I had the pleasure of getting to know entrepreneur Shahira Marie
Sipping vanilla-infused milk from a delectably soft chocolate chip cookie formed into a small shot cup coated inside with a smooth chocolate layer may be a little slice of heaven for many but for entrepreneur Shahira Marie it means business.
Shahira first conceived her cleverly delicious enterprise while on maternity leave from her day job as an aerospace project manager. Wanting to be her own boss from an early age, she left the security of her full-time job to bring joy to the world through cookie dough shaped into small cups. These little shot cups are cooked and lined with chocolate so they hold one’s favorite beverage from hot espresso to cool milk. Warm the cookie cups and pour in a little Irish cream or marshmallow creme for powerfully tantalizing taste.
Interestingly, Shahira’s company The Dirty Cookie didn’t grow out the life-long desire to be a baker but to gainfully employ individuals in an industry where collaboration and creativity come together to create a range of products that meet the needs of consumers and drives home the idea that anything is possible.
Any business owner will tell you that managing daily operations can easily slip into evening and weekend hours that threaten precious family time and sleep. Shahira shares a few of her own tips on how she avoids burnout and thrives balancing work, family and self.
To begin, meditation relieves stress and helps one feel refreshed and ready to start the day with clarity. Shahira meditates twice a day for 20 minutes, once in the morning and once at the end of the work day. Carving out those moments centers the mind around a core of peace and empowerment.
Making time for self-care is another critical part of the week. Shahira does hot yoga at least 3 times a week and loves to read, journal and spend quality time with her five-year-old daughter. Doing these little things leave her energized and ready to take on the world. When celebrities start noticing your speciality treats and orders begin pouring in for catering and online shipments, it is easy to let these special moments slide. Add personal time to the checklist! Schedule it in and set reminders if you need it.
Love What You Do
Doing what you love and loving what you do fuels the passion to keep it going. Shahira shares that she loves being with people and talking about their cookie shots and how much fun they can be for events. A self-proclaimed “milk and cookies person” herself, it is easy to enjoy the product and its success as she uses some of the proceeds to give back to her community and to her native Egypt. When she was 10, she visited Egypt and witnessed such homelessness and poverty first-hand that she knew she would use her skills and knowledge to help others someday. Her dad’s poignant comment during the vacation left a life-changing impression, “If you really want to help them, give them jobs, not money.”
Finally, prayer covers the whole process. “I’m a spiritual person so I trust the process and the journey of having challenges so I incorporate prayer into my everyday routine to strengthen my faith.” Prayer is a powerful way to let go of the daily worries and focus on the important things. Life doesn’t always make sense and it helps to release concerns through prayer..
Thanks to an inspiring balancing act by Shahira and her family and employees, The Dirty Cookie is now a successful online gifting company including cookie shots, cookies, cookie butters and a variety of vegan and gluten-free options. It is a “dessert haven–a home for those who are searching for themselves and what they love.” It is a home for those exploring, experiencing the impossible and delighting in bringing everything they love together in one simple sip and a bite with a little something extra inside.