Monique Vacon is a 26 year old Special Education Paraprofessional, graduate student at Westfield State University and is currently pursuing a Masters of Education in Moderate Disabilities PreK-8. She is also an advocate and educator with Young Living Essential Oils! This week's ChikChat feature is all about Monique, and being an entrepreneur at only 26?! That deserves a HUGE round of applause. She was so cute, and so much fun to interview. You can tell from the start how excited she is to truly share her passion with the world, and how much pride she takes in caring for each and every one of her team members.
1.) Prior to the essential oil business, what type of industry were you involved in?
"I am a teacher who has an essential oils business and rocking both!"
2.) What sparked your interest in opening up your own business?
"I never pictured myself as a small business owner. When I first received my Premium Starter Kit, I went through the 11 oils fast because I was sharing them with my friends and family. Sharing was easy for me and then people started signing up. I am a born giver so to give oily goodness felt incredible!!"
3.) How long have you been in this business?
"I became a member in August of 2017 and officially became a leader in September of 2017. I have a team of over 50 members and I spoil them like crazy!! For education and training for my myself and members, I had the opportunity to attend Young Living Beauty School in Texas to learn everything about our Savvy Minerals makeup line, skincare and beauty. I also met my girl crush, Carmidy- the amazingly talented makeup artist from What Not to Wear and Good Morning America! I was totally fan-girling and learned so much from her that I have shared with my members!"
4.) Have you been located in Western MA your whole life?
"Western Massachusetts born and raised!"
5.) What would you say is your biggest success thus far?
"I don’t think that my BIGGEST success has happened yet. I have had success in my life, I have granted over 30 wishes for Make-A-Wish Massachusetts/Rhode Island, I was Miss Bay State 2016 within the Miss America Organization, and am a Senior Star Leader within Young Living Essential Oils!"
6.) What would you say is your biggest weakness?
"Math and numbers! I was actually diagnosed with a math disability when I was in seventh grade and math still gives me anxiety. Luckily, #theresanoilforthat! Haha"
7.) Could you ever expand past the Western MA area? Would you want to if so?
"I already have! I have amazing members in Florida, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Colorado and Arizona. I love how Young Living connects people all over the country!"
8.) You offer so many fun products, do you have a favorite? (OR) What's your favorite part about the business?
"Oh gosh, that’s a tough one! We offer everything from natural skincare, mineral makeup, essential oils, hair care, supplements, diffusers and other wellness products! We have a Seed to Seal promise which means that each plant is hand-weeded, there are no pesticides used, no chemicals, and no weed killers. The plants are harvested at their peak, and ONLY contain pure plant materials! Young Living is also the ONLY oil company that oversees all of the farms where oils are either cold pressed from the rind or steam distilled. The company has so much integrity which is why I fully support and endorse it!"
9.) A little birdie told me you're offering something for new members, can you elaborate?
"Yes! New members this month will receive a magical custom roller of essential oils along with $15 product credit!"
10.) What does it take to become a member?
"Becoming a Young Living member is the greatest deal for whole body wellness! Each essential oil (11 to be exact) supports a different body system and are the highest quality oils in the world!! A YL membership costs $160 (over $350 worth of products) and you will receive: 11 essential oils, choice of a diffuser, 24% off everything, no obligation to sell, packets of Ningxia red (powerhouse antioxidant drink), sample packet of Thieves Cleaner (best cleaner EVER), sample oil bottles, information booklet, access into private oily groups, and a welcome package from yours truly. Become a member with a Premium starter kit and BAM! You will be added into some incredibly awesome groups that will always have your back & support you throughout your oily journey! It's a no brainer!!"
11.) Do you have any advice for future entrepreneurs in hopes of starting their own businesses?
"Read The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins, take risks, show gratitude and love on your people!"
12.) What is the most rewarding part about your business?
"It is beyond rewarding to hear from my members that oils are supporting them and their families! I love my tribe and am blessed every single day to have such positive, like-minded people in my life!"
13.) Do you enjoy doing anything else in your spare time?
"I have been volunteering since I was a kid and I get a "high" from giving back to the community. Best feeling ever!! I am a very active person whether that is going for a walk, doing a quick 30 min interval workout or tearing it up at Body Combat classes! Yoga completely changed my life when I started my undergraduate program at FSU- more energy, better sleep and of course strength!! I love nothing more than cooking meals in my kitchen. It is an escape for me to be creative and make something yummy! I really enjoy incorporating vitality essential oils into my recipes. Spending time with my family outdoors is my favorite! Hiking, camping, traveling, ziplining, skydiving, kayaking and just exploring nature!"
