We had the good fortune of connecting with Sammi Hampton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sammi, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Being an athlete and playing sports, tennis in particular, has been the key factor for almost all of my success in life. Tennis has taught me many many life lessons which I have transferred to my cookie business.
Adversity: I tore my ACL while I was playing tennis for Arizona State University. Injuries like this make you feel like you should quit, make you think you won’t be able to come back as good as you once were. However, going through that recovery made me realize that if you love something you can’t back down, and that if you work hard enough there is always room for improvement. I came back stronger than ever after my injury. Not only was I physically stronger, I was mentally stronger because I felt like I could endure anything. When I couldn’t master my Oatmeal Cakie, I kept on trying and after months of experimenting, I came up with a combination better than I could have imagined and it is now my favorite flavor! When the post office delivers a package in shambles, I don’t let it deter my motivation.. I figure out a solution and push forward.
Responsibility: Tennis is (mainly) an individual sport. There is no blame game that you can play. I learned how to take responsibility for when I messed up or lost. It wasn’t my teammates fault, it wasn’t my coach, and it wasn’t the conditions… it was my fault. This helps me with my business because I am able to take responsibility and improve at everything I do, rather than staying stagnant and “blaming” something else. If my website isn’t up-to-date, that’s on me and I will fix my tardiness. If my cookies don’t taste like normal it isn’t the ingredient’s fault, it is mine and I figure out what I did wrong to improve for next time.
Hard Work: We’ve all heard it- “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” This quote comes to fruition on the tennis court. Tennis (as well as all sports) teaches you to work hard. My work ethic has been instilled in me after all of these years out on the tennis court, grinding. Even if I didn’t want to be there I was forced to learn how to push through and come out better. Not all days do I want to go bake cookies for 10 hours, but from tennis I have learned that you don’t get to where you want to go by doing nothing. You have to work for it!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Sammi’s Cookie Co. is a cookie company that ships nationwide and delivers locally in Phoenix, Arizona. I have been a dessert-fanatic my entire life, and have always loved to bake. My story is extremely unique because it was both passion and luck of the draw that my “Cakies” blew up!
My passion for dessert was what inspired me to try and create a decadent cookie that was larger, more doughy, and more FUN than the normal, standard, cookie. The Cakie is just this. It combines elements of both cake and cookie to create the dessert I had always wanted. When I was finally able to create this wonderful dessert, I posted it on my personal Instagram and asked people if they wanted to try some because I had too many. To my complete surprise, a lot of people said yes! All of a sudden, I was receiving requests from friends and from people I didn’t even know! This is how Sammi’s Cookie Co. started.
At the beginning of the company, I was playing D1 tennis at Arizona State University so my time was limited. I was only able to bake once a week for my followers, and when COVID hit, I was unable to produce any cookies at all. This is when my boyfriend pushed me to go for something BIG. Take the next step and create a Shopify account to be able to sell online and ship nationwide, contactless. The company had great success, to my pleasant surprise. When school was back in session my customer base was larger and I required an entire day to bake for my orders that week. My tennis coaches were very accommodating and arranged a schedule that allowed for this.
I finished my last season and graduated with a Masters Degree, and now I am ready to take another step to grow Sammi’s Cookie Co.! Looking back, there were definitely some bumps along the way.. The biggest thing I have learned to do is take constructive criticism. It is the only way you will be able to grow your business or improve as a person. You can’t improve without knowing what you need to improve on first! So, if anyone ever has anything to criticize you on, don’t take it personally! That is business, that is life, and that is how you progress! My customers are absolutely AMAZING, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them and their feedback (both positive and negative).
Nothing worth having comes easy!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
In the Phoenix area I would list these following places as a must!!
Dessert (classic dessert is the first bullet):
Andy’s Frozen Custard (AMAZING)
Black Bear Diner
The Daily Jam
Matt’s Big Breakfast
The Drunk Monk
Mill’s Modern Social
The Grand Canyon/Sedona
Old Town Scottsdale
Scottsdale Fashion Square
Salt River Tubing
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My Boyfriend: Very cliche.. and although there are a LOT of people in my life who I owe many many thanks to, my boyfriend is probably the biggest contributor to my start-up success. Without him, I would not have taken the leap to join Shopify and create an account and to then spend money advertising on Facebook. These two things triggered the immediate “blow-up” of Sammi’s Cookie Co.
We all need that person in our lives to push us to take risks and go for what we want. For me, that person is my boyfriend. Simple as it is… the greater the risk, the greater the reward!
Facebook: Sammi’s Cookie Co.