Interview with entrepreneur, Franci Gire
Cupcakes are one of those sweet treats that we indulge in from time to time. The same is with hunting for fashion finds and deals on items that don't eat up our entire paycheck. I had the privilege of not only meeting a Bay Area fashion-preneur, Franci Gire, but also interview how she juggles both her passions.. She is a both fashion blogger of The Fashion Palate and owner of Franci Cakes, a cupcake bakery. She has done extensive work in the fashion industry with blogging, styling, and sales. A self-taught baker and bargain blogger, Franci has achieved her goal of incorporating art and fashion into her career.
I was enthusiastic to see The Fashion Palate was recognized by Lucky, ThreadBright, Peace Love Threads, Unique Indie, and Classic Loot.
Bargain Shop in Style
As a college student, I can barely afford a $250 textbook, and obviously not a similar priced Chanel skirt. Scrolling through Franci's blog, I noticed that she shopped at stores such as Target, Kohl's, and Marshalls atypical for the usual fashion blogger. Looking at each successive blog post made me feel happier that I would be interviewing someone who posted on items that fit my price range.
Vicki: You're a fashion blogger and baker. How are you able to do it all?
Franci: I love blogging and baking, so I make time for it. I consider myself more of a full-time baker, with blogging on the side. I think I've been able to handle both because I'm able to narrow down my fashion posting to Instagram rather than blogging all the time.
Vicki: When you started your own blog, was it a full time thing or a side job?
Franci: It started out as a side. I started blogging first for this stylist called Hasti Kashfia in the Bay Area. She had her own blog called Mode Bay Area. It was about lifestyles and fashion blogs. She told me to have my own blog, so that’s what I did. When I was working with Hasti, she did a lot of magazines. I went to Westfield fashion shows [Project Pink] in 2010 and 2011, where I participated in styling the show.
Vicki: What’s your next fashion must have?
Franci: An olive green trench coat or vest. I like that style right now. You can wear it with so much.
Vicki: Who is your favorite style icon?
Franci: It’s hard to pick one. I would pick Sarah Jessica Parker, Audrey Hepburn, and Nicole Richie. If you put them all together, you end up with a classic top, sunglasses, and awesome heels. It’s an ultimate combination for me.
Sweet and Tasty
I walked aimlessly outside the Whole Foods store, hoping to finally catch a glimpse of my interviewee and her pop up store. I strolled past the blooming flowers and sweet oranges--and voila! There she was.
I could not make a decision as I stared at the wonderful choices available.
"The cookie dough one is the most popular," Franci said, and I happily agreed to try. And she was right. The cream melted like heaven in my mouth, and I couldn't wait to go back again.
Vicki: Starting your own business can be very tough. What motivates you now?
Franci: My customers and other small businesses motivate me now. Their enthusiasm and my husband’s enthusiasm. Seeing other local bakeries, it’s inspiring. I meet all these people where I sell and I’m tagged in their pictures. I’ve never met these people, but they have a piece of me. They’re on social media raving about it. It’s probably the best feeling.
Vicki: How would you describe your baking style?
Franci: When I’m baking, I stick to the cupcakes that work, but I’ll also try new things. I have some cupcakes that are people’s favorites like red velvet or cream cheese, but every week I like to try different recipes.
Vicki: What advice would you give to people who want to start their own business?
Franci: Just do it. Believe in yourself. Make sure you’re having fun. Do something you love that you don’t think of as work. I got advice from one of my mentors to just be a good networker. Go out to events and be nice to everyone that you don’t know. You don’t know who could help you out in the future. If you ask people, they are very willing to give you advice. The hardest part is asking. It’s a little different for blogging, it’s a little more competitive.