Meet Marisa van der Walt … the cookie queen who’s baking her way to happiness – one beautiful batch at a time.
Marisa van der Walt is one of those people who seem to have an endless reserve of energy and creativity. She’s always on the move, making the most of every minute, from sewing clothes and interior decorating to throwing special occasion parties. And now, baking cookies.
Her love for all things artsy began at an early age. As a child she could always be found colouring, designing dresses, cooking and redecorating anything that might be considered even a tad too drab.
It was only a matter of time before one of her true passions was ignited when she started learning to sew from her gran, a skilled seamstress. By the time Marisa was in Grade 4, she was already stitching her way to success. Fast forward a few years, and she made her very own matric farewell dress!
“After graduation, my best friend and I decided to chase our dreams and open our own design studio. And so, Red Carpet Couture was born.
“We specialised in wedding dresses and evening gowns, with a particular focus on matric farewell dresses. Over the following 10 years, we also crafted outfits for mothers of the bride, bridesmaids, and occasionally, gowns for beauty pageants and fashion shows.”
For Marisa, the real joy lay in the intricate handwork, especially beading, and in connecting with her clients to create the perfect design. Yet, her bustling career took a pause when she decided to focus on her growing family. At the time, she and her husband, Jaco, welcomed their second child into the world. And so she continued with smaller projects, such as designing dance costumes for a close friend’s daughter and crafting a ballet tutu here and there.
“Being a mom was – and is – a full-time job. Especially after we had our third child. But, with that said, I like being busy and I don’t think I’ll ever have enough time for all the things I want to do and learn.”
This was up until a few years ago when fate intervened in the form of a back fusion operation that confined Marisa to her bed for six weeks. With plenty of time on her hands, she delved into her interests through Pinterest (one of her absolute fave sites). One of which was sugar cookies and royal icing.
This sweet combination of baking and decorating intrigued her, and she took the plunge. She found a beginner class online and never looked back. The royal icing monster had sunk its teeth into her, and she was hooked.
Now, Marisa specialises in sugar cookies decorated with royal icing and has opened her own baking business – Cookies and Marisa. She can craft these delectable treats for any occasion, in various sizes and themes. From plain cookies to elaborately detailed flooded cookies, she can do it all.
She believes in going the extra mile for her clients, ensuring that each cookie is a work of art. And if a cookie doesn’t meet her high standards, it simply won’t leave her house.
Beyond her technical skills, what truly sets Marisa apart is her love and care for what she does. Baking is one of her love languages! And like any artist, she’s had her share of flops, from minor mishaps to late-night butter bleed rescues. But her philosophy is simple: never give up, keep practicing, and learn from your mistakes.
When asked about her dreams for her cookie business, this loving, fun and vibrant baker keeps it down-to-earth. She’s simply enjoying the present and relishing the time with her family as her children go through school. Although the future is uncertain, she’s open to the possibilities it may bring.
At heart, Marisa is a family woman who finds her greatest happiness at home, surrounded by her husband and children Jaco Jr, Isabella, and Carla. She firmly believes in maintaining a balanced life, allocating her time to God, her family, her home, and, of course, her beloved cookies.
As for her hobbies, Marisa cherishes relaxation moments on the couch with good music and a glass of wine. And, she loves to unwind with a bit of shopping whenever she has enough energy left after days of keeping to a tight schedule.
Her journey is still unfolding, but one thing is clear: Marisa’s passion and creativity are bound to take her to some sweet new heights.
Details: Follow cookies.and.marisa on Insta
Marisa’s party favour pick this x-mas
• Make or buy a little box with each guest’s name on it. This will also be their place cards for seating.
• Put a small paper card and pencil inside. You can make and decorate this in whichever way you like.
• Each guest must write a note during the dinner for their Secret Santa or the person sitting next to them.
• It would be even better if the paper card is substituted with a sugar cookie that looks like a little piece of paper, and an edible marker. After you’ve received your message, you can enjoy the cookie!
Festive table setting 101:
• Choose your guests
carefully, to avoid personalities clashing.
• Plan your menu well in advance and practice new recipes to avoid last-minute disappointments.
• Think of a theme for your table and do the decorations within your budgetary and/ or time limits.
• Party favours don’t have to be expensive, a flower from your garden on each plate can also do the trick.
• Prepare whatever you can beforehand. It just makes your day easier.
• Think of something fun the whole group can do together, like a game around the dinner table.
• Remember to take photos!
Compiled by: ALANICKA LOTRIET.