22-year-old took leap to set up independent business two years ago and has not looked back
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A 22-year-old from Northampton set up an independent cookie business more than two years ago and says she has not looked back since.
Millie Judd, from Moulton, set up Made by Millie in May 2020, aged just 20 – and sells out every week as the business has continued to go from strength to strength.
What started as Millie baking cookies to deliver to family and friends as a pick-me-up during the first lockdown, then gained traction on social media and led to the start of an exciting venture.
Millie said: “I put a photo on my personal Instagram account and the amount of people who were interested in buying them was insane.
“I was never worried about starting the business at a young age as it felt right. I knew it would either be amazing or a flop, but all that matters is that I tried.”
Though, the business owner did not have to worry as Made by Millie gained success quickly and now offers a variety of products – cookies, cookie pie slices and birthday cookie cakes.
Millie has a four-year-old son, Connor, and when talking about becoming a mother, she says this contributed to her mindset that age did not matter when setting up Made by Millie.
“You have to throw yourself into things,” she said. “I never imagined it would grow as it has and I’m beyond grateful for everyone’s orders each week.”
Not only does Millie sell online herself, but this year she became a stockist for The Paddock Pantry – a portable cafe located at Harlestone Firs – and has had stalls at a number of fairs.
The 22-year-old wants to thank Jordan Zammit, owner of The Paddock Pantry, for “opening up her business to a new level”.
Millie says it “blows her mind” that customers visit Harlestone Firs specifically for one of her cookie pie slices, which she keeps to be sold especially at The Paddock Pantry.
The business owner is also always taken aback that her products sell out within two hours at the fairs she attends.
“The turnout is always incredible and I kick myself for not taking more stock,” said Millie.
Millie works as a nursery practitioner three days a week and on her days off, she juggles baking for her business, delivering the products, and prioritising family time.
Though she admits striking the right balance is “hard”, Millie will always put her son Connor first and now he is four, he wants to help his mum and is given his own ingredients to mix.
Looking to the future, Millie is “overwhelmed” at the thought that her business may enable her to leave her job.
If she secures another supplier in the new year, this is likely to allow Millie to reach her goal of going full time with Made by Millie by the start of 2024.
Millie may be the face of the brand, but she says she would not be able to run it successfully without the support of her fiancée and parents.
Her partner delivers most of the cookies, her mum helps with running stalls, and her dad assists with finances – and all of them offer constant moral support.