Welcome to Just Go Grind!
Sept. 18, 2020

#177: Shahira Marei, Founder & CEO of The Dirty Cookie, Selling Shot Glass Cookies, on Leaving Boeing to Become an Entrepreneur, The Importance of Gratitude and Community, and Pivoting During COVID

#177: Shahira Marei, Founder & CEO of The Dirty Cookie, Selling Shot Glass Cookies, on Leaving Boeing to Become an Entrepreneur, The Importance of Gratitude and Community, and Pivoting During COVID

Shahira Marei is the Founder and CEO of , which sells custom branded cookies in shot glass form that you can fill with any beverage you’d like. Their customizable cookie shots combine all of your favorite things about an after-school snack into a...


Shahira Marei is the Founder and CEO of The Dirty Cookie, which sells custom branded cookies in shot glass form that you can fill with any beverage you’d like. Their customizable cookie shots combine all of your favorite things about an after-school snack into a dish-free, premium dessert experience. 

Shahira is an Egyptian American who was raised in Orange County, California. She started her career as an aerospace project manager at The Boeing Company and holds an MBA in management and a bachelors in marketing from California State University Fullerton. In 2015, five months after giving birth to her daughter, Shahira started her first business, The Dirty Cookie. The Dirty Cookie was the first company in the world to innovate a new way to drink your milk from your cookie, creating a custom cookie cup. The Dirty Cookie has been featured on Business Insider, The Today Show, FOX news, The Food Network, The Cooking Channel and much more. Shahira is passionate about bringing people and communities together and in 2018 founded a nonprofit in Southern California, LEAP (League of Egyptian American Professionals) to bring the Young Egyptian American Professionals together.

About Our Partners

This episode is brought to you by Hawke Media. Hawke Media is a full-service Outsourced CMO based in Santa Monica, CA, providing guidance, planning, and execution to grow brands of all sizes, industries, and business models.

Hawke Media was recognized by Inc. as the country's fastest-growing marketing consultancy and is proudly one of Glassdoor's "Best Places to Work"​, 2019 #893 on the Forbes 5000 list, UpCity Top Los Angeles Digital Marketing Agency. Hawke’s collaborative process, à la carte offering, and month-to-month fee structure give clients the flexibility they need to boost digital revenues and marketing ROI.

Hawke Media The company has serviced over 1500 brands of all sizes, ranging from startups like Tamara Mellon, SiO Beauty and Bottlekeeper to household names like Red Bull, Verizon Wireless and Alibaba.

Listen to our interview with Erik Huberman, Founder and CEO of Hawke Media, in episode 23 of the Just Go Grind Podcast.

This episode is also brought to you by Toptal. Toptal is an exclusive network of the top freelance software developers, designers, finance experts, product managers, and project managers in the world. Top companies hire Toptal freelancers for their most important projects.

Connect with Shahira Marei

Some of the Topics Covered by Shahira Marei in this Episode

  • What The Dirty Cookie is
  • Where Shahira got her entrepreneurial spirit from at a young age
  • Leaving Boeing to start The Dirty Cookie
  • Signing a 5-year lease before having her business idea
  • The first steps Shahira took to start her business
  • The blessing and curse of being naive as an entrepreneur
  • How Shahira managed financially and the early surprises as she was getting started
  • Knowing what kind of entrepreneur you are
  • Customer acquisition and marketing strategies for The Dirty Cookie
  • Juggling a full-time job, being a new founder, and having a baby
  • Expanding into online distribution, catering, and wholesale
  • Deciding to close down the storefront
  • The challenges of e-commerce
  • How COVID has affected The Dirty Cookie and how Shahira has adapted the business
  • Shahira's plan to transition from bootstrapping to fundraising
  • How Shahira has been approaching new product development
  • Shahira's podcast and book recommendations
  • How Shahira recharges away from work
  • Shahira's meditation and journaling practices
  • The biggest lessons Shahira has learned along the way and her advice for entrepreneurs
  • Shahira's support system

Links from the Episode