How This Pie Crust Cookie Entreprenista Scaled Her Business Online

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Janie’s Life-Changing Baked Goods was founded in 2015 after Janie spent years struggling with addiction and homelessness in her early 20’s. Janie’s was born out of an act of self-care, baking, as Janie was reconstructing her life and trying to stay sober. She had years of gaps in her resume, not a whole lot of work experience and no idea of what sort of career she wanted.

While working as a building superintendent, Janie began to bake. On a whim one day, she spent $35 dollars on a cheap handheld mixer, which seemed like a huge splurge at the time. With this mixer, she found joy in baking treats for friends, and quickly people were requesting baked goods for events.

At a time when Janie had no self-love, seeing the looks on people’s faces when they devoured her treats slowly filled her with pride that she had never before felt. Before Thanksgiving 2015, fueled by the encouragement of friends she challenged herself to see if she could sell just 1 pie. She sold dozens! With those pies, Janie’s was officially born and quickly proved that it was small but strong and that just like her, it wouldn’t give up. Janie says “I never intended to be a small business owner, had no idea what being an entrepreneur meant but this path chose me and it’s the most amazing ride”.

Only a few years into founding Janie’s Life-Changing Baked Goods, her Pie Crust Cookie was dubbed one of the Top Cookies In NYC by the Gothamist, won her a champion title on Food Network’s Chopped Sweets and was slated to be stocked at dozens of Grocery Stores across the country including Whole Foods. Still, just like other business owners around the world, Janie faced hardship in the wake of the pandemic. But rather than waiting for a solution to find her, the trailblazing Entreprenista found her own digital pivot on Shopify to continue selling her famous sweets.

March 2020 was supposed to be Janie’s Life-Changing Baked Good’s biggest month ever — revenue was projected at over a third of the company’s total revenue in 2019. Instead, the world turned upside down. “It went from being this exciting month and then it took a huge turn,” Janie said. 

When Janie’s had to push back a contract with a brand name ice cream company and postpone the release of other new products to grocery stores across the nation, the company found itself in the negative tens of thousands of dollars each month that passed. Additionally, Janie’s had to close down its kitchen for most of March, which Janie noted as a significant financial burden. “It’s hard to furlough my employees and reduce their hours,” she emphasized.

Janie quickly took to Shopify and pivoted to ECommerce. Shopify enabled her to seamlessly move her inventory online. She selected the Shopify theme to fit her brand’s guidelines. The platform also allowed her to remain in contact with her customers by packaging and shipping dozens of their orders each day.

“I had absolutely zero website design experience before launching the site and I didn’t have the funds to spend thousands of dollars for a freelance developer.” Janie said. “That’s why I was so attracted to Shopify in the first place. At first it was a bit daunting, but with a little instruction, I can confidently say that anyone can run an Ecommerce business regardless of their experience level.”

While launching her virtual shop, Janie wanted to leverage her existing community although she could not  participate in pop-up events and farmers markets at the time. To help reach her goals, Janie used Shopify’s built-in functionality to create engaging content that she circulated through her social media channels. From there, Janie used Shopify’s customer relationship management tools to build personalized mailing lists, stay in contact with customers, and extend lifetime value.

Thanks to Shopify, Janie was able to drive a 285% increase in revenue this year, and was able to do something she never thought possible: open her first bakery on the Upper West Side in NYC. Be sure to stop by her location at 212 W 80th Street in NYC this summer! 

“Community lies at the heart of my business and maintaining that community was harder than ever before.” Janie said. “I’m grateful that Shopify provides Entreprenistas like myself with all of the tools and resources we need to reach our customers and continue profitably scaling our businesses.”

Be sure to sign up for our Entreprenista on Shopify programming to help you build, scale, or transition your business on Shopify. Shopify’s functionality is unmatched, the prices are unbeatable, and you’ll get ongoing community support from Shopify subject matter experts, and Entreprenistas in our network — like Janie! 

Shopify is extending a special offer to the world’s current and aspiring Entreprenistas! Follow this link to get a 30 day free trial to Shopify – no credit card required. Follow this link to create your own Shopify store, free!

You’re invited to join Janie alongside many other trailblazing women entrepreneurs at Entreprenista on Shopify events! Plus, receive giveaways like Custom Store Build Grants from Shopify Commerce Award Winner TVP ($2500 value), Comped memberships to The Entreprenista League, and cool swag like Entreprenista x Little Words Project bracelets! Reserve your seat today – spots are limited!

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