Johnny Cupcakes + Exclusive Deal
Posted May 20, 2009on:
This past Monday evening, West Potomac Academy in Alexandria, VA, was fortunate enough to have guest speaker John Earle, founder of Johnny Cupcakes, stop by for a presentation. Earle is an entrepreneur who has a success story like none other. Ever since he was in grade school, Earle always found ways to make money, whether it was to sell little prank toys (i.e., whoopee cushions, itching powder) or candy in school. After high school, he invested in a button maker and made pins to sell at schools and concerts. They were a big hit, and he made quite a profit. However, his best idea was yet to come.
Earle soon landed jobs at a silkscreen company and at Newbury Comics. When Earle went into work each day, his coworkers always gave him nicknames, such as “Johnny Appleseed,” “Johnny Cofeecakes,” and “Johnny Cupcakes.” He decided that it would be funny to make a shirt to wear into work with the nickname that he found to be the most amusing, “Johnny Cupcakes.” Little did he know that these tees would be a hit at work, among both his coworkers and his customers! Many people did not understand what “Johnny Cupcakes” meant, but the shirt was appealing enough to get people to go into his workplace asking where they could get their own Johnny Cupcakes shirts. As Earle phrased it, “One person would tell ten people, and ten people would tell a hundred.” So many people were coming into the comic shop that Earle had to constantly pretend to go to the bathroom, only to head outside to sell shirts out of the trunk of his old Toyota Camry. The story continued with how Earle ordered more and sold more shirts up to the point where he was attending a trade show and opening up his own shops. At the trade show, Johnny Cupcakes got offers from numerous stores, including Urban Outfitters, Macy’s, and even Barney’s. Realizing that no one, including himself, likes to wear what everyone else is wearing, he decided to move forward with the company without placing his apparel in stores.
Earle’s lecture was raw and witty. He told his journey like it truly was. There were also some “That’s what she said” jokes, which pleased the crowd, including myself. At the end of his presentation, he had old school Nickelodeon trivia, including questions about Doug, Salute Your Shorts, and Ren and Stimpy. The 2+ hour presentation was a breeze to sit through, and I learned a great deal. Did you know that there is trivia printed on the inside each of his shirts?
What started as a joke under a decade ago has grown into one of the most well-known t-shirt brands available today. The message that I took home from Earle’s presentation is that anything is possible. You may go broke doing what you love, but if you are passionate enough about it, people will notice. First impressions do matter, and before launching a company or opening a store, you should be well-prepared and make sure that the presentation of your line or store will be perfect. The more time and effort you put into your company, the more people will notice and appreciate it.
As a thank you for reading my newly founded blog, I have an exclusive deal for the Johnny Cupcakes online store to share with you. The coupon code “YO” will grant you 20% off your purchase. I believe that this coupon will only last until the weekend, so don’t delay!