Be sure to check out this bad ass babe and follow her on all her socials so that you can really get to know her!
Business page: https://www.facebook.com/queenofoils18/
Personal Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/monique.vacon
"Imagine sleeping better, having more energy, and just feeling like a Queen every single day! I welcome you to join our oily community and learn all about wellness with plant based products. Essential Oils are a total game changer. If you are open to learn more feel free to reach out! I would love to meet you and help your family!!"
Honestly I think Thanksgiving is better than an other given holiday in the book. Not only is there so much significant meaning and thoughtfulness behind it, but you get to spend it with the people you love most. On TOP of that, you get to eat as much as you can until your pants pop, and drink til you drop- or in this case- wobble!
Whether you're hosting a family party, attending, or just stopping in, it's always proper etiquette to never show up empty handed. You might think you have to make some crazy, extravagant punch that makes everyone feel warm and fuzzy but truth be told some of the most simplest drinks will go a long way on Thanksgiving Day.
Here are a couple different cocktail choices to really spice up your day of gathering.
If You Are Hosting:
And now it's time to bring those mems back with a Jungle Juice recipe that's fresh and festive, and perfect for your party.
Next Up for our Hosts- We have an Apple Pie Punch (Can also make singular cocktails as well)
If You're Attending:
You want to make sure you bring something that's not too crazy, doesn't have to be heavily prepared prior to being served, but still something that you can sip on and enjoy while you're co-mingling with your friends and fam.
Coincidentally enough, there's a Bourbon called Wild Turkey, go figure! Perfect.
This Wild Thanksgiving Cocktail is super easy to bring over, and it's super easy to make too!
If You're Just Dropping In:
Like I said, never EVER go to someone's home empty handed, even if it's a small little bottle of wine, it looks good to the host, shows them that you appreciate their generosity for allowing you into their home, and it makes the party goers even happier! (Who wouldn't be psyched by the sight of more booze...crickets.)
Here are some thoughts:
If anyone out there reading this has any Thanksgiving Treats of their own that they conjure up during the holiday, let us know! We love hearing all about your Best Boozy Days.
Maybe we'll even feature it on our next blog, or somewhere else ;)
Chat with you Chiks later, I have some punch to prep for tomorrow!
Editorial Contributor and Marketing Specialist
Seasons Greetings, Chiks!
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, tis the season to be grateful and appreciate life's many blessings. In addition to sitting around the table, giving thanks for the meal that you are about to receive and appreciating the loved ones that continuously make your life whole- it's so important to be mindful of the ones that are out there that maybe are not so lucky. Or that might need a little bit of a helping hand. The awesome thing about volunteering is that there is no limit or bounds you must follow when it's coming from the warmth of your own heart.
Check Out Hunger:
Has been running from the beginning of October, and will last until the first day of the new year.
"Check Out Hunger is an annual campaign running from October through January* at markets, co-ops, and package stores. It’s one of the most convenient ways for consumers to help feed hungry families in their communities. By adding a simple donation slip at checkout, shoppers can easily make a gift of $1, $3 or $5 as they shop for groceries. Over 40 Feeding America Food Banks are participating, but all local donations go directly to The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.For every $1 donated to The Food Bank, we’re able to provide 3 meals to help our neighbors in need."
Monte's March IX:
Will be happening from November 19th-20th.
"On November 19 and 20, WRSI – The River’s Monte Belmonte will be leading his annual march against hunger through the Pioneer Valley during his Monte’s March event. For those two days, Monte, Congressman Jim McGovern, and a number of their supporters will push a shopping cart 43-miles from Springfield to Greenfield to raise awareness and funds for food insecurity in our region. Supporters are encouraged to donate money to benefit The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Last year, the event raised more than $258,000."
Monte's Munch: Fundraising Dinner
Will be happening at The Sierra Grille, in Northampton on Monday, November 19th from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.
