Interview with James Gipson

James story is no different than any other child of the foster care system; daily life was filled with his mother’s drug abuse and also domestic violence. After being diagnosed with a learning disability in the 3rd grade, James was placed in foster care and Special Education and became determined to change his life and circumstances.

Being continuously ridiculed about his weight forced him to live a healthier lifestyle. James was exposed to toxic mold and carbon monoxide undetected at his old apartment. He spent the next two years recuperating detoxing his body and banking to nurse his body back to health. James started baking cupcakes and other specialty baked goods, which contained a variety of organic and healthy ingredients. He utilized monetary gifts to purchase the ingredients needed for his business venture; and from there Oatmeal Butter Cupcakes was born!

James has partnered with a variety of corporations and non-profit organizations that have helped build his business of healthy cupcakes. James landed his first celebrity client Sherri Shepherd Emmy Award Winner and Daytime TV Co-Host of ABC The View. James has overcome personal tragedy and struggles in his life and has turned his anguish into triumph and success.

When did you decide that you wanted to become an entrepreneur?

I have always been interested in becoming an entrepreneur ever since I was 8 years old. I remember working for my grandfather at his refrigerator business in south central Los Angeles at age 9. I made my mind up in 2006 when I was exposed to a hazardous gas leak at a former residence. I was ill for the next 8 months and I needed to do something fast to detox my body. So I started baking wheatgrass cupcakes to detox al the toxins.

Who was your first big client?

Emmy Award winner and Co-host on ABC The View

How did you get started in this industry?

I baked and cooked everyday and made every dish my own. So when I was working on wheatgrass cupcakes I had to ensure that every ingredient complimented one another.

What inspires you to create cupcakes?

Crossing boundaries, turning heads opening up a new way to eat cupcakes. The use of organic ingredients inspires me to create cupcakes that are delicious and healthy.

What was the most difficult part in getting started?

Funding was and still can be the most challenging. You have to research and convince potential investors why your product is more appealing than the next one.

What was the most crucial thing you have done to grow your business?

Most crucial part was thinking like a CEO, Manager in the hiring process. Asking questions like why is this candidate personality, work ethics, and talent special over the others. A solid loyal team that believes in the brand your building will contribute an energy that they like coming to work.

What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?

I had to say no…. when I first started I couldn’t say no to event placements and it was not only hurting my energy it was hurting my pocket. I had t reevaluate with my team to determine if doing an event or sales promotions was financially feasible for the whole company. Learn to say no…..

How did you build a successful customer base in your industry?

The internet’s social media platform, face-to-face, special events, and lots of pitching to media to feature how we do business. A solid customer base is so crucial because without customers there is no business. So speak to the customers needs whether it is conducting surveys, market researches, and or just in store taste testing’s to pick the brain of your customers.

What drives your brands image?

High fashion couture cupcakes that offer a healthy unique approach to the word cupcake. Our brand image relies on our ever changing lifestyle demands from our customers.

Oprah Winfrey once said that "I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity." What are your thoughts on that quote?

That is so true because if a business is not prepared there will be no room for opportunity to happen. Preparation is key in any business.

Greg Norman once said that “Our success is a direct result of knowing how to market a brand and having the right people representing the brand.” What are your thoughts on that quote?

Nothing is done alone nothing can be a success alone team work is apart of the success process. Recruit a team that knows there chops and that’s smarter than you are.

Vince Lombardi once said “We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible.” What are your thoughts on that quote?

Anything that you cant touch at the moment can make you feel as though its almost impossible to reach. A store front, office in a sky rise building, manufacturing plants the list goes on. Some things that are un seen lands in your lap when your consistent, operating behind the scenes of your business properly.

Brian Tracey once said “A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power.” What are your thoughts on that quote?

So true because if there is no vision or goals in place you will be going in a circle and not checking off predetermined millstones. It always feel good to be able to see milestones and to continue to add more goals to accomplish.

What advice would you give an entrepreneur who is just starting out?

Do your research and know who your competition are and complete a business plan. Also live laugh and enjoy the ride, starting a business is a fun process get friends who specialize in what you need to join your team.


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