When one of Oprah’s personal assistants calls to purchase your products on her behalf, it’s a great indication that you should keep selling what you’re selling.
Andra Hall, owner of CamiCakes opened her gourmet cupcake boutique in 2006, striving to provide customers with a delicious alternative to the every day run of the mill cupcake.
Her story begins like many others; a woman raised by a single mother along with her younger sister and older brother.
“My mother baked and my grandmother cooked all the time,” Andra says speaking about the hours spent in the kitchen observing and helping as a child. “I remember picking greens on my grandmother’s farm in Monticello,” Hall says. “My grandmother also did some preserving and pickling.” “I spent some really nice summers there with her.”
Andra’s journey would take her from Monticello to Jacksonville Florida where she would marry her husband Curtis and eventually raise a family. Overwhelmed by a medical issue, Andra was left with no choice but to find an alternative to the insanity of working third shift, taking care of her daughter, and getting no sleep around the clock for almost two years. She reached back into her past and pulled out what felt right, what felt good. She always had a knack for baking and would fill orders for friends, weddings, and other events. Andra decided that cupcakes were a more plausible way to go in terms of a task she could handle by herself in order to get her own business off the ground.
On opening day at her first store in a mall in Jacksonville, she ended up selling out in spite of whispers she heard among the mall walkers. She had done it; against all odds she had proven the non believers wrong. On a wing and a prayer with only $500 left over on opening day, she has turned a prayerful hope into a lucrative business that now supports her and her family very well.
Like so many women, she admits she didn’t always know she was equipped with everything she needed to be where she is today. Her grandmother always taught her that education is important and that ‘it’s best to do one thing and do it really well”. Just recently she opened her fourth location in Vinings (Atlanta, Ga.) and has plans to start shipping her tiny delights nationwide.
Words By: Sid Powell
Image: Andra Hall