Money School

Entrepreneur Fridays: Baked by Melissa

Posted by Jean

melissa_cupcakes01WHO: Melissa Bushell

WHAT: Baked By Melissa

WHEN: 2008

HOW: Not many people can say they were both fired from their corporate job and started a business in a matter of a week – but Melissa Bushell did just that. “Right after losing my job as an assistant media planner, I jumped into a taxi with tears in my eyes and went straight to my older brother’s office.” Bushell’s brother, Brian, and his business partner, Matt, both entrepreneurs, encouraged Bushell to jump back on the horse and start a business doing something she knew she was good at – baking unique, miniature cupcakes.

“That night, I went home and baked 200 cupcakes,” Bushell says. Her roommate at the time was an intern with a public relations firm, and Bushell had her bring the cupcakes into her office the following day. “The PR firm fell in love with the treats,” Bushell says, and within a few days, the PR firm’s manager suggested Bushell begin working with the firm’s caterer, Ben. Soon after, Bushell teamed up with the caterer and her brother’s marketing and branding company to launch Baked by Melissa.

BBM_cupcakes_smallerBushell says it took “a little bit of money, but a lot of resources” to get the business started. Combining experts inbusiness, catering, and baking, each member of the group played to their strengths throughout the launch. “We were lucky to form the team that we did. We had the perfect combination of determination and skills to get our new company off the ground.”

In the year-and-a-half since Baked by Melissa launched, the company has opened a bakery location in SoHo, one of the most sought after, trendy neighborhoods in New York City, and just opened another Manhattan location in Union Square this week. “We are constantly thinking of new products we can introduce to customers,” says Bushell. “I am experimenting with new flavor ideas in the kitchen every day.”

ADVICE: “Be willing to work your butt off for at least two years until your business is off the ground,” Bushell advises. “Have confidence in yourself and your idea,” she adds, “and surround yourself with people that love you and have confidence in you, too.”