A recipe for success with Johnny Cupcakes

A recipe for success with Johnny Cupcakes

Johnny Earle founded Jonny Cupcakes, ‘the world’s first T-shirt bakery’, in 2001 after a stint in metalcore band On Broken Wings.

After touring the world with the band he quit when he realised that the t-shirts and pin-badges he was making were much more lucrative. Today, he has grown the business to a point where it is one of the most sought after fashion brands, with its iconic logo and design.

Being a fun brand with a passionate fanbase has enabled some clever marketing stunts. For example, they created a special “breakfast” themed shirt, which is only available for purchase during breakfast hours - just like breakfast in a restaurant. The shirt was also sold in breakfast cereal-style packaging. When he created an ice cream-themed shirt, it was packaged in ice cream tubs and only sold through ice cream vans that toured around a handful of cities.

Johnny has also created a “Where’s Johnny?” shirt, modelled on Wally. This shirt isn’t available in shops, but is only available if people track down Johnny in real life. And this is something he encourages on social media. He says that everyone who tries to find him will share the story on social media - and then every time they wear the shirt, they will have a story to tell about it.

"Every time we do something, I want my customers to feel like it’s their birthday", Johnny said.

Ultimately, Johnny attributes his success to his constant drive to be creative: It’s important to ensure that your business is unique. “In every workforce, creative thinking must be applied”, he said. “My concept is strange, but strange is good. People have too many options - why should they take a risk with you?”

"So before setting out to operate a business, make sure you know the 12 or so things that make your business unique.”