Mignon Francois, a single mother from New Orleans with seven children, owns and runs The Cupcake Collection, which sells specialty cupcakes nationwide. She started the business using her last $5 back in 2007, and nowadays, it generates nearly $1 million sales a year.
In 2005, Francois did not really expect to struggle financially as she and her family moved to Nashville hoping for a fresh start with her ex-husband’s new work. But when things did not go according to plan, it became hard to even make ends meet every day.
Fortunately, in 2007, one of her neighbors who knew her talent for baking approached her and ordered 600 cupcakes at $1 each. She only had $5 left at that time, which wasn’t enough to purchase ingredients for all the 600 orders. They agreed she’d bake 60 cupcakes first. With her last money, she bought the needed ingredients and she earned $60 for the first batch.
Since then, she continued baking and founded her company a year after. The Cupcake Collection now offers cupcakes, birthday cakes, and wedding cakes across the country. It generates almost $1 million each year.
Francois’ journey to having a million-dollar nationwide company wasn’t all easy. As a Black woman, she felt like she didn’t have the same opportunities as others when it comes to banking. So skipped the bank account and credit cards and she decided to use different envelopes to divide her money for expenses. She was able to save up more money that way.
Now, Francois is giving back by helping others achieve their own business goals as a board member and mentor at Pathways Women’s Business Center and Nashville Entrepreneur Center. Her company also funds scholarships at Tennessee State University and works with local community organizations.
For more information about The Cupcake Collection, visit www.thecupcakecollection.com