Today we’re all in for a super special treat! Last week, during the launch of the brand new Sanrio x Johnny Cupcakes collaboration in Boston, we had a chance to get to know the man behind the brand, Mr. Johnny Cupcakes himself.
In case you didn’t know, Johnny Cupcakes is a Boston-based, culinary themed, t-shirt brand. JC has woven the cupcake bakery theme into every aspect of his business and regularly intrigues, delights and bewilders customers, tricks hungry people with his unexpected products and frosting scented fake bakeries, and fun-filled brand experiences.
We’re super excited to introduce our new friend to everybody!
Sweet Happy News: We have to ask, who is your favorite Sanrio character?
Johnny Cupcakes: Oh man, that’s like asking someone to choose their favorite child! Hello Kitty is classic! However, Badtz-Maru seems to represent how people feel on Mondays, and there is something endearing about that. Then there is Keroppi, who is a representation of how I feel after midnight and on Fridays. I think we all have a bit of Sanrio inside of us!
Sweet Happy News: What a sweet answer! What inspired you to get into t-shirts and apparel?
Johnny Cupcakes: Growing up, I’ve always had little businesses. I dreamt of one day being able to work for myself so that I could make more time for the people I love. From performing magic to selling candy, I started 16 businesses before I was 16 years old. Eventually, I began silk screening t-shirts as an internship. While getting tees made for the hardcore-metal band that I was in, I thought it would be funny to make a t-shirt that said ‘Johnny Cupcakes’.
Sweet Happy News: Is that what inspired you to name your company “Johnny Cupcakes”?
Johnny Cupcakes: This started as a joke. My goofy co-workers would call me Johnny Appleseed, Johnny-Come-Lately if I was late for work, and Johnny Cupcakes for no reason. I put Johnny Cupcakes, one of my random nicknames, on a t-shirt to advertise a bakery that didn’t exist. While wearing the t-shirt to work, all of these slightly miserable customers who never made eye contact with me, began smiling and laughing at my t-shirt.
When my brand grew, I decided to open up a couple retail shops that look and smell like real bakeries, except with graphic t-shirts displayed in ovens instead of treats. We even package our customers’ tees in custom Johnny Cupcakes pastry boxes! On my Newbury Street shop in Boston, you have to walk inside a secret GIANT retro oven to get inside!
Sweet Happy News: Ha, that sounds super tasty! What advice would you give advice to others about starting your own business?
Johnny Cupcakes: Follow your passion. Take risks. Be okay with failing as it’s a valuable part of the ride. Make more time for your ideas. The more you put in, the more you’ll get back. Don’t ever lose focus on why you started doing what you do.
Sweet Happy News: That’s really good advice! By the way, we heard that you’re a prankster. What’s your favorite prank that you ever pulled?
Johnny Cupcakes: Well, I do trick hungry people every day with my t-shirt bakeries! However, one April Fool’s Day, we replaced all of the t-shirts in my shops with actual cupcakes. This really threw people through a loop!
Sweet Happy News: Oh wow, that’s great! What else do you do for fun?
Johnny Cupcakes: I play ping-pong, eat Korean BBQ, do magic tricks to strangers on the street, and I work for fun :)
Sweet Happy News: Besides being fun, what inspires you to keep working?
Johnny Cupcakes: Every day I’m inspired to make strangers smile. I try to do so through creating colorful experiences in the Johnny Cupcakes retail world. It has always been my goal to make people feel like it’s their birthday whenever they purchase a Johnny Cupcakes t-shirt. Whether that be through the product, packaging, retail environment, events, or stories.
Thank you so much, Johnny, for taking the time to chat with us! Be sure to follow Johnny on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat (@johnnycupcakes) and to check out the new Sanrio x Johnny Cupcakes collection. You can find it at johnnycupcakes.com, select Sanrio stores and at Sanrio.com!