Jessica Cervantes is a 19 years born in Habana, Cuba and came to the U.S in 1990 when I was 6 years old old who graduated with a 4.0 GPA from John A. Ferguson Senior High School, currently studying Biomedical Engineering at The Honors College of Miami Dade with aspirations to become a corporate lawyer.
She grew up hearing family members dream about having their own businesses. She dreamed too, but she was leaning toward becoming a doctor until she signed up for an entrepreneurship program at Ferguson High in Miami, the rest is history.
Hello Jessica, how are you doing? Can you give me some background information about yourself?
My Name is Jessica Cervantes. I am 19 years old. I graduated with a 4.0 GPA from John A. Ferguson Senior High School. I am currently studying Biomedical Engineering at The Honors College of Miami Dade. I have aspirations to become a corporate lawyer.
I was born in Habana, Cuba. I came to the U.S in 1990 when I was 6 years old. I am an old child with an extended family.
Can you kindly tell the readers what you do? Tell us about your business?
I am the CEO/Founder of Popsy Cakes. I created my business when I was 16 years old as part of an entrepreneurial education program called NFTE.
Who inspired you to start your business? How did the process start?
NFTE and the Entrepreneurship academy at my high school inspired me to create my business. I began with my business plan as part of a class assignment and it took off from there.
When did you encounter your first entrepreneurial experience?
I think I’ve been business savvy from a young age. I remember when I was a child I would trick o treat duing Halloween, then wait a month and sell my candies at school (until one day I got in trouble). I would also sell my used books on Amazon when I was a child and I would make garage sales.
How did you fund your business?
The first $100 dollars I used to start my business was an investment from my parents. Later on I started competing in business plan competitions and with the prize money I would receive I would invest it into my company. Now I have an investor.
How are you coping with the pressure of being in the university and running a business?
It is insane! I try to stay focus and complete one task at a time. I first do all my homework before I start working on Popsy Cakes but it is very difficult. I also have a lot of support from my family and boyfriend who help me out with everything. I am also still in contact with NFTE and they are very supportive.
What has been your proudest moment so far?
My proudest moment was when I won First place in the 2008 NFTE National Business Plan competition out of 25,000 business students with my business plan Popsy Cakes.
Have you suffered any setbacks and how did you overcome it?
My major setback was time management. It came a time when I almost decided to stop producing Popsy Cakes because I had no time. Fortunately, I was able to come across an investor who has offered his time and staff and it’s been amazing ever since.
Who do you go for advice for business decisions?
I definitely rely on NFTE for their expert business advice. They have a lot of mentors who truly help the students. My mentor (and investor) Bill Hansen has helped me throughout my journey and I learn something new every day. I also rely on my parents a lot for their advice.
Apart from your business, what other business do you admire the most and why?
I truly admire BAWLS. I had the pleasure to meet and work with the owners. Their story is truly inspirational. Christina Staalstrom, the owner, is a great mentor.
What are your hobbies?
I love to dance! I wish I had the time to take some dance classes to learn about different styles and techniques. I am also a big animal lover. I love spending time with my dog Cindy. Unfortunately, I also love shopping! Worst hobby ever. I also love going to the beach and tanning.
What should we be expecting from you in the future?
I hope to grow and expand my business. I hope to have Popsy Cakes selling nationwide. I also hope to attend graduate school and become a corporate lawyer. You will see me on FORBES richest people pretty soon =)
I will be watching out for your name jessica
What advices would you give to young entrepreneurs out there?
I definitely believe you should first believe in yourself and be confident that your business will be very successful in the future. Also, use all your resources! Get in contact with entrepreneurs from around your area and ask for help. You will be surprised to see how many individuals are willing to help you become successful. Networking is key to expanding your business and move forward. Great connections will come in very handy at one point or another.
Thanks so much jessica, we wish you the best in the future.