was a lot of fun.

I think I might plant that seed. We will see how it grows. I don’t have a green thumb so the idea might be dead before it even grows.

Haha. Its all about community.

I agree! Since blogging, I’ve slowly built up a following. And aside from that, have gained blogger friendships that are amazing. I see a lot of people out there competing against one another… blogging is all about being a community and lifting each other up, helping each other out. Actually, I didn’t blow up really until I started hashtagging my photos on Instagram. IG has been amazing for my Etsy shops as well as my blog. Are you on Instagram?

I am, but I don’t really use it. In fact, I guess I accidentally uploaded a photo to IG and didn’t know it until I got a notification that someone ‘liked’ my photo. Then I was like oh.. someone likes my stuff.

Well, it’s amazing. Have I said that already?

{Takes a shy stance} I might have to try out this IG thing. Theres a whole community of cookiers out there I didn’t really know existed until not too long ago. It’s great! We really build each other up with support.

Support is good. Are you looking forward to anything soon?

Cookie Con!

What!? What is that?

A cookie convention! It’s in Salt Lake City and is an international 3 day event. There will be hundreds of cookiers! I’ll be doing a demo for 200 ladies on the art of painting on a cookie. Im kind of nervous about it. There are so many wonderful cookiers out there and then theres me…

Oh my gosh, you’re gonna love it! Wow, thats gotta be so amazing. How fun!

I can’t wait!

Thank you Liz for meeting with me and opening yourself up to us! Your talent is certainly jaw dropping and I can’t wait to take a bite out of your craft.

If you all want to learn how to paint on cookies, take a looksie at Arty McGoo’s tutorial.

Since January is only a couple months away {when the Cottage Food Law takes affect}, you should start contacting her now for your events and special orders. She may laugh nervously at the thought, but shes too amazing to pass up.

Go get your cookie on! Arty McGoo is. She’s packed and currently on her way to Salt Lake City for some Cookie Convention fun!

Arty McGoo Blog

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5 thoughts on “Interview | Arty McGoo

  1. I love that Arty McGoo: talented, kind, funny and gorgeous to boot! She’s the real deal. Thank you for the great article highlighting one of the cookie-sphere’s best.

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