Sprinkles founder Candace Nelson on advice from Pal Reese Witherspoon and her new book
Since its launch in 2005, Candace Nelson‘S Sprinkle with cupcakes had a loyal celebrity following counting everyone from Oprah Winfreyarrive Katie Holmes (who helped put them on the map) and the customer is their friend Reese Witherspoon. The Legit Blonde serial entrepreneur praise star on the back of her new book Sweet success, but has also shared a lot of advice with Candace over the years. “[Reese taught me] embrace ambition as a business and don’t consider it an ugly word. And do it as a woman,” said Candace HollywoodLife in an EXCLUSIVE interview. “And, own it,” she added.
“All that remains is to support the other women around you… to give back to the people walking the path and the women in your life who are working and making changes. Two of the many things she inspired [me on]”Before Sugar Rush Executive producer and judge added advice from her Oscar-winning friend.
Entrepreneurship wasn’t on the cards for a young Nelson, especially with a father who was a corporate attorney. “In other words, risk averse,” she noted. “There aren’t many role models in my life for entrepreneurship, and not being a female entrepreneur… maybe there was a whisper of inspiration when I got my first Mrs. Fields cookie. I still remember someone brought one home from the mall…it was unbelievable that something so delicious existed by a woman,” she recalls, referring to a fellow businessman. Debbis School. Like her father, Candace initially followed a traditional career path – though into banking, not law – but she found herself in pastry school after both 9/11 and the dot crash- com in 2000. When planning her own wedding around that time, Nelson noted the trend of cascading cupcakes — giving rise to the idea that America’s favorite dessert could use “upgrade” types.
“I wanted to do something artistic after pastry class but something that people could envision everyday…[cupcakes] Being born an American, this is what our country loves – we have great nostalgic memories of it,” she said. “So we gave it a complete makeover and that was from the inside out, starting with the technique, the ingredients, the quality of the ingredients, their freshness and the renewal of the look. I wanted to create modern cupcakes… I started making it more elaborate to make it appealing to adults but I didn’t want to lose the fun,” she explains. Her and her husband Chris Nelson opened its first Sprinkles location in Beverly Hills in 2005, which eventually became a nationwide chain.
The book is a guidebook on how to take a recipe and turn it “into profit,” on the cover — but Candace reflects on some of the key milestones along the way, including a “major moment.” important” regarding Oprah. “Harpo Studios called and that was when people would call… it was a producer from Oprah Winfrey Program and she said, ‘Oprah likes your cupcakes,” Candace recalls to HL. “I just remember I was being pranked? There’s still no one like Oprah in terms of the power she has with that performance…. Having Oprah talk about your product on her show is the ultimate culmination for a business owner or someone marketing a product,” she recalls, adding that she had to complete the task. The hard job is to finish 350 cupcakes in the night and take them to Chicago.
“I said no matter what, we’ll make it happen,” Candace said. “It was a slow day in January and I thought like ‘okay let’s light up the oven’ and we baked those 350 cupcakes, put them in front of red eyes, brought them all on the plane… we were back. became a worldwide brand overnight and we had a location. “
In addition to launching arguably the most popular bakery of the 2000s, Candace continues her television debut on Cupcake Wars in 2009, executive producer and appeared on Sugar Rush and also launched a successful pizza business Pizza. The Wesleyan University alumnus co-founded the latter with her husband, which has three locations in Los Angeles and one about to open in Dallas in addition to selling frozen pizzas online. She says that building her own brand and mentoring other women in the business space is what ultimately inspired her to write her new book.
“[Sweet Success] coming from a very authentic place a lot of female founders contact me for advice and I mentored a few people around. And I started making angel investments in female and mostly representative companies,” she explains. “COVID gave me an opportunity because the restaurant wasn’t open yet and it gave me some time to sit down and reflect and write about the incredible journey I’ve been on and the lessons I’ve learned. to reach an audience. There are only so many hours in the day. I think it’s just about seeing how much power women have and a lot of them don’t realize it.”
As for her plans to get back in front of the camera, Candace said never say never. “I both co-create and executive produce [Best In Dough] to my partner at Pizzana, Daniele Uditi, on Hulu. It’s a pizza version of Cupcake Wars,” she said about one of her many projects on the move. “About me getting back in front of the camera – I’m always open to it but maybe it could be a business or startup show instead of a baking demonstration!”