Pam Turkin, 49, left her job as marketing VP for a merchandising firm to start a cupcake store chain.
As VP of marketing for a merchandising firm, Pam Turkin traveled extensively.
Around 2008 she noticed cupcake shops popping up on the coasts and wondered about bringing the concept home to the Detroit area.
Not only was her husband, Todd, recently out of work, but her employer was pressuring her to move to its Florida office.
"I baked for fun, so I started experimenting," says Turkin. She spent weekends devising flavors like S'mores and Fat Elvis (banana cake with peanut butter buttercream, dipped in chocolate), using her five kids as testers.
By late 2008 she'd rented a commercial kitchen and had placed her pastries in a dozen stores. Early the next year, she quit her day job to open a retail shop. In 2010, Just Baked opened its fifth store, and turned its first profit on $1.6 million in sales.
"The business has never slowed down," says Turkin, who has 40 full-time employees -- including Todd, who is manager of operations -- and 25 part-timers. "It's a lot of fun, and more than a little crazy."
How she's doing it:
1. By reinvesting
With business lending tight, Turkin figured she wouldn't get a loan. So, after using $10,000 from her mom to start up, she put early revenue to use. "If we had a big weekend, we bought a mixer," she says.
2. By tapping savings
In 2010, Pam and Todd paid themselves $60,000, just 30% of their old income. To help cover living expenses, they also drew $40,000 from savings. Expected 2011 salary: $100,000.
3. By growing on the cheap
The Turkins recently began licensing their brand. They own just 20% of their fifth store. Plus, a new deal with Faygo, which is distributing soda-flavored cupcakes, could double sales.
Audrina Patridge is looking to make Detroit, Michigan the new "it" city as she packs her bags and heads for Motor City!
The reality star is making a new web series called "Dream Maker" that will feature her "as a new, up-and-coming talent manager from Hollywood who moves to Detroit to start her own firm."
Audrina is looking for people to help her in her quest, asking for audition tapes to be submitted to the YOBIAct contest. The winners will appear as Audrina's assistant and receptionist in the series.
YOBIAct's website describes the series, saying, "The world will watch and laugh as the new firm settles in, copes with interoffice dynamics, and goes through the trials of signing hot new talent before someone else gets them!"