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How Sprinkles Got Its Icing on a Small Cake

Photos: Courtesy of Sprinkles Cupcakes

When Candace Nelson got her start, she didn’t see herself as a businesswoman — she was a passionate pastry chef. But, her dedication to the craft propelled her vision into a reality: Sprinkles Cupcakes.

Had a hunch

After finishing pastry school, Candace Nelson was not only looking to reinvent the cupcake with a new style and list of ingredients, she was also excited to share her recipes with everyone she could. When her new, modern take on the classic cupcake turned out to be a success among loyal clientele, she “had a hunch” that cupcakes might be able to stand on their own. And thus the idea for Sprinkles, the first ever cupcakes-only bakery, was born.

Bold ideas

The idea to open a shop may have seemed bold, considering Nelson had no experience in sales or running a business. By focusing on the quality and creativity of her product, however, the rest fell into place. “I find it easy to sell because I believe whole-heartedly in what I do,” says Nelson. “If I wasn’t the Sprinkles founder, I would still be an avid customer.”

DELICIOUS RESULTS: Nelson’s dream might’ve seemed risky to some, but it was one that paid off. By putting the product first, she found success fast in serving tasty confections to hungry customers.

Nelson’s sales advice

Nelson has some advice to other women looking to start a business but who may still be shy of the sales world: “If you genuinely believe in what you are doing, people will feel and be drawn to that passion,” she says. The time to hire a trained salesperson is after starting to expand. At that point, Nelson says, take care in who you share your work with, and hire those who “also believe passionately in your vision.” 

Zoe Alexander, [email protected]

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