“Surround yourself with people who support you and have skills different from yours.”

Smart Tips for Starting a Business from the Co-Founder of a Cupcake Empire

I’ve always been fascinated by tales of entrepreneurs who hit it big, and Melissa Ben-Ishay’s story is a doozy. After losing her corporate job in the thick of the 2008 recession, she turned to what she knew best and loved most: cupcakes. In her spare time, Ben-Ishay had been busily baking for friends and family, she says, “for as long as I can remember.” Within a week of cofounding her company, she had her first official order. Almost ten years later, her business, Baked by Melissa, is a beloved purveyor of bite-size cupcakes, with 13 retail outlets and approximately 30 million treats distributed in 2017 alone (and a recently released cookbook, Cakes by Melissa, to boot).

Whether or not you’re handy with a whisk, Ben-Ishay’s journey is an inspiring peek into what it takes to build a thriving business. I asked the cupcake queen to share her triumphs and stumbles, plus the revelations that propelled her to sweet success.

For the full interview on how Melissa got started and her best advice to aspiring business owners, pick up a copy of the January issue of O, The Oprah Magazine or click here.

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