Meet The Founder Who Turned $5 Into Millions of Cupcakes Sold (with Zero Experience)

Jenna Kutcher 

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May 8, 2023


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How much money do you think you need to start a business? $1,000? $10,000? $100,000?

My guest today, Mignon François, can tell you that you do NOT need to go into debt to chase your dreams… in fact, she started her business, The Cupcake Collection, on the last $5 she had to feed her family and turned it into a legacy with over five million cupcakes sold.

Since then, this incredible entrepreneur, speaker, and community leader has garnered national attention from the TODAY Show, Southern Living, Entrepreneur and Business Insider, just to name a few. In addition, her business savvy has earned her numerous titles and awards, including Woman of Legend and Merit, Entrepreneur of the Year, Women’s Empowerment Innovator, NAACP Powershift Entrepreneur, and Black Enterprise magazine’s Family Business of the Year.

Today she is committed to teaching anyone who will listen about what they can do if only they believe, most recently through her brand new book, Made from Scratch: Finding Success Without a Recipe.

I can’t wait for you to hear her full grassroots story of success, be inspired through her powerful words, and learn how YOU can follow in her footsteps to do the same in this episode of the Goal Digger Podcast!

Trust the Process

Mignon’s story begins with her facing financial devastation and struggling to keep her family afloat. But she didn’t give up… after hearing a radio host said having a bake sale could help people get out of debt, she was determined to make it work.

With the last $5 she has to feed her children, Mignon made two dozen cupcakes to her neighbor for $60. And by the end of the week, she had turned that $60 into $600, and before she knew it, she was putting up a three by five sign outside her home, letting people know that she was starting a business.

She didn’t have a plan or a recipe, but she had faith that if she believed in herself and worked hard, she would be able to turn the situation around for her family.

The next time you find yourself doubting yourself, Goal Digger, remember Mignon’s story: she trusted in the process, believed her neighbors would support her, and they did. This is the power of trusting yourself!

It’s Never Too Late

When Mignon started her bakery, she was in her 30s. In our conversation, I asked her to talk a bit about this, because I believe that there are two types of people that may be listening right now:

  • The first type is someone who might be in their 30s (for example) and they’re thinking, “I thought I would be further by now. I thought I would have a husband, a family, my dream house, the perfect job, a million dollars, etc.”
  • The second type of person is someone in the same age group thinking “It’s too late. I’m stuck. I’m me – this is my identity and I guess this is it.”

When I asked Mignon about her mindset in her thirties, she gave the most inspiring response. She said:

“I read a statistic that over 94% of Americans are waiting for some big event to happen in order for them to start living. It’s like, ‘I’m going to wait till my children graduate,’ ‘I’m going to wait till I turn a certain age,’ or ‘I’m going to wait till I have this much in the bank.’

And it’s never too late to start, is what I’ve learned… I just want people to know that you do not know the plan for your own life. So there are no mistakes. I believe that every stupid thing that you’ve ever had to do is taking you from where you are to where it is that you want to be.”

Isn’t she amazing?! For me, Mignon’s story is a testament to the power of believing in yourself to take a chance and pursue your dreams, no matter how “behind” you may think you are.

Because you’re right where you’re supposed to be, friend.

Cheer On Other Women

Mignon was surrounded by people who were struggling to make ends meet, but despite how determined she was to make something of her life, she also learned that she was afraid of being successful.

She was afraid of what people would think of her if she achieved her goals.

This fear of success is something that many women experience. We’re afraid of what people will think of us if we become successful, the responsibilities and expectations that come with it, and the criticism we open ourselves up to.

But we don’t have to be afraid. Mignon has made it her mission to cheer on other women to show them it’s okay to take risks, it’s okay to make mistakes, and it’s okay to fail. Because without failure, there is no success!

When we cheer each other on, we’re creating a culture that allows women to reach their goals and achieve their dreams. So let’s be each other’s biggest cheerleaders, shall we?!

Let’s show each other that success is possible, that we’re not alone, that we believe in and support one another. Let’s show each other that we can do it.

Made from Scratch

In Mignon’s brand new book Made From Scratch: Finding Success Without a Recipe, she shares her story of climbing out of a life of continuous upsets, struggle, and lack to building a legacy that would bless her and future generations. Made from Scratch is one woman’s story of finding her purpose with no blueprint, mapping a journey that led to the joy that has become synonymous with Mignon François.

Get Your Copy of Made From Scratch: Finding Success Without a Recipe and follow Mignon on Instagram

Thank you to our Goal Digger Sponsors

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  1. Shanon says:

    Incredible episode! So inspiring and encouraging! Thank you!


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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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