We had the good fortune of connecting with Cyd Mitchell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cyd, what is the most important factor behind your success?
One of the most important factors behind the success of my brand is my ability to observe my community, identify a problem and develop solutions to help make their lives easier.
When I started my business, it actually wasn’t a business. It was literally an Instagram page meant to shine a light on local sweet business owners who needed help getting visibility online. After observing the behavior of those business owners and realizing that visibility wasn’t the issue and that a lack of business knowledge was the actual root problem, the Sweet Fest morphed into a platform to educate bakers and sugar artists in how to start and run a business.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Sometime in 2013, I connected with two friends (who didn’t know each other) who happened to both be in the baking business and wanted advice in growing successful sweets businesses. By trade, I am an Accountant & Financial Analyst with a Masters from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. So, since I liked sweets and I enjoyed helping small businesses, I decided to help them as best I could.
After discovering some of their pain points, I was inspired to start an Instagram page called Sweet Fest with the goal of (1) helping them & other bakers get more exposure online and (2) eventually host an in-person festival of sweets that would help other bakers like my friends get more visibility from clients in their local communities. As time went on, the Instagram page’s popularity grew and I noticed that this growing audience all wanted help with business advice. So, I decided to host a one day, in-person seminar which became the catalyst for an annual business conference for bakers which is now Georgia’s Largest Baking and Sweets Trade Show called The Ultimate Sugar Show.
Over the years, I have continued to listen to this group of entrepreneur bakers, and I’ve created various products and services to continue to support their business growth. In addition to the Ultimate Sugar Show, I am the Head Instructor of the Sugar Coin Academy, an online business academy for business owners in the baking and sweets industry, and the owner of Sugarwebspace, a website builder platform for baking businesses. I also provide business advice and content for American Cake Decorating Magazine as a columnist and as a Freelance Blogger for various other brands within the baking and sweets industry.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First, I would like to shoutout my parents. They raised my sister and I to live without limits and believe that we could do anything as long as we worked hard. I realize now that everyone doesn’t have that type of encouragement growing up, and I feel blessed to have them in my corner at all times.
Second, I would like to thank my team! The folks who not only volunteered to help me build something great in this community but (at times) literally requested access to email passwords when I stubbornly refused to let go of tasks or they would simply do things without me asking.
It’s one thing to say you are willing to help, but its something completely different to invite yourself to a meeting and set the agenda (without me asking) and just make things happen. My current core group of friends have been instrumental in helping me stay on track these last 12 months, and I’m forever grateful!