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Baking Self-Employment

Cassandra Tindell is the owner of Mainely Cupcakes located in Indian Trail, North Carolina.  Mainely Cupcakes is an online family owned and operated home-based business that serves cakes and cupcakes. Each batch is made to order and never mass-produced. Before starting Mainely Cupcakes, Cassandra was an accountant who worked in corporate America for many years. Joining the NASE in 2015, Cassandra has taken advantage of many of the NASE’s benefits, including our Growth Grants, Ask the Experts and informative videos and articles on the website.

What inspired you to enter the field you are in?
I’ve always had a passion for baking, but only did it for family. One night while lying in bed, I saw the reality television show “Georgetown Cupcakes” and started recording the episodes. I told my husband, “If they can leave their corporate jobs with no experience in baking, surely I can do it.” I was always looking for something that could generate income so that I could leave my corporate America job. After becoming a stay at home mom I naturally gravitated more towards the kitchen and experimenting with different cupcake flavors.

When and why did you start your business?
I started my business in February of 2012 after an unexpected family tragedy. It was only possible with the very much appreciated support and enthusiasm from family and friends. I wanted to do something to honor the memory of my brother, Edward “Maine” Lee Turner, Jr., and thus Mainely Cupcakes, LLC was born. Maine’s childhood favorite was a chocolate cupcake with a vanilla cream filling and I always enjoy making them.

What challenges have you faced in your business?
The challenges that I’ve faced have been getting Mainely Cupcakes name out in front of people. Getting people to trust my brand and to know that they are getting a quality, delicious product is always a challenge. Perseverance has been key for me. I am not a quitter and I’ve never stopped marketing my business or building my brand. I do holiday specials and advertise those on social media and my website. In the past, I’ve joined networking groups to have an opportunity to meet different people and introduce myself as well as my product. Now that I have built up my business, I can let my name speak for itself. 

How do you market your business?
The main ways I market my business is through social media and word of mouth. As I said above, since my business has sustained for four years now, the Mainely Cupcakes name is popular in our area and speaks for itself.

Do you have any employees?
I don’t have any employees at this time. Right now, I like my business being just me because I know how I like things done. I can control my schedule and keep myself busy without being overburdened.

What’s your schedule like, what’s a typical day for you?
A day in the life of Mainely Cupcakes would typically be as follows:
Take my son to school.
Work out at 9Round Kickboxing (my time to release any frustration)
Home to shower and eat
Prep for my orders or do clerical work
Pick my son up from school
Take him to either swim or Taekwondo
Back home to get dinner started
Eat dinner, clean up the kitchen
Finally last but not least, while my husband is giving our son a bath and they are both in bed, I bake and decorate my orders that are due the following day

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received from a client?
I had a customer tell me that they “can taste the ‘Love’ you put into your work and it shows!” I really enjoy when customers tell me how much they enjoy my products and when they know how much I put into each order.

What’s the best thing about being self-employed?
The best thing about being self-employed is the freedom it gives me! I get to set my hours. I get to determine what jobs I want to take. Although I try to keep my schedule full, I still love the flexibility of being an entrepreneur.

What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to someone starting their own business?
I would tell them to never give up. Stay the course and never allow anyone or anything to distract you from your dreams and passion. It will be hard at first, but anything that’s worth doing or having is never easy. Always stay true to who you are and success will follow. Keep pushing toward greatness. Mostly important, keep God in the center of every aspect of your life and it will all work itself out.

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