FIRST THOUGHT: How Sweet Teamwork Can Be
If you’ve ever played the games Pictionary or Taboo with someone else’s family, you know just how in sync family members can be. Your friend’s brother starts to draw a squiggly line, and your friend yells, “Snakes on a Plane starring Samuel L. Jackson!” They win the game, while you’re left dumbfounded.
Whether you have a tight bond with your family, friends or co-workers, there’s something so reassuring when you don’t have to explain yourself. We’re lucky to have these people in our lives. Today, do something special for that person who just gets you.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 64 Percent
While we typically think of family businesses as small mom-and-pop shops, they can grow to be much bigger than that. Take, for instance, Gap, Estée Lauder and the Heinz Company. Whatever the size, a family business in the U.S. is a big deal.
The Conway Center for Family Business, a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1998 to address challenges related to family businesses in Ohio, estimates that family businesses account for 64 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. What’s more: Family businesses generate 62 percent of the country’s employment and account for 78 percent of all new job creation. Talk about cornering the market!
It looks like that business concept you and your siblings have mulled over might just be a good idea. You can bank on it!
WOMEN TO WATCH: Tracey Noonan and Dani Vilagie, Founders of Wicked Good Cupcakes
What’s not to love about cupcakes? The moment I see that decadent icing swirl on top, I can’t help but be enticed by these little bites of heaven. When Tracey Noonan and her daughter, Dani Vilagie, took cake-decorating classes as a way to connect, they never imagined that their mother-daughter time would blossom into a viable business only a year later.
This duo founded Wicked Good Cupcakes in 2011. When they received requests to ship their fantastic sugary confections nationwide, they put their minds to it and figured out how to effectively ship cupcakes and have them arrive at their destinations still intact and fresh. Here’s how: They filled glass jars with layers of cake and frosting, which allowed them to stay fresh longer and be perfectly contained. Plus, they look quite tempting and beautiful.
In 2013, Noonan and Vilagie debuted their confectionary innovation on the ABC hit show Shark Tank. Ten million people watched as the sharks taste tested the cupcakes, found them to be wicked good and eventually invested in the company. Wicked Good Cupcakes went from grossing about $300,000 a year to about $300,000 a week. That’s a whole lot of deliciousness! And hard work.
Here are a few sprinkles of advice from Noonan and Vilagie:
First: Handle your mistakes. No businesswoman or baker is perfect. Wicked Good Cupcakes addresses customer complaints swiftly and doesn’t obsess over them.
Second: Feel the fear. Sure, maybe your business is killin’ it, but part of being wicked good is working vigorously so you can sell more tomorrow.
And last but not least: Don’t stop learning and creating new things. In addition to adding scrumptious brownies and the most darling little pies in a jar to their product offerings, Wicked Good Cupcakes recently partnered with Cinnabon to create Wicked Good Cinnabon Cupcakes in a Jar. How sweet is that?
QUITE THE QUOTE
Inspired by this hardworking mother-daughter team, I’ll leave you today with this quote from former U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill. He said:
“There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened and maintained.”
That’s all for now. Be sure to share this so more women can have a voice! Thanks for getting ready with us.