Cult US t-shirt entrepreneur to spill secrets at ACCELERATE

Cult US t-shirt entrepreneur to spill secrets at ACCELERATE

Johnny ‘Cupcakes’ Earle, creator of the ‘Johnny Cupcakes’ clothes label, is to pass on the secrets of how his brand achieved international cult status at Liverpool’s ACCELERATE 2016.

Johnny created multiple businesses in his teens before he founded his ‘Cupcakes’ company at just 19, based on his nickname. Within a decade he had revenue of more than $5m, multiple business accolades and fans of the brand tattooing his logo – a cupcake & crossbones logo - on their bodies.

He achieved all of this without any advertising, or being stocked in chain stores.

Initially selling from the boot of his car, Johnny graduated to selling at concerts while on tour with his heavy metal band, generating excitement with music fans and selling out quickly.

It taught him a valuable lesson – the merits of pre-ordering. He said: “With limited start-up cash, pre-orders are definitely important and I did exactly the same with all my other businesses.

“Pre-orders help you make the right decisions, by testing the product and not over ordering and leaving yourself with unsold stock. Limited editions are also highly alluring to customers - they don’t want to miss out before they sell out and so it creates a sense of urgency.”

“In the beginning I also used to hold ‘Cupperware’ parties, based on the Tupperware model. I’d persuade people, in exchange for a free t-shirt, to let me sell through them, asking them tell to invite friends and family to come to my pop up shop.”

The fourth ACCELERATE takes place at Exhibition Centre Liverpool on Friday 1st July and is organised by Liverpool Vision and sponsored by BT. It is the last flagship event at this year’s international Festival for Business 2016.

Johnny added: “I’ve never been to Liverpool before and am really looking forward to it. ACCELERATE is about learning and inspiring entrepreneurship and everyone is so hungry to listen, learn and make a change and to take your advice to heart.

Speakers joining Johnny at ACCELERATE are: