Brandy Mills – Smallcakes Cupcakes
What is your company?
Smallcakes Cupcakes Cupcakery & Creamery 33 Town Square Blvd Unit 130 Asheville, NC 28803
Tell us why you do what you do in 1 sentence.
To bring family and friends together over CUPCAKES & ICE CREAM!
How do you involve your children in the business?
We are a locally owned and operated family business. Born and raised right here in Asheville, our blended family is comprised of 6 kids and 2 grandkids. Two of our daughters work part-time or as needed in the shop, and one of our son’s, the youngest who is 12, works from time to time along with his friends to help make the cupcake boxes.
What 3 valuable lessons about business would you hope to pass onto young women considering becoming an entrepreneur?
- Don’t let fear of failure or the unknown stop you! If you are burning with passion to run your own business, go for it!
- Even when you feel you have researched everything, know what you need to know, and have done what you need to get started, be open to the fact that there will still be so much more for you to know, learn, and implement. More importantly, there are many experienced people in the world of entrepreneurship who are willing and happy to guide you, be humble enough to take advantage of those resources.
- Be clear on the type of woman in business you want to be, and how the values represented in your business reflects that. In business people connect just as much, if not more, to the face of the business as they do to the products or services the business offers. Know who you are at your core so that you can present your authentic self in your business.
How are you a revolutionary?
Wow, I don’t think I have ever thought of my self as a revolutionary, lol. My hope is that the way I walk in my authentic self, displaying the freedom to be transparent with my imperfections, mess ups, vulnerabilities, while staying steadfast towards whatever goal I am working towards, that I am able to let people see that I am no different than the everyday woman. Therefore, if I can have success despite my flaws and imperfections, it will impact positive change in the mindset of other woman to believe that the same can happen for them. One is only limited by the story they tell themselves and their perception of the possibility of that story coming to life.
What new challenges are you working to overcome within your business?
LOL there certainly are ongoing new challenges. The good thing about that is that I am sure to learn and grow through them. The biggest challenge in a specialty business like ours is to keep relevant. We are living in a society that seems to be always on the lookout for the next new and exciting thing, especially when it comes to good eats in a touristy area like ours. Because of this, we are constantly looking for new ways to get our products out into the community in the form of corporate accounts, event partnerships, etc.
Staffing is another challenge that we face. Finding an applicant that not only wants to work, but is able to display the work ethic and passion about their job that our customers believe they are part owners in the business, is our goal. Great product, awful customer service equals bad business, and that is not the outcome we desire at Smallcakes.
Additionally, there is the ongoing challenge of setting boundaries, that line that sets a limit, when it comes to being a wife, mother, employee, & business owner. Society can at times have us believing that we as women should be able to do it all equally, but the truth for me is that at different points throughout a day, any one of those competing priorities can weigh much heavier than others. This becomes a challenge within the business because the time that I set aside to focus solely on the business can be hijacked. Running your own business requires that designated focus time to stay on top of things, so when my business time gets hijacked it can become frustrating and overwhelming at times. When I get like that, the key for me is to be able to identify where I need help, and ask for it!
Emily transforms communities through entrepreneurship and innovation. She is a Branding Specialist and Growth Strategist who specializes in building the framework, platforms, and partnerships needed to be impactful in today’s challenging economy. Currently serving as the Executive Director of the Hatch AVL Foundation, a non-profit foundation supporting high-growth startups of WNC through incubation, regional programming, and events.