"Whether or not marching 43 miles is for you, you can support Monte’s March by enjoying some food, fun, and festivities at The Sierra Grille. Join 93.9 The River’s Monte Belmonte, Congressman Jim McGovern, and other Monte’s March supporters after they’ve completed the first leg of their 43 mile march from Springfield to Greenfield. A cash bar will be available, and special raffle items from local businesses (check back soon for menu and raffle items.)
All proceeds from the fundraising dinner will benefit Monte’s March, an annual fundraiser to support The Food Bank. Last year, Monte’s March raised more than $258,000, providing the equivalent of 774,000 meals to our neighbors in need throughout the region."
On Thanksgiving Day, there is a Thanksgiving for the People :
This event will take place at The People's Pint, in Greenfield, Ma.
"A pay-what-you-can traditional Thanksgiving meal open for all in the community. All are welcome! All profits to benefit The Food Bank.
The meal includes donations from local sources:
Snow’s Ice Cream Co
Pine Hill Orchards
Artisan Beverage Cooperative"
The day after Thanksgiving, there will be a Give Back Event at Serenity Yoga, in South Hadley, MA!
This event is going to be Black Friday, aka the day after Thanksgiving, November 23rd at 9:00 AM and will run until the following Tuesday, November 27th at 7:00 PM.
"In addition to our "Will Teach Yoga for Food" class on Thanksgiving morning, Serenity will celebrate Giving Tuesday by collecting food donations during all drop-in classes from Friday November 23rd thru Tuesday November 27th! Note that donations are requested but class cards, memberships and drop-in rates will still apply. All Food donations will be donated to the Neighbors Helping Neighbors South Hadley Food Pantry."
All of these events can change someone's entire day, no matter how big or small of an impact you think you may have- there are so many local ways to go out and make a difference.
Take a look at The Food Bank of Western MA Website, for more ways that we can all come together this holiday season.
On behalf of myself, my fellow co workers and wonderful CEO at Chikmedia, we appreciate each and every one of you that take the time out of your days to keep up with all of our happenings- on our blog, Facebook, and Instagram platforms. We could not be more grateful to have such a strong fan and support base and we love you all.
We wish you all a very Happy, Warm, and Safe Holiday♥.
Stay fabulous, Chiks!
Editorial Contributor and Marketing Specialist
Happy Friday Chiks!
It's officially November and spooky season is over! Break out the ugly sweaters, cozy socks, and kahlua!
The best part about fall is the weather, especially on days like today where the week is over, the hard work is done and now there's nothing left to do but kick back, enjoy the views and sip on your favorite holiday cocktail. We've got you covered from sipping margaritas, to lounging with a cup of boozy hot cocoa!
Check out some of our favorites below!
1.) Apple Cider Margarita
General Disclaimer from our friends at Buzzfeed: Silver Tequila is good, but the gold here really gives a “warmth” that matches the cider and cinnamon perfectly.
2.) Broiled Baileys Baked Hot Chocolate
In a small saucepan, add milk and half and half. Turn on medium heat and let mixture warm up. Add chocolate chips (nom).
Let chocolate chips melt in milk mixture, whisking frequently. Once the chocolate has fully combined, add Bailey's. Stir to combine and transfer to oven safe mugs.
Turn on broiler to low. Place marshmallows on top of hot chocolate and place mug under broiler. Keep the oven door open and watch your marshmallows, they cook fast! Once your marshmallows are nice and toasty, remove from heat (use an oven mitt!) and enjoy!
Like the sounds of these? Check out this link here at https://www.buzzfeed.com/millicentd3/13-ridiculously-tasty-bonfire-ready-cocktails-br-1j4ui?utm_term=.bw04kqMzr#.lczMyo61r for way more fun cocktails that'll heat you up this holiday season!
Don't forget to like, comment and share with us some of your favorite concoctions on our Facebook page! ;)
TTYL For Now Chiks!
Editorial Contributor and Marketing Specialist
Calling all beer and food enthusiasts!
Join us, on Thursday November 8th at 6:00 PM for The 4th ever Craft beer, food pairing, auction and raffle at The Log Cabin on 500 Easthampton Road in Holyoke, Massachusetts!
This event was previously called the Holiday Auction and Beer Tasting, this is the 4th year now that the event will be taking place and it has become one of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County’s largest fundraising events to date! Bring your friends, bring your family, bring everyone! This event is a perfect way to acquaint yourself with a variety of new folks that you haven't even met yet!
