Inspiring Business Advice From A 17 Year Old Entrepreneur


Alexandria Marrow is a 17 year old from Durham, North Carolina, but isn’t your average teen girl. She is an entrepreneur and has her own thriving gourmet cupcakery business called Sweets by Alexandria. She reached out to us about her business and immediately we knew this was a girl whose journey would inspire many other teens and young women to pursue their dreams. Here’s what she told us:

“Inspired by my Easy Bake Oven, I began baking at the age of 4 years old. Time flew by and eventually I became too old for my Easy Bake Oven. That was my very favorite toy, but I decided it was time to move on to the big girl oven. I didn’t know too much about baking in a real oven, so the Food Network became my best friend. I watched it daily for hours on end.”

“At the age of 13 years old, my mom passed down to me her classic pound cake recipe. We spent the day baking, and I was shocked at how delicious the cake was. I thought to myself, if the cake is this good with these very basic ingredients, how much better would it be with high quality ingredients? I tested out a new cake with ingredients of my choice, and sure enough, the finishing result was even better than I could’ve imagined it would be! I knew I had to share this cake with my family and friends. I began selling the cake weekly and bringing it to family gatherings. The sweetest smiles on their faces after tasting my cake have been my inspiration ever since.”

“I am now a 17 year old entrepreneur that fell in love with the culinary arts and have been dreaming about starting a business around my passion for years. With a lot of drive and determination that dream is has finally come to fruition. My cakes have received rave reviews from friends, family, and businesses. We have been operating by word of mouth for about 3 years now and have just decided to expand digitally and through wholesale. We are hoping to be in a storefront within a year and a half or so.”


When did you launch ‘Sweets by Alexandria’?

My company was launched in February 2014 officially; however, I have been baking and selling my sweets for 3 years. I’ve always loved cooking and baking. I’ve always also been obsessed with the idea of having my own company. The reaction I received when sharing my pound cakes with friends and family helped me realize that I was on to something.

You are only 17 and already an entrepreneur, what does that word mean to you?

An entrepreneur is someone who sees an opportunity and doesn’t let anything constrain them from pursuing it. I’ve been an entrepreneur since the age of 10 years old. At that age, I really didn’t know what the word meant. Now that I am older and understand the meaning of the word, I do enjoy being my own boss and executing my business visions.

What are some of the lessons you have learned so far launching your own business?

I’ve learned to be patient and that everything doesn’t happen instantly. I like to move very fast and get the ball on the roll all the time, but some things take time. I’ve also really learned to apply the chemistry to my baking by learning the metrics to produce consistency and reproduction.

Do you have a long term plan for your business?

I would love to have establishments in some of the major cites of the US within the next 10 years.


How do you hope to use your experience and journey to inspire other girls?

I hope to inspire young girls to just go for their dreams no matter what. I know that’s cliché, but life is so short. Go for your dream and never give up. It’s hard work, but it pays off.

What do you think is lacking out there for young women like yourself, in terms of what they are taught in schools, colleges etc?

For young women like me, I think the school system is suppressing to our creativity. I think it’s also very hard to learn at the pace or style that may fit you best in regular schools. I’m home schooled, and the flexibility of learning is one of the biggest perks.

Who are some of your business role models? My grandparents and my mother are my biggest role models. They are some of the hardest-working and smartest people I know. I feel really blessed to have come from such an incredible family. As for influential people who inspire me, I would say that Oprah is my career role model.


Having your own business can be tough, how do you deal with hard situations?

I have to just remind myself that everything happens for a reason. All the experiences I face are designed to shape me and define me and hopefully make me the best I can be! It’s the same thing for anyone else.

In a world where many women are encouraging girls to get involved in the male-dominated industries and widen the scope, you are working in a traditionally female environment. Why did you choose to do this?

It’s so easy for us to relate to each other and I think there’s more support for one another, simply because we understand each other. Being a female, I have the best perspective of what females typically like and females are most likely my largest market.

What makes you a powerful woman?

I think I’m very determined, courageous, hard-working, honorable, an avid researcher, and I’m not afraid of asking for what I want. Lastly, I’m not afraid of failure.

Finally, what is your advice for other aspiring young entrepreneurs?

Work hard, do what you love and are good at, and have fun while doing it!


Connect with Alexandria and find out more about her awesome cupcake business:
Instagram @sweetsbyalexandria
Twitter @sweetsbyal
Facebook: SweetsbyAlexandria

(PHOTOS: courtesy of Geni Bean from Pink Owl Photography)


  1. mona davis says:

    Great interview! Dreams do come true, make it happen!

  2. Pingback: Inspiring Business Advice From A 17 Year Old En...

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.