Stay Calm, Have a Cupcake!
Interview with Jill of Stay Calm Cupcake

By Stephanie Lynn, age 26, Massachusetts
SDM Editor-in-Chief

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Enjoy a fresh tasty cupcake? With delicious frosting and maybe some sprinkles? Who doesn't?! I asked Santa for nonstick cupcake pans for Christmas, and, being that I was a good girl all year, he didn't disappoint!

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!

♥ 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.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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