A Post-MBA Recipe for Success

A Florida International graduate follows her heart and starts her own cupcake business. It's a labor of love

After I received my MBA from Florida International University, I got a job in sales at UPS (UPS) and soon gave birth to my daughter. At that point, I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, but my husband insisted that I find a job. I'd always wanted to start a business, so I decided to bake some cupcakes and take them to every person I know and some charity events.

I even took them to strangers and finally landed my first wholesale account. Little by little, after a lot of free samples, I started getting calls for more orders. And through the amazing word of mouth of happy cupcake eaters, I was able to grow to where I am now (and stop working from home). Currently, I sell to nine restaurants, bakeries, and cafés, and am working on a partnership to open a cupcake/cookie store.

My job responsibilities are everything from A to Z. Thanks to my MBA, I know how to do every aspect of my business. Unfortunately, there is not enough time in the day to get it all done. So I try to do banking, billing, supply orders, accounting, employee counseling, and just about everything else once a week at some point.

Here's a typical day in my life:

6:00 a.m.—I leave my house at 5:50 a.m., and the warehouse is 10 minutes away so I get there really quick. First thing I do is turn on the ovens—one of the ovens takes an hour and a half to heat up because it's the huge commercial kind. Then I sit down and write up the numbers of how many cupcakes and actual cakes we're doing that day. I prepare any late-evening orders and put them in the oven. Then I check my e-mail. Since my business has grown and I can't be there all the time, I have two girls to help with the baking—soon I plan to make more hires.

8:00 a.m.—My two helpers arrive. When I began my business, I was by myself using my home oven and trying to work during the hours that my infant daughter (at the time she was five months old) was sleeping. Now, I just hand them the numbers and they get to work.

9:00 a.m.—I organize the orders for the various restaurants, bakeries, and cafés, and by that time the delivery person comes to do the pickup. He's on his way out within a few minutes.

10:00 a.m.—I head out to Costco (COST), where I still go to buy all of my supplies, and then I bring them back to the warehouse. Since I used to work out of the house, I still haven't arranged for them to be delivered.

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