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A tasty business sprung from new pandemic free time

September 29, 2020 By Chelsea Hylton

UW-Madison student Victoria Budin turned her newfound pandemic free time into a business.

Victoria Budin

A junior studying Food Science, she has always loved baking. Budin’s family moved from Chicago to Texas recently, and then her summer internship was canceled due to the pandemic.

“My family moved to Corpus Christi for my dad’s new job and we didn’t really know anybody and I didn’t really have anything to do, so it gave me an opportunity to start my own business,” she said.

She decided to turn a simple hobby into something more.

“One weekend my dad was having a socially distanced gathering with some friends from work and I offered to bake something,” she said. “I decided to pick something that would take up a good amount of my time so I decided to make COVID cookies.”

She spent that entire weekend making and decorating the cookies. That’s when she got the idea. She launched her cookie decorating business, called Iced Illustrations, and started posting about it on social media.

“I thought to myself like ‘you know what, this is something that I really like and it makes me happy, so why not take the risk?”

Budin posted her logo and some pictures on local business sites to try and get her first couple of clients. It started off slow, then she started to get more and more orders.

“I got my first order in Texas. They are family friends who own a card house and have poker game nights, and they ordered some card cookies,” she said. “Once I got back to school I started getting more and more orders. I even had to turn some people’s orders down because there were too many.”

There have been a couple of bumps in the road, but she has managed to handle it all and continue to decorate cookies.

“Some things that I have learned from starting a small business have been that you can’t do everything at once, and also knowing my worth,” she said.

Surprisingly, the majority of her orders have been for bridal showers, or for brides to gift to their maids of honor when they ask them.