Fortville woman does pandemic pivot from dog grooming to cookies

Chelsea Walsman was a certified dog groomer for many years. Then, in the middle of the pandemic, she decided to design, bake and decorate cookies.

FORTVILLE, Ind. – Chelsea Walsman was a certified dog groomer for many years. Then, last October, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, she decided to quit dog grooming to start designing, making, baking, decorating and selling biscuits. Yes, cookies.

“I got to a point where I was like, ‘I don’t know when this (pandemic) will end, and I don’t know what the future will be,'” Walsman said. “So I can either just go ahead or just wait for this to end. But at that point I felt like there was no end in sight, so I was like, ‘Let’s do it!'”

During her downtime during the lockdown, she watched “The Great British Baking Show”. This inspired her to start cooking, which led to the baking of cookies, that led to the design of cookies, which led to her selling her cookies. This turned into a new career.

“I thought, ‘I’m going to be a great cake decorator!'” Walsman recalled before admitting, “I was terrible at cakes. They were dry, they were ugly, and I was really discouraged. So I decided to try cookies. and I thought, ‘Maybe I came across something here. They taste a lot better!’ And they definitely look a lot better than my cakes. The frosting is royal frosting, so it dries hard. But it’s a really nice, soft butter sugar cookie that tastes really good. “

Now in this new biscuit career, she sells hundreds of specially designed candies and treats weekly from her Fortville home.

“I might want to have a storefront someday to host cookie classes and birthday parties for kids who like to bake and decorate,” said Walsman. “I have so much fun doing it. I just have the feeling that the sky has no limits.”

Walsman risked it, but she is not alone. There are now thousands of “pandemic penkers” looking to change their careers amid a new economic climate, according to a Forbes poll. This study found that 61 percent of women planned to switch careers during the pandemic.

“I never thought it would be like this in less than a year,” said Walsman. “I’m so honored to wake up and really do something I love every day.”

If you want to order cookies from Chelsea, you can find them on Instagram @CookieGiftsByChelsea.

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