Heavenly Yet Beautiful Cupcakes

Starting my own cupcake company was a thrill and I learn so much. But I yearned for the calm of taking my time to create perfect little decorations and unique flavor combinations. After selling my business, I decided to focus on teaching my craft. I hope this site will inspire you to create and indulge in one of the best and most satisfying desserts...the cupcake.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Taking More Baby Steps


I haven't posted anything for a while and I am so sorry for that. I have been swamped. Which is a good thing. Here is the scoop on the latest and greatest.
As many of you know, my dream is to one day open a fabulous bakeshop. But in order to do that the way I want to do it, I have to come up with....get ready...$350,000. That's how much it costs to open a baking business ladies and gentlemen. The cost to lease a place, build it out, equipment, staff, permits...etc made this ridiculous number what it is. I see $350,000 all the time, I live it and breath it. It has become the permanent weight on my shoulders. When someone asks how much a cupcake is, I laugh and say $350,000. They never get the humor. 
I always believed, cocky little me, that as soon as my Business Plan was done I would release it to some people I know and voila! I would have the money. I imagined people calling me up and begging to be part of my fabulous dream. Not the case. Maybe I was a bit too hopeful and a tad over confident. Okay, I was really over confident. 
With the economy in the tank and my inability to ask people for money, this fundraising task has been a nightmare for me.  I just can't do it. It's not in my nature. I am a creative person not a finance person. And because I really really want this I came to realize that I cannot do it on my own. I have to breakdown and ask for help. And every once in a while it's okay to ask for help.  I am a very stubborn person by the way, so asking for help was a hard thing to digest. But I did it. Within a week my asking, rather begging for help was answered. What I found was that if you let people know that you need help, they start thinking not only if they can help but if they might know someone who can. And the snowball of help starts getting bigger and bigger. 
My friend Peter was the first to lend a hand (other then my family of course).  He made an introduction to a gentleman who is a finance guru. This guy who I will name T has been my guiding light in the finance world. T invited me to chat about my business a couple of weeks ago. He asked me one question, "tell me about your business" and the flood gates opened. Instead of acting composed and calm, I exploded with emotion and excitement about what I wanted to do. My dreams for my bakeshop, my hopes for my cupcake empire. I was on a mission! He smiled and in turn gave me even more to hope for. I left T in cupcake euphoria. I suddenly knew in my gut that I WILL one day open a bakeshop. 
So T was on board and assured me he would help in raising the money. In order to do this he wanted to put together receptions. Small gatherings to showcase the product and speak to people he and I knew about what I was trying to do. He felt confident that between all the people he knew and I knew, this task could be done. But now I needed to find locations for these events. My house, as T put it, was a cute idea but not what he thought was appropriate. Renting a space at a hotel would be insanely expensive. So I sounded the bells of help again and this time it came in the form of meeting a fabulous lady during an event hosted by my friend Peter. JJ is in commercial real estate and offered some of her vacant retail locations for the events. In return, if I raise the money I would use her to lease a space. And I am all about scratching some one's back if they scratch mine. So now I have the finance guru, the space and all I need now is to put the whole thing together. And that takes time. Something I have very little of.  And even after the event, I will need help to wrap things up and follow up with people and keep the ball rolling with potential investors....ARGH!  My brother came to my rescue and introduced me to a friend of his that so happens to be looking to invest some money. Yey! But he also wants to launch a business. His name is Mr. M and he's hopefully going to be the last piece of Operation Help Paola Open A Bakeshop. Mr. M and I are now in negotiation for him to join my little company and help me launch my beautiful little bakeshop that right now has a permanent address in my dreams. 

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know the deal with your commenting from "I want to do it all" (by the way, its called, controlling) to "It costs so damn much to get the business off the ground." I have settled for focusing on what the MARKET wants and how I can deliver my product. One thing I heard from a financier was that to be truly rich is to own your own real estate. Namely, own the building where your bakery is to be. Think about it and take that to the bank! Good luck. Your work is beautiful! Carmen from BAKING is my Zen

veron said...

wow , thanks for sharing. I want to open a bake shop too and I wish I paid attention to how my parents ran our restaurant and bakeshop. My brother is actually building a 400sqm commissary/bakeshop right now and I am going to quiz him about the process especially how to manage the work of the staff. My sister-in-law -the brains behind the baking business now will have her own top secret experiment room which I feel is important. Can't wait to hear more about your journey!

veggievixen said...

that is so fantastic! you should definitely go for it. it is ridiculously expensive to open a business, but it will be so sweet (literally) when it's actually done and you are super successful!

i too have dreams of opening my own cute little bakeshop. there can never be too many i suppose. maybe you can give me some advice once you're a baking hotshot.

Sweet Things said...

Thank you for sharing! Wishing you all the best - look forward to all you progress and updates!