Courtney Cowan Headshot

Fabulous People: Courtney Cowan

Baking started as a hobby for Courtney Cowan, the founder and CEO of Milk Jar Cookies. As a television producer, she would bring cookies to set–creating big smiles and a determination to make the day brighter for those around her. Milk Jar Cookies has been a Los Angeles favorite since 2013, and Cowan recently opened a second location in Encino. Learn about Courtney Cowan…

Follow at: @milkjarcookies; @courtneykcowan

Hometown: Westfield, IN

First job: My first job was when I was 15 years old at a candy store called Arlene’s Corner Sweet Shoppe. I loved it!

Favorite ways to spend your free time in CA: I absolutely love all the culture and various landscapes that California has to offer. Hiking, visiting museums and exploring new neighborhoods are some of my favorite ways to spend my time. I’ve lived here for 23 years, and there is still so much to discover, which I think is one of the most special things about this state.

Your biggest accomplishment and why: Aside from simply owning a food business that is still going strong after more than 10 years, I am most proud of the fact that the quality of my product has never wavered. After all these years, millions of cookies sold, and team members changing over time, we still produce the same high-quality, delicious cookies that our customers expect from us.

The biggest obstacle you overcame: While there have been numerous obstacles that have popped up over the course of the last 10 years, I think the biggest one I overcame was having no prior business experience, starting my company on a shoestring budget and bootstrapping it ever since. I credit my curiosity and commitment to educating myself along the way, as well staying true to my mission and vision, for finding the success we’ve found. I’ve never been too proud to ask questions and admit what I don’t know, so I am continuously seeking resources and people to fill in the gaps.   

milk jar cookies

Someone who inspires you and why: I am constantly inspired by so many people, but someone who inspires me regularly is my friend, Amanda. She is someone who, even when the world tries to knock her down, sees the good and the magic around her. She is tenacious and strong but has never lost her softness, and that is inspiring. Her belief that kindness is possible in all situations has been tested, but she holds tight to it and lets it guide the way. She shows up as herself each day, and I am so grateful to have her in my life and learn from her.  

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Do your research. You won’t be able to figure it all out before you dive in, but do what you can, talk to anyone who will give you time and just keep learning. Additionally, test your product. Get honest feedback from friends, family and strangers, and really listen to them. And lastly, trust your gut – it always knows what’s up.

Favorite quote: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: You might – or might not – be surprised to learn that I was a Girl Scout for many years in my youth (two-time top cookie seller, thank you very much). Troop 169 from Westfield, IN, forever! 

What makes someone fabulous: I think someone is fabulous when they are living their truth out loud. We are all so unique and have such gifts to share with the world. I love seeing people proudly being themselves and doing what sets their soul on fire. There is such beauty and inspiration in that, and may we all remember just how fabulous we are.

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