SHENNICE CLECKLEY: You cannot
have Southern culture without food. It brings everybody together. Yes, we’re a little
bit unhealthy. We fry. That’s OK. My name is Shennice, and I’m
from Columbia, South Carolina. Ooh. I appreciate it. I always wanted to cook. When I was four years
old, I told my parents want to be a “cookery.” But you know, when
you get older you try to think of things that
are a little bit more tangible. So I went to University
of South Carolina. I’d been working at a
company for seven years. And when I got laid off, it
was like, what do I do next? I used to bake small items,
a cupcake here and there, to help people. It wasn’t until someone
said, can you help me out with my birthday party? And I said, can you pay me $20? I finally got it. I have got to go
full-on into my passion. I wanted to create
Southern desserts with a little bit of fancy. And when you eat it, you’ll know
that somebody’s mama made it. Because I’ve got four kids. I’m somebody’s mama. I have had no formal
training in baking. So I had to look
online for tutorials. I learned how to
pipe, how to ice, and how to make
different rosettes. All I wanted to do was people
to eat my food, that’s it. I knew nothing about business. I knew nothing about
making a profit. I went to some classes. I figured out what to do. I opened up my brick
and mortar, and it was like, I have arrived! I’ve got this cute little
exposed brick place. And can open up
the door and say, “welcome to my dessert bar!” But just not enough people
were walking in the door. Closing that brick and mortar– it was defeating. I did not want people to
think that I was a failure. But I felt like a failure. That’s when I came
up with this idea– a bakery that’s online! How in the world you
going to do that? It kept me up at night. I was like, how am I going to
get people to find my website? I am not a tech person,
but from blogs and reading different articles,
I learned about SEO, and AdWords, and Keywords, to
make sure that my website was on that first page. And lo and behold,
it started working. So you’re sitting there, fat,
nasty, happy, and you’re like, you know what, I think
I want a cake tonight. Click, click, click,
what is delivered to ’em? I love it. Now I get more
corporate clients. And I get a lot
of bridal clients. I am the baker, the
marketer, the PR person, and the deliverer. So I do it all. At the end of that first year,
when I looked at my sales, I did so much work in
my brick and mortar to make the same amount
of money I did online. Because I don’t
have the overhead, plus I don’t have cake
just sitting there because nobody bought it. Looking at people do that
first bite, when they close their eyes and they say, “mmm.” That’s just like
the all-time high. Bam, I gotcha. You’re going to come back now. [MUSIC PLAYING]