Author Archive for Stephanie Grindley

Wicked Good Cupcakes (with a wicked twist)

There is no question that I always have room for dessert. Cupcakes are known for being delicious individual desserts that are great for almost any occasion when you don’t want to get messy cutting up a cake. The problem with cupcakes is that they tend to fall or role around if you are transporting them somewhere…How could you transport and ship cupcakes without disappointing the customer?! Solution? Put the cupcake in a cup (or a jar)!!! This is exactly what a mother and daughter came up with for their growing bakery. Tracey and her daughter Dani now have a 20 million dollar business selling cupcakes in jars! Who would have thought?!

This duo has been seen on the show SharkTank and they even won over Mr. Wonderful himself.

(03/04/2015 Marshfield, MA) Wicked Good Cupcakes Tracey Noonan, right, and Danielle Vilagie (on left) got a major national boost in 2013 for their popular locally based mail order cupcake business with an investment from Kevin O'Leary, center, of Shark Tank. Wednesday, March 4, 2015. Staff Photo by Matt West

Focusing specifically on the millennial in this duo, Dani says not many 25 year olds have the privilege of owning a multi-million dollar company. I would go further to say that most people don’t see that much revenue in a lifetime.

Dani has proven that providing simple solutions can be the most elegant and effective business strategy. It’s new. It’s different. It’s tasty. And most importantly it sells. Dani also has an edgy style which is probably what gives a personal touch to the company’s name. Wicked Good Cupcakes got its foothold by making wicked good cupcakes…but the niche of being able to put it in a classy jar and ship it anywhere just opened up a whole new level of customers they couldn’t reach before.

Dani and her mom are a team. Dani, as a millennial entrepreneur, was able to offer a newness to the family recipes that I’m sure her mom aided in concocting. Their website is welcoming and enticing…which makes me even more curious to see how tasty these cupcakes are. I might just have to give into my sweet-tooth and order some. (It does look a little pricey though…so maybe I’ll save the order for a special occasion.)

Shop for some Wicked Good Cupcakes

Nerdy Nummies: Targeting all eccentric food lovers

With thanksgiving break upon us, I thought it would be super appropriate to acknowledge a millennial entrepreneur that takes food to the next level! I don’t always go on YouTube, but when I do…I end up watching cooking/recipe videos. And when I do watch cooking videos, I almost always end up on Nerdy Nummies’ channel.  Rosanna Pansino, the star of Nerdy Nummies, is a baker/actress who has gained a renowned platform in the YouTube community for her successful and witty food creations. At only 31 years of age, she has published her own cook book and sells merchandise appropriate to her channel’s platform. She is 5 years strong within the YouTube community and is expected to keep racking in subscribers through her enticing content (with currently over 7 million subscribers).

But enough about Rosanna, we’re all really here to find out just exactly her niche.

Food videos.qvhzmj_z

Not just boring food, but food that coincides with a certain theme. This can range from video game characters to even movie pieces. Edible Harry Potter wands, Angry Birds cupcakes, and even a Deadpool pepperoni pizza have all been created on the Nerdy Nummies’ channel.

I think the main reason people watch the videos and buy Ro’s merchandise is because it is pulling from two fields and combining them together: Hungry people searching for simple and well concocted recipes, and people who like entertainment and are previous fans of certain entertainment outlets such as video games or movies. Ro has a gift for creating products that look entertaining/engaging to the eye, but also appetizing…so as the consumer you watch in amazement as you see her bring these interesting recipes to life.

I’ve been a fan of Ro from her start on YouTube because she is uniquely gifted for being a great food designer. That is what makes her an entrepreneur. Her ability to provide a product that meets needs you never thought you would have through her use of design. Her channel creation might be described as a use of Reese’s Peanut Butter theory of innovation which essentially is the pairing of two seemingly unrelated yummy things into one.  Her personality is also sweet and quirky, which really meshes well for the channel’s nerdy side. I’ve also tried out some of her recipes and they were a success!.. I might just have to try out one of her new recipes for this upcoming Thanksgiving.

Check out Ro’s content here!


ReThink: A Millennial Entrepreneur’s Solution to Cyberbullying

Remember that one time someone said something at school and it hurt you, to the point that you remember it to this day? Maybe you experienced some form of bullying, a lot of people can identify with at least one case. Most of us grew up as kids without cellphones or access to internet for that matter. Verbal bullying consisted of what you could say to another person face to face or on the phone. With the introduction of the cell phone and mcyberbullying-benjaminmadeira-comost kids owning one, communication advances into other mediums. But with this easy mode of communication comes more ways to bully. Words over text last longer, but words can also be edited from the initial thought unlike face to face communication. So, many parents and school systems ask the question: Is there any way to try and limit text bullying without censorship of free speech?

Trisha Prabhu is a 16 year old female social entrepreneur with her mind set on creating something that diminishes cyberbullying. Trisha, around 13 years old started formulating an idea that limits bullying that takes place within the school system. She designed an app called ReThink. Over the past years, Trisha has won countless awards and finally got her idea officially endorsed by a shark on the show Shark Tank.

ReThink is an app that can be purchased by school systems where the app can be implemented to all electronics owned by the school. When kids go to respond to a message, if they use language that sounds offensive in nature, a message will pop up and ask if they would like to reword their text. This mere pause before sending has been proven to diminish cyberbullying immensely.


