Today we’d like to introduce you to Christina Mills.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Christina. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am a native Houstonian, born in Acres Home and raised in Greenspoint. I am passionate about cooking in particular baking. As a child, my mother would force me to help her prepare every Thanksgiving and Christmas meal. I would beg her to just let me sleep but she was not having it. She taught how me how to cook everything from scratch. I rarely ever saw my mother cook anything from a box or a can. I learn to love to cook and eventually I got to the point that I did not need a recipe and I could just go in the kitchen and create something.
At the age of 9, Jesus placed a desire in my heart to become a physician and I spent every moment after that making that dreams come true. I eventually decided to switch from wanting to deliver babies as an obstetrician/gynecologist to allowing God to use me to heal people’s minds as a psychiatrist. I love every aspect of what I get to do as a physician and am incredibly thankful to God that he allows me to be in a position to be used to heal others.
In an effort to gain weight after losing 18 pounds in 2015 after ending my engagement and fasting for 2 months, I started baking cupcakes for dessert with all my meals. I baked some German chocolate cupcakes for my ministry leader and posted a picture on my Facebook page. My best friend asks me if I could make him some and I said sure as long as you pay for the ingredients. Soon after others started to ask the same thing and I figured I should be charging for labor. Within a short period, Decadent Delights by Christina was formed.
People thought I was crazy for trying to start a business while trying to complete residency, but I just focused on the dream God gave me that I never knew I had. There were many obstacles and I even shut the business down for almost 18 months while I was battling a severe depression. In March of 2017, a good friend asks if I could bake cupcakes for her wedding, knowing that I had shut the business down, but I decided to just do the favor for her.
As soon as I started baking again, that same excitement that I had initially returned. I soon started to come up with cupcake ideas that I had all ways dreamed of making, but couldn’t come up with the right recipe. After a few short months, I decided to create an entirely new line of cupcake and rebrand as cupcake doctor with the help of Kevin over at Cosmo Creative. I will continue to practice medicine as long as the good Lord tells me to, though I am a point now where I limit the amount of days I work as a physician to put more energy into my cupcake business.
My goal is to make cupcakes that you eat today and still think about tomorrow and the next day after that.
Has it been a smooth road?
This journey has been as difficult as getting through medical school. I’ve quit almost every other day. Going to medical school teaches you how to be a doctor and going to residency trains you to do be great in your specialty, but neither prepares you to run a business. As a physician, my goal is to get my patient well enough that they are less reliant on me and medication and more reliant on themselves. This often comes at a great cost to be a physician.
As a business owner I’m constantly having to think about the bottom line and making sure my workers will get paid. I will go without so that they don’t miss a check. I struggled initially as a baker as it had never really made cupcakes before. I had no idea how to pipe icing, how to keep the cupcakes moist, what flavors would go well together. Its only with the help of my best friend James, who actually does have a business degree, that I’m learning the unit cost of my cupcakes, how to come up with a marketing budget and that I cant funnel all my physician money into my cupcake business and I have to save something.
While my first launch party was a success, I was battling the beginning of an 8-month long depression. I shut the business down soon after only restarting it after doing cupcakes for friends wedding the next year. While trying to go through my rebranding process my mother attempted suicide and I had to cancel major events because the family will always come first. I’ve told many people if my mother has toe pain and a trillion dollar deal is on the table, my family will always be prioritized. The struggles and challenges continue, but so do the blessings from my God above.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Cupcake Doctor LLC story. Tell us more about the business.
Its simple, I sell gourmet cupcakes. I make cupcake flavors that you will not find anywhere else in Houston or the country for that matter. With each new cupcake idea, I try to think of a cupcake that you will eat today and still think about tomorrow and the next day after that. I want it to be more than a cupcake, to be an experience.
What I am most proud of is the reactions I get from people the first time they try my cupcakes. One of the main reasons why I record people eating my cupcakes is to the public can see peoples raw authentic reactions. I have gluten-free people tell me they are “worth the gluten”, those that don’t eat sweets come back asking for more. What sets me apart is simply the taste, flavor profile, and quality of my cupcakes.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
It’s really hard to say especially since I am so new to the industry. We live in an e-commerce world now, so storefronts are becoming few and far in between. However, I think people will always appreciate being able to come to their friendly neighborhood bakery to get their favorite sweet treat.
- Website: www.cupcakedoctor.com
- Phone: 8323224190
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: cupcake.doctor
- Facebook: Cupcake Doctor LLC