"Since 2015 the Brews, Bites and Bids event has helped provide mentors to over 70 kids having raised close to $100,000 and each match costs approximately $1,200 a year to support."
While you're here, you'll be able to sample some craft beers by some of the most well known breweries in the area! You'll be able to enjoy their favorite foods that pair best with each beer style, AND you get the chance to BID on a weekend getaway! *location will remain undisclosed ;)* You might even be able to win Tickets to your favorite New England Sports Team! Or, enjoy a gift certificate to a popular local restaurant!
The prizes will keep coming, and we'll keep pouring!
So what are you waiting for? Tickets are on sale RIGHT NOW, don't forget to get yours here! You can also check out more information on each brewery that will be present during the event.
Keep your eyes peeled, a special guest from our Team of Chiks will be making an appearance!
Be sure to check out their Facebook event, and like and comment your thoughts!
We hope to see you all there!
Marketing Specialist and Editorial Contributor
What better of a day to wear Pink than October 3rd?! Today is the Chik's favorite holiday, October 3rd. For those of you that don't know who I'm quoting, go watch the movie Mean Girls tonight while cuddled up with your favorite glass or Rose. For those of you who do know what I'm talking about, I hope you can appreciate my light sense of humor in short of what day it is today.
IN OTHER NEWS: Today is October 3rd, so that means that tomorrow will be Thursday, October 4th.
Not only is tomorrow the day after the highest nationally ranked, pinkest holiday of the year, it's also our annual Chiks Night Out Event! Perfect excuse to wear your favorite, pink cardigan two days in a row!
Chiks night out is going to be hosted on Cape Cod, Massachusetts in Dennis this month. Chikmedia will be teaming up with local lady bosses to host a wonderful evening with female entrepreneurs at Three Fins Coffee Roasters. Our theme for this fantastic fall event is Coffee, Cardigans and Cupcakes. We are so excited to announce that we are OVER capacity now, the concept "the more the merrier" will really be out to show tomorrow night. We could not be more thrilled and excited for this outcome, and to be teaming up with so many positive lady boss influencers that'll be such an asset to our women supported evening.
Along with your ticket (which I know you already purchased, why wouldn't you have?) you'll be receiving a KILLER swag bag, full of the prettiest and pinkest essentials. A limited edition Chikmedia Lip balm, pink Chikmedia sunglasses, a "Life is short, Eat a Cupcake" Tumbler cup with a token for a FREE Cupcake from Cupcake Charlies, AND a sample bag of coffee from Three Fins Coffee Roasters, and SO MUCH MORE.
Our VIP Ticket is going to include everything listed above from the General Admission ticket, and early entry for excusive Chiks shopping opportunities, priority access to limited seating, AND a chance to win a Basic Chik Starter Pack! It'll include a bottle of wine, a Chikmedia champagne flute so that you can match all the Chiks and a Boss Chik T-Shirt! My Boss Chik T-Shirt is hands down the softest, and cutest Tee that I own, I wear it to bed, to bar hop, and any day that I feel like being a bad ass and really want to get things done.
There will also be a super cute and fun Chiks Night Out Snapchat Filter for the duration of the event! So make sure to snap us and tag us in all of our pics and vid updates as the night goes on. Share with us some of our favorite memories and comments from your evening tomorrow in the comments below!
We wanted to give a special shout out and Thank you to all of our favorite lady bosses that are making tomorrow happen: Three Fins Coffee Roasters for Hosting Us-
And of course, to the ladies that are the bread and butter of the event, you'll see amazing tables with products from
If not, no worries! As long as you follow us on Facebook, and Instagram, you'll be sure to get the scoop as it goes along. In other news, make sure you keep your eye out for our next Chiks event- we're already cooking up what's in store for you ladies next time ;)
Editorial Contributor and Marketing Specialist, xoxo Chiks!
This past weekend, Chikmedia popped the champs and set off to Providence, Rhode Island for a much needed retreat weekend. On Friday, we spent our day in a lovely Air B&B (shoutout to Bob) where we were able to really connect on all things Chikmedia, from past experiences, present and on plans that we have in store for the future.
Once the work day was over, we glammed up and got ready to hit the town. Had a little photo shoot along the way, and by the next time we checked our clocks-it was time for dinner.
