The gendering of cupcakes.

So I’m competing in the Enterprize Canada Business Plan Competition on Friday. I received feedback on my business plan lastnight and to be honest, I was a little crushed. I was expecting some honest critique, and well, it was brutally honest. I’m fine with that. Just means that I’ll have to nail the presentation aspect (and bribery aka cupcakes) of the competition.

But there was one comment that really stuck with me.  In my original business plan proposal which I had sent in last month to qualify for the competition, I was very general and vague (my mistake; dude, I was a week over the deadline — extension granted); HOWEVER, everything is backed up in my actual presentation with greater detail. Anywho, in my market research component, I stated that “Desserts are stereotypically catered to females”.  I acknowledged this.  This is a contributing factor as to why a large majority of my clients are of the female population. In response to this, the judge(s) in the qualifying round said: “It may be that Dolce Delights has been marketing itself using feminine designs, which is in fact alienating a large portion of their potential market“. I’m uncomfortable with this. As a lover of pink and ribbons and “cutesy” designs, the brand is reflecting who I am, what I want my business to look like, and how it will be represented.  In no way am I trying to discriminate my products from any gender. For god’s sake, I’m a Gender Studies minor.  I am well aware of gender issues, equality, and stereotyping. I do not believe by changing my branding to the colour blue and splashing Hot Wheels (haha aging myself here) silhouettes will garner any prospective male clients.

And WTF does “feminine designs” even refer to?  I’m just curious to hear a possible answer to this. Or, in general, how to better market Dolce Delights to the male audience. I think introducing more “manly” (and I say that in quotations for a reason) flavours like the maple bacon one I did a couple days ago is a better approach to be more male-inclusive.  Again, this is a product of stereotyping again which can be equally detrimental, which I hate doing.

Also, where/what databases can I use to actually conduct and gather concrete statistics on cupcakes to further support my argument that there is a need for my product? Art major here. Seeking business help.

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New prospects to look forward to.

No, not referring to men. Sorry.

SInce that aspect of my life is pretty bleak, there are, however, a few things that have been a brewing in the past month or so that I have been anxiously and excitedly looking forward to announce. First of all, I made the Western Regionals for the Enterprize Canada Business Plan Competition.  I’m pretty stoked for this.  Ever since the SFU SEY competition I was in last November, I have been looking forward to any opportunities that would let me compete again.  I submitted my business plan and looks like I’ll be competing at UBC on Friday. UBC friends, feel free to holler at me that day/keep me company/cheer me on. Super excited.

I’m also really looking forward to the XY Boom Conference next week. As I have recently completed my undergrad and am desperately looking for a job, this conference is perfect.  It honestly couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time. Really looking forward to the speakers, new peers to meet, and professionals to network with.

On a similar note, I did hear back from the one and only job posting in my field. Hurray! Hopefully I am well-suited for it and I nail the interview. We shall see…

2012 sure is looking good so far.