WSU student creates business from cookie cutters

Entrepreneur sells 3D printed WSU themed cookie cutters online



Connor Weller, mechanical engineering major, shares his experience with building a business on Cougar themed cookie cutters on Friday evening in the Spark.

SHANEL HAYNES, Evergreen reporter

A WSU student who began creating WSU-themed cookie cutters out of his dorm room using a 3D printer has transformed his hobby into a business.

Connor Weller, junior mechanical engineering major, said the Cougkie Cutter website features cookie cutters in the shape of cougar paws, mustaches, jerseys, footballs and the WSU cougar, all ranging from $8 to $11.

The company also sells seasonal cookie packages, which it has delivered to WSU students and cookie decorating classes in the past, he said.

Weller said starting a business selling cookie cutters was never his intention, but after the positive reaction he received from his first Cougkie cutter, he developed the idea for the company.

“I made one for my mom, and she absolutely loved it, and she posted a picture of it on the WSU parent Facebook chat and that went viral. They all started sharing it and loved it,” he said.

After the positive reactions he received from Facebook, he said he began to make the cookie cutters in his Gannon-Goldsworthy dorm as a freshman using a 3D printer.

He said all the designs he uses are printed in sets of four. The time it takes to make the cutters varies depending on the design. On average, it can take about two to four hours to make a set.

“I would get up at around two in the morning and reset the prints and keep going, and the business kind of grew from there,” Weller said.

From his dorm, the company began growing. He was able to start adding more cookie cutters, build a website, set up shipping and start experimenting with injection molding for his Cougkie cutter design, he said.

He said he uses the profits from the business to help pay for college. Sometimes the business makes more during certain months or special WSU events, but he said he’s still proud of where his business is headed.

Weller said when it comes to the business, he handles most of the management, product design and marketing. However, his family does play a big role in the business, helping with shipping the product.

He said most of the shipping happens from his parents’ home in Vancouver, Washington.

“As a college student that kind of stuff is hard because it’s a daily thing that you have to do,” he said.

Jenna Rode, co-owner of Sweet Mutiny Frozen Yogurt and Cupcakes, said her store sells Weller’s Cougkie cutters, and the sales have been great. She said she sees a lot of potential for Weller in the future.

“I think with his experience being so young and already having a successful business, he’s just going to go on and do even greater things,” she said. “I just hope that he sticks with the cougar theme, because the cougar family is huge, and we love to support our cougs.”

Weller said he wants to expand his business by making more products such as WSU-themed Christmas ornaments and have an apparel line.

He said he might venture into creating cookie cutters based on other colleges. It might be challenging to start selling other college-themed cookie cutters because of how supportive and passionate the WSU community is, but it still is something worth looking into, he said.