We started our night off at Ten Prime Steak and Sushi, as soon as you walk in you could immediately feel the vibes that the restaurant wanted to give off to their consumers from the moment you enter to the moment you leave. The remarkable hospitality from the staff, all of the lights and the array of decorations added so much character and charm to our dinner and it was a fantastic way to start off our evening. From their "Crunchie Munchie Rolls" to their "Party of Many Skewers" appetizers, to their Clam Chowder, there is always bound to be something on the menu for everyone to love! You'll never be disappointed by a night out at Ten Prime.
In between Dinner, and Dancing, we walked down the block to The Dorrance. They were Located in the heart of downtown Providence, and the restaurant maintains the timeless elegance of yesteryear in a gleaming, contemporary way. There were high ornate ceilings, a long, luxurious bar, and a well-appointed dining room that comforted you as soon as you walked in. The live jazz music of saxophone tunes definitely gave the restaurant a very glamourous feel. You always hear the saying "Dinner and a show" but Drinks with a show? 10/10!
Our third and final stop for the night was a rooftop bar at GPub. The pink lighting really added a genuinely elegant ambiance as soon as we walked out of the elevator, and one that we could all especially appreciate. There were fire tables and an abundance of cushion couches, a DJ section and an enormous bar that stretched from one end of the room to just about the other. All of our drinks were prepared quickly and perfectly, not too strong, not too weak, and then open air feel was a perfect vibe- especially when the dance floor became popular. You can't do anything but enjoy yourself when you're up that high, it honestly makes you feel like you're on top of the world, with good cocktails and good people.
Tips for a RI(GHT) Night Out on the town in Providence?
Ever been to Providence?
Want to go now? OF COURSE YOU DO!!
Tell us your plans in the comments below!
Give us ideas for our next trip out, you never know- we just may pop in for a chat;)
Talk to you soon Chiks!
Editorial Contributor and Marketing Specialist
October first is seventeen days away, which means that it's already time to starts putting away the sundresses and switching out your wardrobe to comfy booties and leather jackets. Fall flies by in a flash, so it is important to take advantage of the crisp weather and beautiful foliage (especially for your Western, MA) ladies, while you can. But if you're unprepared for it- there's no fun in that!
When switching out your closet, it doesn't make sense to toss everything you own- in fact there's a few ways to make use of old clothing articles so that you don't have to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. You can recycle a lot of what you already own by wearing them in different ways. There's a huge difference between being bored of wearing something and it being "out of style" or in this case-out of season.
Another fall fashion tip that I like to recommend is creating a morning kit for yourself, or simply laying out your clothes the night before. For the mornings that you're running late or that you have to be in the office early, if you completely plan out your outfit, accessories and hair plans the night before- you not only save yourself a bucket load of time (to do other things that could make you late, like brewing your coffee from home or trying a new makeup technique...aka me) but you also give yourself the opportunity to really see what you have. That way, if you're missing something or there's a staple in your closet that you tend to use often, you'll be able to see what you're missing or need to complete your fall outfits.
Last but certainly not least- the most important tip I can give you to switching your seasons over is to switch over what you have BEFORE you start shopping. More so, plan ahead. Try to make categories of what you have already, so that if there's anything extra or left over that you need, you can plan accordingly. By doing this, you won't go into a department store blind- and by every temptation that you see. You'll also end up saving yourself in the long run from spending unnecessary amounts of money on things you don't need. You'll also have space for the things that you do buy instead of stuffing a ridiculous amount of items into your drawers, to only have it get crammed, wrinkled and lost into an abyss of clothes.
Now that you have a bit of a head start on the clothing portion of Fall, here are some festivities to get you started- and put those outfits to the test!
Here's some of our favorites in the Western, MA area.
What are some of your favorite fall festivities?
Let us know in the comments below!
Editorial Contributor and Marketing Specialist
Cupcake Charlie's is an award winning Cupcake bakery, with two locations on Cape Cod- and more scattered around New England. One located in the heart of Mashpee Commons, and the second being in Falmouth. To us Cape natives, a visit to Cupcake Charlie's not only brought us so much excitement, but it also allowed us to make so many fun and sweetly filled memories. To those of you who are traveling to the Cape on a vacation, this has to be one of the most important destinations that you absolutely MUST visit. From Cupcakes, to Frosting Shots, to Trifles, there is bound to be something your sweet tooth will dance for joy about.
