One of Dallas’ best DJs is now thriving as a baker selling cookies. DJ Ursa Minor is also the Butter Fairy.
Rachel Harvey knows how to pivot. Once a flute player studying music education at the University of Houston, she left school and moved back to North Texas after becoming more interested in being a DJ.
After seven years as DJ Ursa Minor, Harvey quit her day job in 2019 and started mixing full time. She had regular spots at local clubs, private gigs, residencies, and corporate jobs for companies, including Netflix. But then the pandemic shut everything down in March, and her career came to a screeching halt.
“I had to do a bit of digging for myself,” Harvey says. “I’ve always baked, and I found an old Facebook post from 2015 of me bringing chocolate chip cookies to gigs. That’s what I used to do. I had a Super Mario Bros. backpack full of chocolate chips cookies, and I would sell them at gigs.”
Not expecting to have regular work as a DJ until after 2021, Harvey started promoting cookies instead of gigs on social media, and then became the Buttery Fairy in March. She has now sold nearly 5,000 cookies, she says. She even started an online social and support group called the Black Girl Baking Club.
“It ended up working out a lot better than I thought!” Harvey says. “I really wasn’t expecting it to work out or happen so fast. I was just hoping it would help pay the rent. But for months I’ve either been baking cookies or delivering cookies in the craziest PPE that I can muster.”
Her cookies are indeed buttery and soft enough to seem like they just came out of the oven. She has mainly delivered orders up until last week, when she started using a new shop at Oak Cliff’s Tyler Station, Trade, as a pickup spot.
“I’ve known her for years, and this cookie thing just came out of nowhere as COVID started to destroy her success as a DJ,” says Brooke Chaney, an artist and one of the founders of Trade, an artist co-op in Oak Cliff. “She did not let that defeat her and just flipped the script.”
Harvey has also advanced far beyond chocolate chip cookies. She now sells honey lavender and double double, a cookies and cream flavor that includes Oreos. Vegan options include red velvet, confetti, pineapple cherry, a pineapple cookie with dried cherries topped with caramel, and strawberry lemonade.
But her Frosted Flake cookie might be the star of the show, and they are habit forming. Chaney was an early supporter of this particular cookie.
“I used to go to these parties, and she would sell them while she was DJing,” Chaney says. “I bought maybe six or seven the first time and ate all of them. Pillowy, golden discs of Frosted Flake goodness. They’re light, the sugar’s not overwhelming, and they’re soft and cake-like so you can break through to that