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Johnny Cupcakes

By Alisha Madkins

Zero Fat, Pure Fashion-- What if people could buy a cupcake that would accessorize perfectly with skinny jeans, a fitted blazer, and designer heels? Well, John Earle has made this possible by creating a clothing line called Johnny Cupcakes that has people wearing cute fitted tees with a fierce, fun edge. Earle, 29, is not your typical designer; he did not attend an Ivy League college, nor did he receive a fashion degree. Instead, he exercised his entrepreneurial skills by starting a lemonade stand and selling pranks to his high school peers. While these tactics did not make him millions, they were essential stepping stones in creating a clientele list and branding a name.


Key Ingredients in the Success of Johnny Cupcakes-- Earle simply needed two ingredients to make his brand successful: one cup aspiration and three cups dedication. Earle let his businessman’s intuition take full force and started selling t-shirts from the trunk of his ‘89 Toyota Camry during “bathroom breaks” at work. With the aroma of success in the air, Johnny continued to sketch out ideas to improve the brand he was slowly establishing. Then it happened: Johnny came across a logo that stood apart from all the others, a simple crossbones with a cupcake placed above. This iconic logo has been spotted in music videos, photo shots, and blogs all over the web. The rise of Earle’s brand continues to accelerate with the opening of four different stores, one in Los Angeles and three in Massachusetts: in Boston, Hull, and Weymouth. Earle will also open another chic boutique this March in London, but this should be no surprise, considering Earle was named America’s #1 Young Entrepreneur (2008) by Business Week.

Donating by the Dozen-- Young adult entrepreneurs ask characteristic questions: How do I get a business started? How do I make it successful? Where do I begin? With these questions in mind, Earle has taken to the streets and started a Johnny Cupcakes Lecturer Series in which he travels to college campuses and speaks to young adults about issues that relate to their own needs. “The difference between Johnny and other Wall Street lecturers is his ability to tell students about his accomplishments, and in return there is a sense of connection with the audience,” stated a Babson College student. Schools Johnny has toured include Lasell College, the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, the University of California at Santa Barbara, Suffolk University, and Babson College.

Icing on the Cake-- As they say, a chef never sleeps, and Earle also made a 2010 Johnny Cupcakes Back to Basics Suitcase Tour in which he traveled in his vintage cupcake van to major cities across the United States, meeting fans and receiving feedback on his products. In addition, Earle designed six exclusive t-shirts and numerous memorabilia items specifically for the tour, to honor those who helped him establish his brand. Johnny Cupcakes exemplifies the quality of fortitude, which is the strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear adversity with courage. Without Earle’s dedication, hard work, and good taste in fashion, people today might not be able to enjoy a nice cupcake that garnishes a bootleg and embellishes those classic 1980 vans. Hats off to the chef!

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