Being someone who is weary about any speech censorship, I actually find this app to be acceptable because it doesn’t prohibit anyone from speaking what they think, just suggesting that they maybe rethink how they say it. It’s obvious to see that Trisha has compassion and a heart to help others, but she also has an eye to see a solution to a problem that seemed almost hopeless for many online. As an entrepreneur, she inspires me to not look past problems that are just socially accepted as how it will always be. As a communications major, she shows me how we can promote healthy communication without infringing on people’s rights to free speech.

Reeling In Success: Jack Danos

I’m from West Virginia, which means I know a thing or two about fishing. My father and I have gone fishing every year since I was a little girl…and most of the time we never catch anything. Maybe our problem was that there were never any fish around us to be caught! Jack Danos, a millennial entrepreneur of just 17 years of age, and his father, Jeff Danos, came up with a fish trick that targets people like my father and I…unlucky fishermen. Jack describes the Tactibite Fish Call as a device that is thrown in the water and lures fish in with interesting sounds. Other animal callers work with ducks and turkeys…so why not fish?!

I originally discovered Jack after watching a Shark Tank episode. He impressed me with his smarts yet also creativity to bring this fish calling idea into a device. Are there countless fish attraction products on the market? Yes…believe me. Dad and I are the suckers that check out these products. But this one stands out because of its simplicity. All you have to do is throw it in the water and let the fish come to your hook. The noises range depending on what fish you want to attract as well.

Jack’s idea is impressive because he used his knowledge about what was already on the market, and his knowledge of fish. Him and his father has tackled a large problem, that being fishermen want to catch fish. Jack values his company at around 1.5 million dollars and is expected to continue to grow in success within the next years. Maybe dad and I will have to give the Fish Call a try. Specialty of fishing and finding a niche have allowed Jack to earn a spot as a millennial entrepreneur. This can be used as a motivation to other entrepreneurs to focus on a problem you’re passionate about and reel in a successful idea.makers-3d-printed-fish-call-device-wow-judges-abcs-shark-tank-raise-150k-5

How To Cake It: A Sweet Business Idea

1430491ed0ba289134cb2033b20500e1As a communications major, I have been wondering if there are millennials out there who have used entertainment routes to start their business. YouTube, though known for popular cat videos, has created an outlet for entrepreneurs to express their niche in the community and get a following. Through ads and merchandise, many of these youtubers have been able to make a living off a once purely entertainment field. A rising youtuber, by the name of Yolanda Gampp, (probably known by her business as “How To Cake It”) has been growing in popularity within the past year. Yolanda, a self-taught baker after her father, has been posting YouTube videos about how to make really cool cake designs…and when I say really cool…I mean realistic to the point that it’s crazy to think it’s cake! I happen to follow her on YouTube and have enjoyed watching every video her team has posted over the past year. Yolanda also customizes her own tee-shirts (a different tee-shirt for every cake she makes) along with other merchandise that can be sold at Yolanda and her team work to produce high quality weekly videos, and just recently How To Cake It won a Webby Award for Best Online Film and Video How-to &

As a mere 32 year old from Canada, Yolanda has created a business that many have grasped on to (Over 2 million subscribers to How To Cake It, and those numbers continue to grow). My hope for Yolanda and her team is to watch them grow in success, and I wait in anticipation to see what other amazing ideas they put forward into the world. Yolanda is a big inspiration to me. As a communications major, YouTube is an amazing outlet to start a career… but me just as a person, I look and I see Yolanda succeeding at her line of work, because she found something she loved. Her business is great because it combines that aesthetic appeal people crave, and also a unique skill that only she has perfected. She is innovative in her techniques for creating different cake pieces, and her skill is what has captured many people’s intrigue. A degree does not define her, but instead an entertaining and respectable mindset. That is what makes her a millennial entrepreneur. Anyone can make a cake. I can make a cake! But few can turn a cake into a watermelon with such great detail and creativity. Her personality is also fantastic, which leaves me as the viewer, always hungry for more. Check out the link and let me know what you guys think!


Scholly: Opportunity for All

How much would you sacrifice to have a college education? If you’re a college student, you have probably been there. Considering how you’re going to pay for college and what means to do so. Scholarships? Loans? Parents?

When Christopher Gray was a junior in high school, he realized his family would not have the means to send him to college, but he believed a college education was a necessity. He started to apply for scholarships. After a tedious 7 months, he accumulated over $1.3 million dollars in scholarships (including some entrepreneurial scholarships…hint hint). Gray described the process as a lot of unnecessary work, but now he was essentially an expert at the scholarship system. He knew something had to change. Something to make college students’ lives just a little easier. In 2015, Gray launched an app/website that creates an easier process to connect aspiring college students to scholarships.

Accompanied by his co-founders Nick Pirollo (26) and Bryson Alef (24), Christopher Gray (24) created Scholly.


Scholly has generated over 600,000 users (which continues to grow) and is estimated to have facilitated $50 million in scholarships. Gray was also featured on Shark Tank which helped his idea get big.

I personally think the mission of Scholly is amazing, and though I haven’t used the app…I believe the testimony and experience of Christopher Gray is enough to support his idea. Gray’s college education paid off (quite literally)! He saw a problem: that being an outdated system in a technologically advanced world. It is encouraging to see how Gray took a personal struggle and turned it into a success, and I’m sure the college student community is very grateful for his work. Since Scholly was just so recently introduced, I am  certain the success will continue to grow.

Entrepreneur of the Year

For anyone who might be interested in scholarship opportunities, here’s a link to get you hooked up with a Scholly account.