How would you describe Cupcake Stiletto in a few sentences?
Cupcake Stiletto is the original shoecakery, a retail establishment that bakes gourmet cupcakes and sells shoes from independent shoe designers. Cupcake Stiletto is a new concept that merges the industries of culinary and fashion under one umbrella to create a unique and sweet shopping experience. We use modern, visual campaigns to create an interactive, artistic experience for our customers.
Tell me a bit about Cupcake Stiletto’s customer.
Cupcake Stiletto’s target customers are modern women from the ages of 18 to 40 who are passionate about consuming high-quality desserts that are created from a modern perspective using high quality, organic and fresh ingredients. Our customers are women who have a passion for fashion and independent designers.
Cupcake Stiletto originally launched as an online business in 2012. Why is having physical space, such as your location at Westfield Topanga, important to your business?
A physical location is key to Cupcake Stiletto’s success. With food products and shoes, customers highly value the in-person experience. Customers are able to taste our cupcakes immediately and experience them in person. So, they are able to try one our minis and experience the high quality, authentic taste and make a decision to purchase additional cupcakes. We are also able to directly interact with our customers in person and explain our new concept of a shoecakery, which customers value.
You opened as a pop-up kiosk at Topanga and later transitioned to a permanent kiosk. What drove your decision to have a more permanent presence in the mall? How has your business changed since this move?
Our Pop Up enabled us to grow our company each day and expand our customer base in a way that we did not achieve by a purely online presence. It allowed us to market our concept each day and allowed customers to experience our product in person. Our customers were able to experience the high quality, authentic flavor of our cupcakes in person and immediately. The visual presentation of our Pop Up was key. Customers were able to see and experience our modern, creative perspective and approach to our bakery products and fashion. Our Pop Up was important as well because we were able to experiment with different marketing and selling strategies. We were able to try new cupcake flavors and capitalize on different seasonal products.
Our Pop Up also enabled us to collaborate with other retailers at the Mall, including Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, J. Crew and Westfield Topanga Mall with their in-store events and other marketing opportunities. We were able to establish relationships with businesses in the surrounding area as well. We decided to establish a more permanent presence in the Mall because our business grew exponentially in terms of our sales, customers and brand recognition. Our Pop Up also increased our online sales and traffic as well.
How do you see your business growing in the next 2-5 years? How has Westfield been an integral part of this business plan?
Our plan is to grow Cupcake Stiletto by expanding its presence with two additional retail kiosk/cart locations. Our goal is to strengthen customer awareness of our new concept and to grow our customer base and sales. We then would like to open the first shoecakery storefront, a bigger modern retail storefront. Westfield is an extremely important part of our business plan. Westfield has worked with us to grow our brand and support our first Pop Up. This opportunity showed us that Cupcake Stiletto and the concept of a shoecakery can be successful and expand throughout Los Angeles, the state of California, the nation and possibly the world. We have had business clients from as far away as Dubai inquire about franchise opportunities. Our plan is to continue to grow Cupcake Stiletto with Westfield. Our significant growth literally would not be possible in this timeframe without Westfield.