This article was originally published on Mashable.
During the 2008 recession, Melissa Ben-Ishay was fired from her advertising job. After hearing the news, Ben-Ishay's brother encouraged her to go home and bake cupcakes, so they could start a business. And just like that, Baked By Melissa was born.
Baked By Melissa started small—the first store, in 2009, was a window in New York's trendy SoHo neighborhood manned by Melissa herself. The cupcakes were bite-sized, so customers could have one of everything, without feeling "gluttonous."
"We reached out to the key players—who are still a part of the organization today—to take advantage of every opportunity that came our way," says Ben-Ishay, who says the word-of-mouth buzz snowballed into press opportunities and high demand.
It turns out that little decision to make mini cupcakes made a big difference. Today, Baked By Melissa has more than a dozen cupcake outposts, offers an online "cupcake creator" for customized treats, and it now ships nationwide.
"Doing something you love definitely helps keep you in the game when it gets more challenging, which happens more than you expect," says Ben-Ishay.
Watch the video above to learn how Ben-Ishay grew the business, how she found the right people for her team and how she uses social media to make the business better.
Photo: Courtesy of Mashable