Founder Melanie may be a “killer,” but she’s by far a standout and bake favorite with her fantastic line of cutters and stencils. Killer Zebras even just started a collaboration with Sweet Sugarbelle on a new line of cutters that you have to check out. Always a true positive force in this industry, Melanie is a genuine cheerleader for cottage bakers and cookies all around. To boot, she started a fun line of sweet baker swag with custom tumblers and tees.
Here it is in her words… HOW IT ALL BEGAN:
Back in 2009 I stumbled on a picture of a decorated cookie and absolutely had to try making some for myself! I started practicing with whatever designs I could think up. I started with a royal icing recipe in an old cookbook and had to stumble my way through figuring out how this all worked! This was before decorated cookies were mainstream, and I quickly discovered how difficult it was to find good tools and helpful tutorials. In the early days I exacto-knifed all of my cookie shapes (or bent shapes out of strips of tin!) and hand cut my own stencils out of cardstock. In 2012 I stepped it up and started designing stencils on the computer and used a die cut machine to cut them out. Other cookie artists started asking where I was buying my tools, so in 2014 I opened up shop! Killer Zebras Bakery was the name I went by back when I sold cookies but I couldn’t give up the name I loved so much, and so Killer Zebras began!
For years we’ve been an online-only store, but in June 2021 we are opening the doors to our storefront in Maple Valley, WA!! We’re so excited to continue to grow and add more to the products you know and love!
The name “Killer Zebras” originated in a book called “Sunshine” by Robin McKinley. (If you haven’t read any of her books I suggest you pick up “The Hero and the Crown” and thank me later.) In the book the main character, Sunshine, is a baker who makes (among other things) cookies called Killer Zebras! When asked about the name, the author says she “first met them in an old Betty Crocker cookbook under the name Harlequin Cookies.”
Let’s be honest here, though. When I originally chose the name I just thought it was funny! At that time I had no idea how far my cookie journey would take me. Although even if I had, I wouldn’t change a thing. I truly enjoy the confused looks on people’s faces when I tell them the name of my business. It was at least a few years before I could even say it with a straight face!