Struggle No More, With the Advice from this Queen
Celebrate every moment with a cupcake AND add some sprinkles, AND bling AND a smile as big as the one Mignon Francois has on the front page of her colorful and mouth-watering website. She basically makes you want a full order of red velvets with a side of icing please. On a whim to help her family during the recession, Mignon decided to have a bake sale to help her family. Without any experience, she invested what to had and turned it into a 10 Million Dollar Cupcake company in Nashville, TN and New Orleans, LA. Can we say GOALS?! This woman did not let up and we love the “never satisfied” mentality! We celebrate her for making struggle boating seem endurable with a little tenacity and will power! And you know what they say…… you give a black woman a little something and she’ll turn it into everything! We don’t want to spill all of Migon’s tea in her interview so we take 10 steps back and invite you to meet the Queen of the Cupcake Legacy!
What inspired you to start your business and why?: I started my business out of necessity in 2008 after my then-husband, relocated our family to Nashville for a job offer that ended up falling through. As a household manager of 6+1 (aka stay at home mom) during a recession and a recent relocation, there were tough days. Days so tough, that we sometimes had no running water or electricity, wondering what we were going to eat for dinner each night. After struggling to maintain, I had to figure out a way to provide for my family. I got the idea of having a bake sale every day while listening to financial expert, Dave Ramsey. However, I didn't know how to bake nor did I have any money or knowledge on how to run a business. My daughters were good bakers so I practiced with them and gave the results to my neighbors as "welcome to the neighborhood" gifts. One day a neighbor stopped by and offered to pay me if I baked her more! That day I took the last $5 I had to feed my family and turned it into $60. Fast forward to 2018, with what started as a $5 investment has turned into a $10 million award-winning cupcake business that "sprinkles people's day full of joy" Sunday through Friday in Nashville, Tennessee and New Orleans, Louisiana.
What does your company stand for?: Joy!
How do you create the life you want?: I get up every single day on purpose. My goal right now is legacy building. I want to leave something for my grandaughters. I want my name to mean something to them. I want them to be able to pass the story along about who I was, what I did and how it matters to them. I want them to say, 'My grandmother was Mignon Francois and she had joy. Everyone who came in contact with her felt that. She got up every day on purpose to leave something for us and that's what we are continuing the legacy of today.
Where do you find inspiration?: I find joy in the journey. I have been broken. I have been down in the dumps. I have had not enough to eat. I've had not enough to wear. I have not had enough money to pay for stuff. I have lived in a home with no electricity on a regular basis, no water on a regular basis. While everybody else around me had enough, I didn't have enough. I was satisfied with what I had. But, never satisfied with good enough. I always wanted more because there's this burning on the inside of me that told me, that required more of me.
How has your business made you a better person?: As a small business owner, I am grateful for my community, my family, my customers and the opportunity to give back.
The Cupcake Collection is a family business and our community played a huge part in our success. I started my company by giving out my baked goods as a "welcome to the neighborhood gift". One day my neighbor said she'd pay me to bake more for her clients and since then my neighborhood has been continuing to sow into my business for nine years. Our customers are our advocates, cheerleaders and advertisement everywhere they go. I give back by mentoring aspiring business owners and hiring people who live in and around our area. In addition, when I am out in the community people often recognize me as "the cupcake lady" and jokingly ask if I have any cupcakes on me. So now I keep complimentary cupcake coupons on me in hopes of sprinkling someone's day with joy! We also participate in random acts of kindness, taking complimentary cupcakes to fire stations, police stations and hospitals during the holiday season.
What makes you HUMAN?: Knowing your purpose is knowing that you wake up every day for a reason, that you’re called to be something, not just to do something, but to be something. That's why we're human beings, not human doings. And when I saw my purpose written, which is this: I want to leave all the people who experience Mignon Francois with joy. That's my purpose in life. So I want to affect the world and make it a better place by causing those people that get an opportunity to interact with me to feel joy. And if I don’t do that for you, then I have failed on my personal mission. And knowing that every day is how I approach my business. My business is one that you don’t leave out with the product that we're selling. You have to leave out with something that stands in its place because you can't actually carry joy. You can only feel it. And so the only carrier can be you, your actual body. And so we created these cupcakes in order for you to be a carrier of joy. So that where you’re going will feel that joy.