When former hairstylist Ginger Taylor was having her taxes calculated around this time last year, her accountant called to check on her new business. “So you make…cupcakes?” He asked.
Taylor’s small business called The Cupcake Experience has thrived during the pandemic. She says her income tripled in 2020 thanks to her prayers and creativity, as well as a few auspicious clients and lots of hard work.
Originally inspired by a salesman who sold pralines to customers in her salon, Taylor began teaching herself how to bake cakes, then Pinterest and YouTube cupcakes in an effort that started as a side hustle. Shortly after moving from California to Dallas in 2017, “the cupcakes took over,” she says, as she began posting photos of her creations on instagramhanding out free cupcakes at conferences and offering decorating classes to help a local charity.
When coronavirus restrictions canceled birthday parties and regular trips to California to continue doing her clients’ hair, Taylor says she prayed, “Lord, please don’t let me live on paycheck to paycheck.”
Soon after, she was hired to bake 600 cupcakes a week for XOXO Dining Room’s camera-compatible cupcake wheels. Although Taylor no longer supplies the restaurant’s cupcakes, she says she appreciates the opportunity because it’s how she learned to fulfill large orders, a skill she would need after scoring her second big break. – an order from Ree Drummond, host of the Food Network hit Show, The pioneer woman.
Taylor recounts receiving a phone call from a woman asking if she could deliver one of her monogrammed cupcake letters to her daughter in Highland Park. Taylor’s own daughter had broken her leg that same day, but since the wife was persistent and not picky about flavors and designs, she delivered the cupcakes that night. By the time she got home, she had acquired a slew of new followers asking how they could get her cupcakes – whatever the cost.
Taylor was already on the verge of having to raise his prices. “I thought that by raising my prices I would get less business,” she says, “but now I have orders for $800 to $1,000 since people order their full names in monogram letters.”
Monograms are $90. Sometimes people ask why they pay, and Taylor’s answer is, “My creativity.”
A woman of style, Taylor used to wear a pair of counterfeit Gucci flip flops when she was cooking when she started. Now she wears a pair of $120 Birdies and her goal is to someday cook while wearing a real pair of Gucci.
In addition to custom orders, Taylor offers about ten decorating classes per month in a dedicated loft she rents in Deep Ellum. With a kitchen, ample storage space, and an impressive view of downtown, loft rental is cheaper than retail space and much more comfortable.
Her most popular classes include the Succulent Decorating class and “anything with alcohol,” she says. Many classes are filled with groups of friends who like to hang out in the loft and bring their own booze.
Still on the hunt for a project, Taylor’s next business move is a cookbook or app that would teach other bakers about her decorating style.
“I’m the Gucci of cupcakes,” she says.
Upcoming classes at The Cupcake Experience include:
Unicorn cupcakes March 5
Galaxy Cupcakes March 9
I like pink March 12
The Cupcake Experience bio link on Instagram has more information on class opportunities and custom orders can be submitted via direct message.