"27 and ready for heaven!"
I had asked for a cute catch phrase for my birthday, and this was what my girl came up with. Not quite what I was looking for - I like to think I'm a few decades and adventures away from heaven - but she turned out to be right in only the best ways. Since this is still my first year in a new city, I invited a few close friends from out of town to enjoy an Houston staycation with me. My goal was to spend the weekend doing my 2 favorite things: eating and #BuyingBlack.
And Heaven, it was.
Stay tuned for the next few weeks as I share the stories of the Black entrepreneurs who helped pull my celebration together.
Founder's Fave #1: Meet Trennece Matlock
Trennece and I met at a Black Girls Who Collaborate brunch event earlier this year. Her sweet, welcoming demeanor and the simple design of her cupcakes caught my attention. I didn't get to try any of her treats that day, but I knew right away that I'd be reaching out for my birthday foodie extravaganza. I went with one dozen macaroons (1/2 vanilla and 1/2 raspberry filled) and one dozen whiskey-infused cupcakes with vanilla frosting. When Trennece made the delivery to our AirBnB on Saturday afternoon, I still hadn't tasted any of her product - this was a complete leap of faith, and not usually the way I do things. But this time, things more than worked out...let's just say what was left of those cupcakes at the end of the weekend didn't make it to Tuesday. Check out more details on Trennece below.
It took 3 minutes on the phone to pick up one common theme throughout Trennece's life. She is a Houston, TX native whose personal and professional careers were both heavily influenced by interactions with her mother. She learned her way around the kitchen at a young age by watching her mother, sparking a passion for baking that continues to grow today.
As an adult, Trennece went on to study education, during which time complications with her mother's health led her to build skills in assisting the blind. She earned her Masters in Orientation and Mobility in 2015 and began to tailor her career to serve patients & students facing the challenge of blindness.
The Life of Sweet T's Cupcakery:
Trennece's first entrepreneurial venture started at her church. Every third Sunday, she could be found making breakfast for the adults who volunteered for the Kid's Zone. It didn't take long for another church member to make a request for a birthday cake. "I said yes, and she immediately asked how much I would charge. I was willing to do the cake for free, so I was caught off guard by the question...that's when I realized that people were willing to pay for my services."
Trennece founded Sweet T's Cupcakery shortly after this interaction. "The name comes from my siblings, whose names all start with the letter 'T'." Sweet T's will turn 3 this June, and Trennece has so much in store for the future of her brand. Keep watching her!
What makes Trennece a boss:
Trennece is a full-time middle school teacher during the week and a side-hustling pastry-preneur on the weekends. The rest of her time goes to pursuing her PhD in organizational leadership with a concentration on special education and an emphasis in blindness. I'll just let that sink in for a minute.
When I asked how she manages all three careers without losing her mind, her answer was simple: "I pray about everything. I wake up in the morning and pray for guidance, I pray throughout the day, and I show gratitude every night before I go to sleep."
Go to Sweet T's for:
Trennece's favorite dessert to make is her chocolate chip cookies. I haven't tried the cookies yet, but those whiskey-infused cupcakes would be pretty hard to top. I say just try a dozen of both to get you started.
Follow @Sweettscupcakery on Instagram to see some of her projects and collaborations.
You can catch Trennece at pop-up shops around Houston for now; she has plans of opening up a physical location in the future. Her next appearance will be the Pop-Up @ Aurora on May 6, 2018. Get there early; the chocolate chip cookies are known to sell out quickly!