Sisters Nikki Howard and Jaqui Wright made headlines this past January after they started a cheesecake business to help cover their expenses during the government furlough. Now they’ve quit their government jobs and their cakes are headed to Walmart this August.
“We furloughed the government,” Wright told Because of Them We Can during a meet and greet at DC’s Dream Village.
Appropriately named, Furlough Cheesecake, their attempts to generate revenue during the longest government shutdown in U.S. history exceeded their wildest dreams.
“We went from a bake sale to a bakery in week,” Howard explained when discussing their rapid success.
After going viral and selling thousands of cheesecakes, including one to Ellen for a whopping $20k, their Furlough Cheesecake brand will now be available at 100 Walmart stores in the Washington region this August.
“We’re so very excited we’re able to share a little slice of smile,” Howard said in an interview with WJLA. “Walmart! The Walmart! Our cheesecakes will be there in August!”
So how did their meeting with Walmart come about? The sisters said that it came together thanks to Founder and CEO of Curls Beauty Brands, Mahisha Dellinger. After Dellinger learned about their business she reached out to the sisters, had a meeting and then connected them to the decision makers at Walmart. That’s the epitome of Black girl magic and sisters helping sisters!
While they’re excited about their success and where it will lead them, the sisters admit they’ve always been big dreamers.
And that prior to the cheesecake business, they tinkered with a few other ideas before finding the one that took off.
“As a family we are dreamers and we have had this excitement and expectation for years. We could taste it but we didn’t know it was cheesecake,” Wright recalled.
Their advice for others who find themselves wanting more is to stay the course.
“Don’t be deterred when people aren’t excited about your vision.”
Congratulations ladies! We can’t wait to see and support your brand in stores!