Michelle – Co-Owner, Head Baker
All great careers start with passion. If you don’t absolutely love what you do, you will never find the motivation to make it through the difficult times. Anyone can be successful. Find what moves you and then find a way to get PAID for it… and you can skyrocket to success. Passion is the fuel that will get you there. You have to love more than the paycheck.
Hard to believe what started out as a wild idea of capitalizing on the latest trend has had the longevity it has… but here we are, 10 years after making my first cake pop. As one of my T-shirts boasts, “I never dreamed I’d grow up to be a super sexy Baking Lady but here I am …. KILLING IT.”
I never set out to be a Baker. I didn’t even particularily LIKE baking. I wanted to be a Cheerleader. I told my Father I was going to be President. Somewhere in between, I discovered I love to create. To take something and completely transform it into something else, I thought was amazing. As a child, inspiration was everywhere and when someone asked “Where did you get THAT?” I could smile and say, “I made it!” It was a ONE OF A KIND. And that made it special.
Like many startup businesses, baking commercially began as a hobby which allowed me to learn and try new things. I devoted every moment I had to self-educating with Baking shows, YouTube videos, and following Master Bakers on this relatively new thing the kids were calling Instagram. I made cakes and other treats for friends and family until demand grew enough, I started thinking – could this really be a CAREER? Could I be my OWN Boss? I was just having fun. I loved that I could work with different mediums and that food art was really becoming A Thing and after a few years I gained enough confidence to begin charging for my creations.
I had long burned out on Corporate and was then working for an event venue where I did everything from host kids parties, to being a magician’s assistant, to producing a local TV Show. I was even a clown when the job required it. Then one day while in the office, Opportunity came knocking. A representative from Living Social (similar business model as Groupon) called to see if we would like to offer a promotion. I listened to the terms and while my Boss chose to pass, I asked if I could entertain the idea. With his permission, and working under the umbrella of his company, I decided to get my feet wet. I offered a deal of 24 cake pops for the price of 12. Cake pops were gaining in popularity and I had learned to turn them out pretty quickly. Working in the evenings, I could produce about 4 dozen.
The promotion ran online for 5 days, and I intently watched my numbers. When that promotion ended, I had sold 934 boxes of cake pops. Nine-hundred-and-thirty-four. I’ll save you the calculator…. that was 22, 416 little balls of cake on a stick. I was going to need some help.