There are certain foods that make both children and adults equally happy, and cupcakes are undeniably a dessert worth getting excited about. In the age of social media and high-quality food pics, cupcakes are now decorated like works of art, and the bakers creating them are nothing short of artists. So, it’s no surprise that many of us have wanted to try our hand at cupcake decorating. Thankfully for us, Tennille Ortiz created a space to that lets your creativity flourish while satisfying your sweet tooth.
“I launched Cupcake Carriage in 2019 with a focus on cupcake decorating for birthday parties. Once COVID-19 hit, I realized I needed to pivot my business model, so I focused my efforts on 2 new business channels: corporate parties and a retail store in Hoboken, NJ. The retail store opened in June 2020 and serves as a bakery. The corporate parties create a high-end experience and have helped bring a wider audience to the business.”
Fun Fact: Some of Tennille’s newest clients include DJ Khaled and Alicia Keys!
It all starts with a dream
Tennille knew she always wanted to be an entrepreneur but ended up working in the healthcare field where she built her career for 17 years. Once she had kids, she had a yearning for more flexibility in her work life. It was around this time that she started to create custom cakes. She learned that she was quite skilled in cake decorating after taking a class a local craft store and felt this would be a great way to earn money, work more flexible hours and use her creativity.
She quickly learned that in order to scale her new business she couldn’t create cakes all by herself. So why let customers create their own cakes? And so her mobile cupcake decorating business was born.
A passion for supporting women in business
Tennille loves bringing creativity and delicious desserts to her clients. Whether it’s a kids birthday party of a corporate event, everyone finds joy in being able to create their work of art. But Tennille has another passion as well, and it’s supporting other female entrepreneurs.
“I’ve learned to embrace failure as a growing entrepreneur. I believe we learn the best lessons that way. We become more conditioned. We Latinas are very strong women, we have the grit and the grind we need to stay focused and to overcome the obstacles in our way to achieve our goals.”
Building her business and brand opened the door to support other women-owned business with her knowledge. Tennille found that Latina women often encounter different challenges than other businesswomen, one of which is that they are less likely to start a business with any inheritance or family money. Tennille grew up with a mother who worked hard to support her family, so she credits her work ethic to seeing first-hand how a woman could make an impact and support a family.
Finding the right banking partner.
Tennille turned to Valley after being denied a PPP loan from her previous banking partner. Valley provided a personal touch, helped secured a well-needed and deserved PPP loan and now supports the Cupcake Carriage with all its business banking needs. She’s found that the Valley team from the North Arlington branch take a personal interest in her and her business and regularly communicate and addresses all her banking needs. Tennille said she’s welcomed by name when she comes in, creating a sense that she’s not just another banking customer, but a welcomed friend.
“During the pandemic cash flow became a real challenge. Valley worked with me to navigate through the tough times by helping me plan and avoid unnecessary bank fees. I felt they were in this with me. They felt like part of the team.”
“Tennille is the most determined entrepreneur I’ve ever met. She is ready to overcome any obstacle and do it with a smile.” said Luis De La Hoz, Regional Director of Community Lending NJ & NY at Valley.
We look forward to continuing our relationship with Tennille and her growing business. Tennille said she would recommend Valley to other business owners because of the personalized relationship she receives. “I honestly feel like [Valley] is part of my team and interested in the growth of my business.”