Daily Free Press- â€śDoes anyone here think I really sell cupcakes?â€ť asked 28-year-old Johnny Earle, a multi-million dollar business owner, at a lecture to about 150 students in the College of General Studies on Monday night.
Earle, known also by his brand name Johnny Cupcakes, talked about how his decision to drop out of college and do what he loves ultimately resulted in a successful clothing business, a large fan base and three stores, including one on Newbury Street.
The Johnny Cupcakes brand, which originated in Massachusetts, is known for its unique shirts with interesting cupcake designs, he said.
As a child with a business mindset, Earle was always coming up with ways to make money, he said. He bought drinks in bulk and sold them on the beach, made a yearbook in eighth grade that earned him $1,500, and even sold practical joke products that got him suspended from school.
â€śI went back to school, [I] had to come up with something else to sell,â€ť Earle said. â€śIt wasnâ€™t drugs. It was candy.â€ť His candy sales ended up earning him $1,000 every week.
Earle began college at The Art Institute of Boston, but he said his learning disability and business ideas caused him to stop his college education. He began making shirts for his friendsâ€™ bands after he interned at a T-shirt printing company.
â€śYou can go to school for 10 years and rack up all these great degrees which is very helpful and very useful. However, most jobs out there require lots of experience,â€ť Earle said. â€śIâ€™d want to hire somebody who has more experience.â€ť
Earle also explained that while his friends went out partying, he stayed behind, saving time and money. He said he has never tried alcohol.
One day while working at Newbury Comics, Earle came in with a T-shirt he had made that said â€śJohnny Cupcakes,â€ť one of his many nicknames that friends gave him, he said. Customers and fellow employees began asking him about it and thus he began selling shirts out of the back of his car at work.
Earle urged the audience to think outside of the box and pay attention to the details that make businesses unique.
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Written by Amelia Pak-Harvey-BU