Tatum Butler is only 11-years-old and is becoming a social media sensation, locally, for her homemade treats.
It started back in March when Tatum used all her birthday money to buy a KitchenAid stand mixer.
“She always wanted to bake, but I don’t bake — baking takes precision and patience,” her mother Rhiannon Butler quipped.
As for using all her gift funds to buy a mixer — “What 11-year-old does that?,” the mother joked.
Tatum sold cookies at a garage sale this summer and sold out over two weekends, even having repeat customers. Since then, she’s worked hard at finding recipes and making them her own.
She started the Tatum’s Treats Facebook page in late August, selling as a state-registered home processor, mostly to friends and family, and participated in the Young Entrepreneur Expo in Boonville this October. She has fully taken off since then.
Tatum currently offers sugar cookie DIY kits, hand pies, and specialty pies. And she hasn’t completed any special classes — Tatum has learned to make and decorate the perfect, professional looking sugar cookie all through her own efforts.
Recently Tatum sat down and answered a few questions about herself and her small business. The young entrepreneur, of Rome, is a sixth grader at Ridge Mills Elementary.
Question: What got you interested in baking, and what gave you and mom the idea to try and sell your baked goods through Facebook?
Tatum: I became interested in baking a while ago, but really became interested during this last year. Both of my great-grandmothers were bakers.
I remember baking with them during the holidays, but soon they became too old to be baking all day. I decided to start baking for family and friends, and then friends of friends. Everybody who tried my desserts really enjoyed them. After a while, I wanted to bring that joy to others, so I decided to start my business.
Question: Have you won any awards?
Tatum: I have not won any awards, but maybe someday.
Question: What other hobbies/sports are you involved in that you enjoy?
Tatum: I have been involved in many sports and hobbies over the years: karate, soccer, basketball, ice skating and theater. I have performed in many plays and musicals at the Rome Community Theatre, starting when I was 5-years-old. I look forward to being in more productions, and would like to start softball and swimming.
Question: What would you like to be when you grow up?
Tatum: When I grow up I would like to own a bakery.
Question: Your sugar cookies are the perfect thickness and your other baked goods look flawless, where did you learn to bake and decorate like a professional baker?
Tatum: Trial and error. Feedback from close family and friends have really helped me perfect my baking. I would like to learn more about decorating cookies, as I love to draw and would like to become more artistic with my cookies.
Question: Is it true your business has a partnership with a small business run by another 11-year-old entrepreneur, Dangles by Caroline, which sells homemade cotton masks?
Tatum: Yes. Caroline (Holtslander) and I have been friends for the last three years. We recently partnered for the holidays as a way to help each other’s business and show that young people can do whatever they set their minds to.
Question: How would you encourage others your age, or maybe even younger, to reach for their dreams and do what they’re passionate about?
Tatum: If I could say anything to encourage others, it is just to be yourself. If you find a hobby, make it your own, and add your twist to it. It may just help you make your living in life.
I would like to thank my family and friends for all their support during this journey.
For more about Tatum Butler, her business, chances to win DIY cookie kits, order cookies, or masks from Dangles by Caroline, go to her Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/TatumsTreats.NY/.