31 Days of Dreamers & Doers | The Cupcake Nerds
Nicole Hardnett is the owner and Head Cupcakeologist of The Cupcake Nerds, a gourmet homemade cupcake business. Her and her team go into the Cake lab and work to bring their sweet tooth fantasies to life by creating specialty flavors.
What's the earliest memory of being involved in your lane of business?
My friend Dominique Morgan needed cupcakes for his Cd Release Party and at the time I was an event planner with another business I'd created called 'NJoi Creations and Event Planning'. I remember how folks reacted to the cupcakes and I kept being asked where they could order more of them and I told them 'you can’t ... I simply made some just for this event'. Finally, my brother nudged me and said, "Sis just give them your card and tell them a price lol ... ".
"My customers keep me going; the way they react after eating one of my cupcakes and how folks who don’t like chocolate or cake period - but, will eat my cupcakes. It's just an awesome feeling and it keeps me passionate about what I do."
TCN: I am honestly beyond beyond blessed to have been given so many opportunities early on that most entrepreneurs starting out don’t have the opportunity to experience. During my first year, I was given the opportunity to bake for the now closed restaurant, 'Ingredient' in One Pacific Place - I was given a key and the kitchen with paid ingredients. I was able to build a following as they would often take my cupcakes to nearby businesses to promote both our businesses. I also have had the amazing opportunity to bake for The Empowerment Network's Red Carpet events - the viewing of Selma and Hidden Figures. I graduated from Julian Young’s program, The Start Center, as a participant in the first class of the program.
There have been many blessings along the way and tons of support from the community. I have been blessed to be a sponsor for the Kent Bellows Youth Program fundraiser for several years at Joslyn Art Museum as well. I have my first pop-up shop coming up with collaborator Ashlei Spivey called Cards and Cupcakes and I'm extremely excited!
WHat is a highlight of your career thus far?
I did a Women's Conference event for the Empowerment Network and I was able to meet Issa Rea!
TCN: 10 years ago, I thought'd I be an event planner. Since then, this journey has helped me to grow and I wouldn't change anything about it. If I had never created a crazy looking Minnie Mouse or a lopsided cake, I might've never learned how serious I was and continue to be about making sure my customers get the best.
"Keep pushing no matter what, you may have those moments you doubt yourself or whether you can pull this off - BUT - keep going Sis! You got this! We were designed for greatness and whatever you put your mind to do ... you can do it!!"
Nicole hopes to spread love and happiness through her cupcakes hoping people remember to smile, be happy and keep a positive outlook on life.