Sugar On Top

Using social media and e-commerce, Hillary Ramos has turned The Cookie Countess into a confection sensation

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Cookies make people do crazy things. A century ago, Marcel Proust bit into a madeleine; that moment inspired him to write his 4K-page autobiography. In 2011, Hillary Ramos decorated her first cookie to help celebrate her son’s birthday. That moment inspired her to keep decorating, create her own stencils, and master the art of cookie airbrushing.

Today, Hillary has recast herself as The Cookie Countess, and her Warwick-based brand has won fans around the world. Her instructive YouTube channel claims nearly 10,000 subscribers. She sells a range of cookie-related gear, like cutters, piping bags, and rolling pins. She has a special line of kosher and gluten-free tools. She hosts classes, mostly geared toward women with a sweet tooth – and many have started lucrative side-hustles as custom-cookie decorators. Early on, Hillary conscripted her husband for sales and marketing, and her team has ballooned ever since.

“The dessert industry as a whole has been skyrocketing,” says Hillary. “Think of how Pinterest, Instagram, and Internet shopping have given the inspiration and made it available to make anything happen at your wedding or special occasion. Nobody has just a cake anymore – it’s all about the dessert table.”

The company recently moved into a 5,000-square-foot warehouse, and they have started using 3D printers to churn out specialty cookie cutters. Hillary takes pride in her company’s prompt shipping schedule and thorough customer service.

Prior to decorating cookies, Hillary didn’t think of herself as a visual artist. Her academic background was in English Literature, but art classes? “Nothing too formal,” she says. “Lots of photography, but ask me to draw a picture with a crayon and I can’t do it. Somehow it is easier with a piping bag and much better with stencils. I taught myself any graphic design skills I needed over
the years.”

She adds: “I’ve always loved baking, though.”