Hometown: Taylor, Texas
Favorite spot in Dallas to be Inspired: Arboretum
Favorite Flower to add to an arrangement: Freesia and Free Spirit Rose
Sarah Seay majored in English and minored in Education at University of Texas in Austin. She currently lives in Dallas and is a mother to three lovely children -- Margaret, George, and Elizabeth. Her passions have led to: schoolteacher, community volunteer, Chaired Council For Life Volunteer. She has chaired the Legacy Family Retreat, GCA Garden Club, National Charity League, and the Dallas Garden Club. She serves as a member of West Dallas Community School, Art House Dallas Creative Council member, a clothing consultant, and last but not least, she is the founder of One Pink Cookie.
AHD: Whether it’s a floral arrangement or a favor bag filled with homemade shortbread cookies, your creations consistently stun. How did you get your start in both floristry and baking?
SS: At home as a young girl I watched my mom, dad, and grandmother create at home and make special memories. I became the designated dessert maker and that certainly inspired me as a mom: all three of my kids were on stools at the counter by age 2 baking and creating with me. The flower thing started as a passionate love of nature, which has consumed and inspired me all of my life. When I moved to Dallas, I found community with other flower fanatics in various garden clubs and I started competing in flower shows. I absolutely loved it. I then started arranging flowers for friends’ events, as well as my own for various charitable and political purposes. It felt natural when I decided to start a business where I could use my two passions to create that which is beautiful and good for clients rather than just family and friends.
AHD: Do you have a preference between the two? How are they different?
SS: As an art form, I prefer floral design. To me, your true calling in life is to do what you love. When you are involved in that process, time has no meaning—you forget to eat, forget the day of the week, and have a transcendent experience that we creatives know so well. That is what I experience with flowers. The cookies are my “bread and butter”. I find it deeply gratifying to provide delicious goodies that bring so much joy and pleasure to others.
AHD: One Pink Cookie is quickly growing, one thumbprint cookie at a time. Can you tell us about your new venture and why you decided to start it. Also, what is the story behind the name One Pink Cookie?
SS: One Pink Cookie started one afternoon when I was sitting in my dear mentor Allie Hanley’s closet—during what I considered to be the greatest trial and turning point of my life. She was giving me incredible spiritual advice as we prepared for a charity event and thought I needed a “pick me up”. She grabbed a bright pink purse of hers that she had never carried and said, “Here”. I was so touched because it was my favorite color—pink—which means joy and new beginnings! When I returned to Dallas, I was trying to think of an appropriate way to thank my friend, so I sent what I considered my very best cookie: thumbprints with my signature pink butter cream icing. She completely flipped out over them, and being the “can-do encouraging backer” that she is, encouraged me to start a business. I did, the very next week! That was in March. I now average 1,000 cookies per week and have done three charity events with my cookies and flowers, with four more on the horizon. It was the best idea I had because I wanted to work at home, was able to get the simple ingredients easily, and also the cookies were already fairly “well-known” amongst my friends here in Dallas.
The name One Pink came about because I never do anything in my life without a loving purpose and a deeper meaning. I thought about what the pink purse represented: encouragement and comfort in a time of crisis. I thought about all of the charities I love that help women get through various crises in their lives. I decided there would be one pink cookie in each order to represent my giving to these charities. I also really love the pink icing the best and so do my kids! My first charity to help is a home in Israel called the Warm House, where they help troubled teenage girls, because one of their “therapy” activities is baking!
AHD: You’ve said that you love when your hands and heart are in tune. Do you feel like working with flowers and sweet treats helps you to contribute to the common good?
SS: Absolutely! We all as humans love beauty and goodness. What I love most is when I can bless people with an arrangement of flowers that means something, or give cookies that bring joy. I love helping with charity events and working with volunteers to create flowers that speak about the beauty, goodness, and generosity of God. He lets flowers and food grow, allows rain to fall down, rivers to flow, children to be born, sunshine to beam down on us, and stars to sparkle. I am really only cooperating with him when I create. For instance, when I did flowers for an Art House event, I chose the Free Spirit Rose in honor of our creative thinkers. I used Queen Anne’s Lace because it made me think of the ethereal nature of musical notes that ring above the scale. With the cookies, I recently did an event for the Dallas Pregnancy Resource Center where every other table had a custom designed cookie box with flower petals all around. We sold the boxes and arrangements as proceeds to benefit the charity. I also have done flowers and cookies for Art House, Seed Effect, and of course anything my kids are involved in!
AHD: Why do you think it’s important for creative and crafty folks to try and “do good” with their talents?
SS: Well for many of us, we “can’t not”! Instead, I believe it was instilled in us by the Creator and we have to let it out. I think that if you are creative and do not pursue your passion, or for some reason do not share that talent for the common good, it can be very detrimental to your well being I also think that there are many people suffering and are not reached through the traditional channels of church and charity. I think the languages of beauty and art are the ones that can truly bless people in a life-altering way. I read once that people tire of almost every thing this world has to offer us, except beauty. Beauty must be shared to be assimilated: a beautiful flower arrangement, painting, sunset, song, or even cookie is just not the same without someone to share it with and appreciate it. Using your creative talent for, and with, others is to me the highest form of love. Granted, I am a creative, so that may be just me!
AHD: As a parent of three, how do you try and instill a sense of artful living in your children?
SS: Again, for me the question is, “how do I not?” I remember telling a friend I would love to home school, because it was so popular at the time, but what would we do about math and geography? The kids would certainly learn to create! From day one, my kids were my most meaningful and beautiful creative pursuit done in conjunction, of course, with my Creator. They love beauty, art, going to museums, looking at beautiful books, baking, enjoying nature, listening to music, and making huge messes with paint, playdough, fabric, chalk, and any other medium they could get their hands on. I sang and read to them constantly, even in the womb. My youngest was so eager to be in the kitchen with me while I cooked, I had to put her in a bubble bath in my sink every night with all the measuring cups and spoons so she could “help”. Now, it is so gratifying to have watched them grow up and find their individual passions. My oldest daughter is an award winning poet, painter, and pen and ink artist. My son is a singer-songwriter who plays the guitar, bass, mandolin, piano, and drums. My youngest daughter has far surpassed me in cooking, is a classical singer, guitar player, painter, and budding seamstress.
AHD: One could say there is an art to icing a cookie just like there is to painting a portrait. Do you participate in other arts outside of the culinary and floral?
SS: Interesting you say that about painting—I originally started out as a painter but lost patience, so I started all of these other pursuits. I still love to paint but I also love to create beautiful living spaces, table artistry, photography and writing. I used to play guitar, but my son and daughter are so good, they shamed me out of it!
AHD: Where can we go to keep up with all the One Pink Cookie happenings online, and most importantly, how can we order cookies?