When Kalisha Fitzpatrick started selling homemade cupcakes out of her home more than two years ago, her part-time hobby quickly became a full-time success. Fitzpatrick, owner of Ms. K’s Kupcake Boutique, recently spoke to HCC students on launching a business and building a successful brand.
“You need to do what you love,” Fitzpatrick said. “Businesses built around your passions, talents and strengths will have a higher chance of success.”
For Fitzpatrick, that success came over time, having first started doing small orders for friends and family.
“When you’re first starting out, you need every customer and friend you can get.” Fitzpatrick said. “Being open to advice, even if you think you know it all, is another way your business can improve. Make it a point to know what you don’t know.”
A survey of students in attendance found that most were considering opening their own business within the next 1-3 years, with the majority citing Facebook and other social media as a key promotional tool.
“Pictures sell.” Fitzpatrick said. “You should always post photos of your product as well contact information. It’s a free form of publicity.”
According to a recent article in Forbes, Facebook is the single best free source of “determining a startup’s visibility and growth” while the same article estimates the average value of a single Facebook fan at $174.
Students sampled a variety of cupcakes while Fitzpatrick showed students her typical display and setup at an event or trade show. This included what to expect in terms of preparation, billing and delivery –something Fitzpatrick is happy to do at almost any time. “I’ve met customers on the highway before.” Fitzpatrick said. “Everyone should take excellent care of their supporters.”
At the end of the discussion, Fitzpatrick offered students one last piece of advice.
“If you love what you do, you’ll find a way to make it work.”
For more information, or to place an order, visit Ms. K’s Kupcake Boutique’s Facebook page at
Forbes article on small business: