Today we’d like to introduce you to Roopika Malhotra.
Roopika, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My origins story and entrepreneurial journey is a bit long and twisty! I started my career out of college in the magazine industry in NYC. I had an English degree and applied for a few jobs as a paralegal and in magazines. I told myself (and my parents) that if I could get a job in the creative world, I’d give it a go, and if not, I’d work for a year and then apply to law school. I even took the LSAT just in case!
I ended up landing a job as an editorial assistant in the Food Department at Real Simple. This was back in the early 2000s when it felt like every woman out of college wanted to be Carrie Bradshaw. While at Real Simple, I learned a little bit of everything from my senior editors—including how to create and shoot food stories, edit proofs, and the basics of how magazine articles were produced published. I loved it, but really wanted to be in fashion and I eventually got a job at Allure magazine as a beauty editor, where I continued to write and cover market events. Eventually, I ended up on the beauty team at ELLE.
Somewhere in between all of this, I met and married my now-husband, whose job in TV beckoned us to LA. At the time, we had a toddler and a cross-country move to warmer winters was enticing to me! I figured I could freelance write while raising my daughter, since thankfully, my husband’s job afforded us healthcare benefits and a steady paycheck. After a few years of freelancing digitally and in print while staying home with my two girls, the freelance well began to dry! Fortunately, I had an opportunity to go back to work full-time at Anastasia Beverly Hills as a Copy Director to help shape the brand’s voice. This job ended up being very powerful for me because it gave me very close access to the founder, Anastasia, and her VP, her daughter Claudia. I was deeply inspired by how they created their massively successful business and discovered my own inner entrepreneurial bug. I realized that I what I really wanted was freedom and ownership of my time so that I could enjoy motherhood but also still feel fulfilled with my work. I knew it was time to pivot.
That’s when the seeds of Sugarcraft started to sow. I loved throwing my daughters’ birthday parties and creating special experiences for them to enjoy with their friends. When I noticed that there wasn’t an option for modern and delicious cookie decorating, I started to see an opportunity and everything kind of took off from there.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I think the idea of entrepreneurship being a smooth road is a huge illusion and too often the challenges are left out of the narrative! For me, nothing has been easy in the journey to starting/creating a business and there are constantly obstacles I’ve had to think my way out of. Getting my brand name trademarked, for example, was a two year long process that cost me a small fortune. You wouldn’t know that when you see the packaging with that tiny “R” on it, but every time I look at it, I am reminded of what it took me in terms of blind faith, dedication, and finances to get there!
This journey is not for the faint of heart as it will really challenge your tenacity and self-worth on a daily basis, BUT if you really listen to your gut and inner self, you’ll begin to trust the process. That’s what I’m learning, anyways!
Sugarcraft – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Sugarcraft is all about creating delicious and elevated cookie, cupcake, and cake decorating experiences. We offer completely scratch-made products for our patrons to personalize and decorate on their own. What sets us apart is our curation and edit in terms of shapes, colors, and topping options, as well as the amazing taste of our treats! We are trend-driven and customize everything according to our clients’ needs and wishes. I’m most proud of our quality ingredients, attention to detail, and service. We want to make decorating treats feel special, chic, and elevated—as it should be!
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
There are so many! I’m always super proud to work with people I’ve long-admired, such as Joy Cho of Oh Joy!, but also simple things such as accomplishing large orders that initially terrified me (like the time I hand-decorated 500 cookies for Delta) or just getting an email from a happy mom saying how impressed she was by our service and the taste of our cakes! When you create a business, it’s like having a baby, so you’re proud of every single milestone ever after!
- Cookie Decorating Kits, $48
- Cookie Decorating Party, $395 and up
- Hand-decorated cookies, $5 each
- Website: Sugarcraftla.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @sugarcraft