Last weekend, Johnny Cupcakes (Johnny Earle, CEO) said hello to DECA members from all around the country at the regional DECA Power Trip Conference. As a volunteer at the conference, I had the chance to welcome Johnny and sit down with him for a while to learn more about how Johnny Cupcakes came to be.
Before meeting Johnny, I had never heard of Johnny Cupcakes. Like everyone else that hears the name, I said, “So you own a bakery?” Johnny quickly said, “Actually no, I make t-shirts with cupcakes on them.” The more I learned about his brand story, the more I loved it.
Johnny was an entrepreneur from the beginning, whether it was selling candy to kids at his school or performing magic tricks at parties, he had a knack for making money at a young age. He also had a reputation as a jokester and one day got the name Johnny Cupcakes. As a joke, he put this nickname on a shirt. Tons of people kept asking where they could buy them and he realized that he may have struck gold.
Johnny quit his band and began working on his brand full-time. He wanted to poke fun at tough guys who wore skull and crossbones t-shirts and decided to replace the skull with a cupcake! He quickly noted that everyone had some sort of response to it. Guys thought it was funny, girls thought it was cute, and it brought curiosity to everyone else that saw it.
Johnny Cupcakes began to grow a cult following, starting with his online store and later with his store openings. I was in awe of how well Johnny had cultivated his brand story and built it into a unique and memorable brand. Everything from his stores that are designed as bakeries, to his t-shirts packaged in food containers, every aspect creates a unique experience and memory that resonates with the brand.
One of my favorite quotes from Johnny’s workshop was, “Every time someone supports my brand, I want them to feel like it’s their birthday.” He does this by using throwing little surprises into online orders, throwing epic special events at his stores. Another way he does this is through his creative packaging. “Good packaging doesn’t get thrown away.”
Above all else, Johnny stressed that you should do more of what makes you happy. This company has allowed him to support his family and hire friends, put a smile on people’s faces and do something he loved. It was a blast to get to know Johnny, he instantly turned me into a big Johnny Cupcakes fan!
To learn more check out http://www.johnnycupcakes.com/ and click the cupcake crossbones in the upper lefthand corner to hear the Johnny Cupcakes full brand story.