This week, I had the privilege of speaking with Penny Lessa, the woman that makes all the magic happen. Penny takes Pride in her bakeries, and no two items are ever alike. The quality of her work is extremely important to her, especially when it comes to pleasing her loyal customers.
1.) Prior to Cupcake Charlie's what type of industry were you involved in?
"Prior to Cupcake Charlie's I was in the Real Estate business. I was a licensed agent and was living 10 months out of each year in Florida, in the Disney area. I specialized in the sale of vacation homes, and investment properties. The market, at the time was very strong, and I met with great success.
I was also licensed in MA - getting my start from another wonderful female entrepreneur here on the Cape, who has been a successful agent for years! Before all that, I was working as a Sales and Marketing Director at a wonderful Assisted Living Community here on the Cape"
2.) Did you undergo certain education or training to have knowledge in the culinary (or baking?) field?
"I have no formal training or background in the baking industry. I am completely self taught, (with the help of my Mom and some old neighbors) and have had a love of baking since I was a kid. My Mom used to make stunning cakes out of our home when I was growing up - and I remember hoping she would have left over frosting so we could eat it on crackers when she was done. (you should try it sometime - it's DELISH!) It took almost a year to perfect all the recipes for Cupcakes Charlie's, and then learning how to actually operate the business, was one day at a time, once we opened the first shop."
3.) What sparked your interest in opening up your own business, let alone, a dessert business!
"I am definitely an entrepreneur at heart. I had tried my had at a few business in the past - but none lasted long term. You know that question . . . "If you can do any type of work, what would it be?" Well my heart always said own a bakery - but not being formally trained made the thought of that overwhelming. But, once the real estate market crashed, and I had to decide what was next for me - I decided cupcakes!! (with a bit of encouragement from some special family members!) My husband looked up cupcakes online and saw that a few shops actually already existed in CA, NY and Las Vegas - so immediately I felt it was a risk worth taking!"
4.) How long have you been in this business?
"We just recently celebrated 10 years in business! Boy how time flies. I feel so blessed to have made it this long. In those 10 years the business has grown to 5 shops. There are 2 on the Cape (Mashpee Commons and downtown Falmouth), one in Plymouth, down on the waterfront, one in Patriot Place in Foxboro (home to the New England Patriots) and one in Newport, RI. We have evolved over these 10 years from just cupcakes - to now offering custom cakes, whoopie pies, butter bars, cake pops, frosting shots, trifles, cookies, Gluten free and Vegan products, amazing soft-serve ice cream, and more. We even offer Nationwide shipping, which is a great option for the tourists that live far away to get their cupcake fix. I love baking - so often, when I am in the shops, I love to experiment - so you never know what I might whip up and put in the bakery case . . . most recently, mini key lime pies - YUM!"
5.) Why Cape Cod? Have you lived here your entire life? Or were you just looking to relocate.
"The location was a hard decision. We were still living 10 months in FL, and 2 months here on the Cape. But in the end, I really felt the support of family was needed (and all my family is in MA). We live on the Cape, so a location here certainly made sense. I felt like foot traffic was going to be important to the success of the business - so that is what drew us to the Mashpee Commons - and it has turned out to be a great decision."
6.) What do you prioritize most when it comes to creating the actual products in store?
"Flavor is of the utmost importance. I definitely consider myself a Foodie, and feel like I know what tastes good. So I won't stop until I think a product tastes absolutely as good as it can. That is so important to the success of keeping long term customers. They can recognize good quality and good flavor, and they appreciate it! After flavor is the design. It has to look good too, to catch a persons eye - If it doesn't look appealing, or fun or creative, then people just won't buy it."
7.) What would you say is your biggest success thus far?
"My biggest personal success thus far has been choosing the right husband. Having a good man that builds you up, encourages you and helps you follow your dreams is really one of the keys to a happy life - I am Blessed to have found a wonderful man! After that is Cupcake Charlie's of course. I am so proud of how it has grown and am always amazed when I meet a person for the first time, near or far and they actually know about Cupcake Charlie's. It is an amazing feeling! We were on the beach in FL one time and got to chatting with some people - and they actually knew of us - its crazy sometimes."
8.) What would you say is your biggest weakness?
"My biggest weakness is being a perfectionist - the worry of not being perfect, or failing at something new, can sometimes hold me back - or take me 3 times as long to do, because I want total perfection."
