Gina Ginsburg gave the neighborhood a gift: the chance to eat raw cookie dough without the risk of salmonella. But before she became queen of The Dough Dough, she was a wedding stationery creator, a commercial jet flier and the owner of The Hair Bar. She’s currently moonlighting as a gemology student, her true passion. A former Mrs. Dallas, she is also known for the Ginsburg Family Great Lawn at Klyde Warren Park, donated by her ex-husband’s family. So why does a Minnesotan with a penchant for business turn to cookie dough? For her kids, of course.
Why did you get into the cookie dough business?
I wanted to start another business while getting my degree and this time do something that I could incorporate my kids into. Each week my boys and I would make cookies, brownies or cake. I feel like everybody’s childhood fantasy is to be able to eat the batter raw. I was no exception to that, nor are my kids. With the cookie dough craze, we wanted to take some of my family recipes and my kids’ creativity and come up with safe-to-eat cookie dough that my boys and I, and certainly the public, would love. Something to bring them back to their childhood. So The Dough Dough was born last August.
Where does your business acumen come from?
My dad always worked for himself. He had a few different interior design companies. I always admired that. I loved the idea of starting a business, watching it grow and starting again. Seeing him succeed through adversity was inspiring. People tell him no, that his idea wouldn’t work or that he couldn’t do something. Then I would watch him create a successful business by surrounding himself with good people.
You have your commercial pilot’s license. Why did you never become a pilot?
I always had a fear of flying. I thought if I could understand the aerodynamics and thermodynamics that went with flight, I would be able to get over my fear. I took a flight lesson, and I fell in love with it. It became my passion.
I spent about two and a half years studying to become a commercial jet pilot. I thought about being a corporate Flexjet pilot, something like that, but the industry is still very much a boys’ club. For a female to break that glass ceiling is still extremely rare. I didn’t want to overcome that much adversity and possibly feel unfulfilled.
Tell me about your time in the pageant circuit.
I was Mrs. Dallas. I was going to compete in Mrs. Texas, but I withdrew. I realized I was doing it for the wrong reasons. It was my attempt to try and grab the spotlight. My husband at the time, he was always the one in the spotlight. I wanted that attention. But I realized that I didn’t need that. I could stand on my own.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t listen to the naysayers. Believe in yourself. You can, you will and you should.
What do critics say about you?
You’d have to ask them! I have high expectations of myself, and I demand the same from those around me. I would say that I am not one to be underestimated.
How would you describe Preston Hollow?
I have lived in Preston Hollow a good amount of my adult life except for the five years we spent in Highland Park. It really feels like home. It has kind of a small-town feel. The people here are lovely, loyal, dedicated people. They say to surround yourself with like-minded individuals, and I’ve really found that in Preston Hollow.
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