We recently connected with Shelia Griffin and have shared our conversation below.
Shelia, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. We’d love to have you retell us the story behind how you came up with the idea for your business, I think our audience would really enjoy hearing the backstory.
I started baking as a teenager. I grew up in the kitchen with my grandmother. She was an entrepreneur who operated a barbecue business. Baking was my favorite hobby and I baked anytime I had the opportunity. I was a full-time employee in Corporate America and I would take my desserts to my job.
I started doing some research on opening a bakery with Pound Cakes as my product. In my research, I kept coming across cupcake shops on the East Coast. I’m located in Texas and knew it would be some time in the near future before the cupcake craze made it to the South. I was drawn to the nostalgia of cupcakes and childhood memories. I knew this was a product that a new generation of young parents and their children would be excited about having at a party.
In 2009, I left my corporate job and started working on cupcake recipes and my business plan. This idea was a shocker to many but I knew this business would work. I worked on recipes for several months and launched my business at a local farmer’s market. The response was great at the farmers market with a weekly following from customers requesting cupcake orders.
Shelia, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I’m Shelia Griffin, Owner of SheCupcakes Bake Shoppe, a mobile cupcake bakery. We offer scratch-made desserts for any occasion. Our menu consists of cupcakes, cookies, brownies, specialty cakes, and old-fashioned pound cakes. We offer delivery services to our clients throughout the Houston area. We service customers at corporate locations, universities, schools, hospitals, and food truck events. We make the process easy for customers to do business with our company. The ordering process is easy and we handle all logistics from delivery to set up.
I’m most proud of the fact that we provide excellent customer service in this industry. We pay attention to the small details and customers recognize our efforts. We continue to receive the majority of our customers through referrals.
We’d love to hear the story of how you built up your social media audience?
We have built our audience on social media by being consistent. We use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Customers are allowed to communicate with us via comments, messenger or simply replying to a post. We continue to make the initial contact with us simple and we know when to move the conversation to email or direct phone call.
My advice for new business owners is to be fearless business owners. You have to believe in yourself and your product. Customers will see the confidence and pride you take in your business. Take advantage of all social media platforms to build your business.
How did you put together the initial capital you needed to start your business?
We didn’t apply for any business funding for our business. We grew the business through organic efforts. This was done by reinvesting all profits back into the business. The farmers market is an excellent venue to test the idea of any food business. Family, friends, and co-workers were the starting point to build business revenue.