9.) Could you ever expand past the Cape and Plymouth (south shore) area? Would you want to if so?
"We could certainly expand. I have a shop in Newport, RI - that is a little over an hour away. But the further you get, the harder it is to manage. And I never want to lose the quality of product or the original vision. I really don't want to disappoint any customers."
10.) What's your favorite part about the business? Do you have a "favorite" product?
"Choosing a favorite product is tough. I am a sweet-a-holic - so I pretty much enjoy it all. If I had to choose a favorite cupcake - I would say either our hostess with the mostess or our Cream Puff - both soooooo good!! My favorite part of the business is getting to be creative. I love coming up with new products or new flavors - it is so fun to experiment!! And if it makes it into the case - I LOVE when it makes a customer happy - so satisfying!"
11.) What goes into the planning and creating of new flavors, ideas or styles? Are they produced often?
"A lot of times, creating something new just comes on a whim. The mood for experimenting strikes, and off we go . . . Other times, it is based around a holiday of some sort. For example, August is National Peach Month - so I have spent a couple of weeks trying to perfect a NEW Peach Crisp cupcake. This new flavor will be released in shops on Aug 22nd, which is Nation Eat a Peach day."
12.) Do you have any advice for future entrepreneurs in hopes of starting their own businesses?
"I would say that if you are looking to venture out and open your own business - be sure to choose something you love to do and are passionate about - as it will become a huge part of your life, so you are going to want to enjoy it! And be sure to do whatever it is - the best it can possibly be done. You want to be the front-runner. Treat your staff with respect, and let them know you appreciate them. Build them up and mentor them - And treat your customers like gold! You have to know and always remember, that without customers, you will have no business -"
Already visited? Tell us YOUR favorite Cupcake in the comments below!
Editorial Contributor and Marketing Specialist
My first post as an Editorial Contributor and Intern was about the lovely, and talented Crystal Vazquez and all about how much of a wonderful business owner she has become. To refresh your memories, she is the owner of her very own on location beauty team. Her salon provides exceptional hair and makeup services on site for a variety of different occasions, just about anything you can think of. Weddings, proms, portraits and editorials. One of her most prized accomplishments is the success of her own mobile boutique, Addy Elizabeth!
This makes Crystal a two-time entrepreneur, and today we are celebrating her because the one year anniversary of Addy Elizabeth is finally here. Addy Elizabeth is a trendy, chic boutique that was found around New England. Crystal Vazquez created this mobile boutique as an option for women to shop trendy styles at a reasonable price. It's perfect because it gives you the option of shopping online, holding a private party, and even following them to certain events, or hold a fundraiser for your own cause or organization. All items are hand selected and shipped from Massachusetts. In other words, no two items are alike and you really will not be able to find anything here, anywhere else! With having your own business, a while back Crystal told us that she believed that she was able to get where she is today by always being sincere, and making sure that they give back to the community yearly, and she would never put a dollar amount before her clients and staff. She could definitely be making more right now, but she really runs her business with heart and it comes back full circle. She told us that she is already living her wildest dream with the company, which is actually why her she started this second venture. This time around, here is what she had to tell us about Addy Elizabeth's Anniversary.
"This year was definitely a learning experience. I forgot how hard it was to start a business and am still working on finding a balance to work both businesses equally.
I struggled a little because I listened. Sounds weird right? I carried things based on suggestions from my shoppers. Specifics included "you carry too many basics, shoot for the boutique pieces" sizing recommendations also came in. I would carry the sizes requested or the pieces suggested and they sat there.
So I scratched listening and focused on my original business plan.
(remember back in January when she commented on the fact that to keep it simple and be patient. We often feel as though we have to make our business plan more complicated as time passes, but sometimes your original plan is the best plan ;) )
My shoppers comment on how I style them in pieces they would never touch, and they end up loving it. That is why I do this. To help women find their style, to help them be seen, and to give them a confidence boost. The right outfit will lay out the foundation of your mood for the day."
Stay tuned and make sure you Chiks stay in the loop!
Keep a lookout on her Instagram: @Addyelizabethboutique
And on her website www.addyelizabeth.com/
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Editorial Contributor and Marketing Specialist♥
Hey girl (and guy), we're so glad you're here. ChikChat is our version of an informative blog that keeps you up to date on all the latest marketing trends, fabulous business owners and must-see hot spots. So pour a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and get comfy.