Be Your Own Boss – Cupcake Kids!

When I was in college, I had a friend, Jessi Walter, who was a few years older than me, that I looked up to like a sister. She was one of the nicest people I had ever met, extremely smart, and would give me advice whenever I asked for it (which was probably too often!) I loved hanging around her room – it was clean and organized and she had the most amazing hand-painted furniture.  I always felt like I was in a real house, as opposed to a dorm room when I went over there. Whenever I was there, I just felt happy.

I am so glad that we have reminded friends over the years. She is still one of the nicest people I have ever met, extremely smart, and she still gives me advice on life. Now, instead of hanging out in her dorm room,  we hang out in the Cupcake Kids! kitchen.  Every time I walk into the space, I feel that same sense of happiness, that I felt when I walked into her dorm room many years ago.

The idea for Cupcake Kids! was born when Jessi Walter decided to combine her love of kids and food in a practical way. Jessi set out to create a company that would provide students with hands-on cooking experiences designed to provide them with the opportunity to have fun in the kitchen while learning about food and nutrition. Jessi believes that creativity and education in the kitchen play an important role in a child’s development and help kids to build self-confidence and independence. For 4 years, she has been giving this experience to the kids of NYC.

Formerly a Vice President on Wall Street, Jessi’s passion for kids and food and her entrepreneurial spirit have taken her on a new adventure. Jessi graduated from Harvard in 2003, where she earned an economics degree and was a member of the Women’s Swim Team. As one of the oldest of 23 cousins, she has a passion for kids and their development. In her previous life as a swimmer, Jessi started a company offering technique lessons for young swimmers and brought the same enthusiasm and fundamentals to the pool as she brings to the kitchen today.

What sets Jessi and Cupcake Kids! apart from other child-centered companies is the pride that Jessi takes in her work and ultimately in her company. I’ve had the pleasure of helping out with Cupcake Kids! for the past 2 years. Jessi’s focus is on coming up with lessons that entertain, as well as educate, the “budding chefs” who visit her kitchen. She wants them to walk out of the kitchen with a smile on their face and a new appreciation for food and a sense of accomplishment. They gain confidence through measuring, mixing and baking. By combining ingredients to make a delicious treat, these children are able to see their successes right before their eyes, and taste them too! The excitement that Jessi, and her teachers, have for cooking and food is passed on to the children.

 I am so proud of Jessi for all that she has accomplished. I am also honored to have been a part of it  and I can not wait to see what the future holds for Cupcake Kids!

Please visit the Cupcake Kids! website to learn more about classes and birthday parties and, visit Facebook to become a fan of Cupcake Kids!

Living Vicariously

“Maybe it’s easier to like someone else’s life, and live vicariously through it, than take some responsiblity to change our lives into lives we might like.”
-Tish Grier

Since graduating from college and entering the work force, I have come to realize one definite. I am not very good at working underneath someone. So many of my work complains have to do with the various personalities, work-styles, expectations of my co-workers, particularly those who work above me. In the hours and hours that I have spent complaining to Matt, we often come to the same conclusion: you will not be happy until you are your own boss.

In 2005, I started my own “business” called Prep By Molly. I would spend hours in my parents’ basement sewing grosgrain ribbon belts, watch bands, dog collars and purses. While it kept me busy, I never invested enough time and effort into it to create a real business. Prep by Molly was probably the closest I have come to owning my own business. Those lemonade stands I used to set with my best childhood friend, Lindsay, were a very close second.

I am confident that I have the creativity, the intelligence and the work ethic to own my own business. Putting plans into place is something that I do well; I am organized, have a strong ability to multi-task, and when I feel passionate about something, I can spend far too many hours doing it. Unfortunately, one thing is preventing me from starting my own business… the idea.

I haven’t come up with an idea that I think could sustain a business. While Prep By Molly was fun while it lasted, it wasn’t something that I felt passionate about, or would be willing to invest my entire livelihood into. So until the day where I am struck with a flash of genius and an idea comes together, I will live vicariously through my various friends who have turned an idea into a business. These are the young entrepreneurs in my life!

The first company will be featured tomorrow. Get excited and get ready to live vicariously through their creativity, unbelievable execution of a simple ideas, and of course their tasty treats!