Stay Calm, Have a Cupcake!
Interview with Jill of Stay Calm Cupcake
By Stephanie Lynn, age 26, Massachusetts
Recently a box arrived in the mail. As with every package with my name on it, I couldn't wait to open it! You guessed it - fresh homemade cupcakes! One of my Etsy contacts, Jill, from Florida, started her own online business. The package was a sampling of what she sends her customers, and included four individually wrapped chocolate cupcakes, a piping bag of homemade peanut butter frosting, and a small mixed bag of sprinkles.
Truth is, I knew the cupcakes were coming, because I'd arranged to interview Jill, age 24, about her business, Stay Calm Cupcake. You'll have to order (or make) your own delicious cupcakes, but here is my interview with Jill. :)
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Jill. I am an Assistant Marketing Director by day and an avid cupcake baker by night. I love my KitchenAid mixer, and couldn't live without a whisk. My middle name is Rose, which often makes me feel really sophisticated. My goal in life is to be happy and to be loved. If I could have anything right at this moment, I have to admit, it would be a cupcake truck! I am constantly growing my business and dream of one day opening up my own storefront shop. For now though, I am really enjoying my corner of the Etsy world.
Jill, tell us a little bit about your business.
I opened Stay Calm Cupcake Shop about a year ago in hope of simply selling some yummy treats to nearby friends, family, and co-workers. I had no idea that within such a short amount of time, my cupcakes would be sent to customers in California, New York, Ohio, Michigan, and many other places across the United States.
Stay Calm Cupcake Shop delights itself in selling fun DIY cupcake kits, yummy cupcake jars, customized birthday cupcakes, creative sprinkle combinations, cupcake club memberships, and more! I also cater local birthday parties, office parties, wedding parties, and any other party you need cupcakes for. All of my cupcakes are baked and shipped to arrive as fresh as possible. I use 2 day Priority Mail to ensure your cupcakes are delicious upon arrival! If you love cupcakes, my shop is the place for you!
What motivated you to start your own business selling cupcakes?
I was motivated to start my own business because I adore cupcakes. It's simple, but it's true. I love making people happy within the first bite of a delicious sweet cupcake. The idea of making money never pushed me to open my shop - I really just wanted to see if people would be interested in my product. Turns out, most people love cupcakes just as much as I do, so it was a perfect fit! Selling cupcakes makes me happy, and life is too short to be anything but happy :)
Where do you get your inspiration?
As for my cupcake inspiration, I get it from all sorts of places. I like to keep up with the cupcake flavor trends, but I also enjoy creating my own flavors. Some of my flavors are creations from childhood memories or past desserts I have loved. It all depends on the mood I'm in. That's what's so great about cupcakes, they are completely subject to your own creativity!
What professional advice would you give to readers aspiring to start their own independent shop?
If you are looking to start your own independent shop - start on Etsy. It will allow you to grow a solid customer base while marketing your product to an active blogger, Etsian, and Twitter connected community. You have to work hard at it though. Promoting your items and becoming friendly with your customers is key to getting sales. Create a blog, start up a Twitter, open a Facebook page for your business. All of these things are free and make it so easy for you to connect with your customers and get more sales. Above all, sell a product you are proud of. Don't get lazy; make every order just as fabulous as the first one. Ask yourself, "Would I be excited to get this in the mail?".If the answer is "yes," then you're doing a great job!
Where can readers learn more about you and your business?
I have a blog called "Stay Calm, Have a Cupcake." It's all about yummy cupcake recipes, fantastic frosting recipes, giveaways, and more! It's a sweet read for any cupcake lover! fontgirl.wordpress.com
♥ My Etsy Shop: Stay Calm Cupcake Shop
♥ Facebook: Lots of great giveaways and coupon codes on my Facebook page!
♥ Twitter: @StayCalmCupcake
Thanks, Jill, for those delicious cupcakes. A friend and I enjoyed them immensely, and a few days later we made a batch of our own! Mmmmmm!!
Whether you are 14 or 24, many of us have an idea for a small business. Some do not require tons of start-up capital. My advice (Stephanie, that is): choose something you love and are passionate about, stick with it through all the many discouragements, and make it an enjoyable experience for yourself, your helpers and co-workers, and most of all your customers. And whether you succeed or fail, look on it as a learning experience, and learn everything you can (including about yourself) along the way.
Photography by ABYoung Photography. All photos are the property of Stay Calm Cupcake Shop.