Archive for March, 2012

“The Sweet Taste of Success… A Celebration of Women’s History Month”

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Beaver Street Enterprise Center Mission Statement:  The mission of the Beaver Street Enterprise Center is to stimulate economic growth through entrepreneurial development. To achieve this mission, the enterprise center recruits, trains, and nurtures entrepreneurial talent to fuel growth, create wealth and encourage reinvestment in our community.

Throughout history, and all ages and cultures, women have impacted the world around them. From the most renowned and celebrated to the least and unknown, women have led countries and commanded armies, excelled in entrepreneurship and as women took their place in society in the 20th century, they broke ground in every field for the women of their day and for future generations. In celebration and honor of phenomenal women across the globe, Beaver Street Enterprise Center hosted an event titled  “The Sweet Taste of Success… A Celebration of Women’s History Month”

I had the pleasure of speaking at the Beaver Street Enterprise Center today,  yet another talk in the line up of many speaking events this month. The Center is a 25,000 square foot professional office facility offering modern workplace amenities for startup and existing small businesses as well as business technical assistance, counseling, mentoring and assistance in marketing and obtaining business financing. The center is geographically positioned to stimulate economic growth in Jacksonville’s northwest neighborhood and is run by nonprofit Core City Business. Two other ladies, from Kilwin’s and Edible Arrangements, joined the panel discussion for women.

I left feeling one thing – inspired. Inspired listening to the stories of all the women who spoke up. Their hopes, visions and possibilities; and the willingness for these women to help one another. It’s an empowering sight, to see a group of women so eager to share their ideas and inspirations to help another woman. Hats off to all the hardworking ladies who attended and came to hear us speak.

xoxo Miss Holly

Furyk and Friends

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

We are at Jim and Tab Furyk’s residence on Ponte Vedra Beach today with 300 VIPs raising funds for the Jim & Tabitha Furyk Foundation.

The Jim & Tabitha Furyk Foundation is dedicated to supporting these groups through fund raising events and donations. There are many wonderful organizations here in Jacksonville working everyday to provide services to help children in need. Some provide food and shelter to underprivileged children, while others care for those with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions and offer family counseling to those who are suffering. There are groups who can educate our children to keep them safe from violence or simply provide a safe place for our child to get them off the streets. Right in our own backyard we have an amazing children’s hospital that cares for our children but relies on charity donations to run many of its programs.

The couple believe that while raising charity dollars is crucial, making our community aware of the many local charities in Jacksonville is equally important. These charities provide an invaluable service for those who feel they have nowhere to turn.  “We want people to know there is help available. They look forward to using our resources to grow these programs and to provide more services for the children and families in our community.”

Below are a few of the charities that the Jim & Tabitha Furyk Foundation has selected to be the beneficiaries of the 2012 FURYK & FRIENDS Concert and Celebrity Golf Classic.

1) Community PedsCare is a nationally recognized pediatric palliative and hospice program for children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.  A program of Community Hospice of Northeast Florida in collaboration with Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Nemours Children’s Clinic and the University of Florida-Jacksonville, Community PedsCare offers support, comfort and care to these children and their families.

2) Blessings in a Backpack is a non-profit organization that feeds U.S. School Children who currently are fed during the week on the federally funded Free and Reduced Meal Program, and are at risk of going hungry on the weekends. The program works with elementary school-aged children whose families cannot afford enough food. Better test scores, improved reading skills, positive behavior, improved health and increased attendance have all been attributed to the success of this program. Locally Blessings in a Backspack is helping to feed over 1300 school children in the Jacksonville area and nearly 57,000 across the county.  

3) Recognized as one of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report, Wolfson Children’s Hospital is the only full-service tertiary hospital for children in the region, serving North Florida, South Georgia and beyond. Wolfson Children’s Hospital is a non-profit organization that is apart of Baptist Health, the region’s most comprehensive healthcare provider. The world-class pediatric care available at Wolfson Children’s Hospital is made possible by the support of Baptist Health Foundation and enhanced through physician partnerships with Nemours Children’s Clinic, the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville, Brooks Rehabilitation and Mayo Clinic. As a non-profit organization, Wolfson Children’s Hospital relies on charitable donations to provide world-class care for all children in the region.

Our beach themed dessert display will be amongst the many delectable offerings Jacksonville’s top dining spots are cooking up for Jim and Tab Furyk’s guests. Additionally, country fans will be delighted to know that celebrated musician  Jack Ingram will be hosting a private concert.

This is such a worthy cause, and being fairly new residents of Jacksonville, we are only too willing to participate. Thank you Jim & Tabitha Furyk for opening up your home to this beautiful cause.

Miss Holly with our take home gifts for the 300 guests.



Universal Orlando Women’s Network

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Miss Holly bounced back from Jacksonville for yet another speaking engagement. This time, she was joined by over 100 ladies at Universal Orlando.

Universal Orlando Women’s Network (UOWN) is made up of thousands of ladies that work in a variety of positions across Universal Orlando resort.   UOWN is one of their six Diverse Team Member Resource Groups & brings to life a variety of events throughout the year, for all their Team Members to take part in.  In celebration of Women’s History Month, Miss Holly was delighted to be asked to be their speaker.

As much as Miss Holly enjoys sharing her stories, her highlight is being able to hear attendees share their own stories and journeys. At this particular session, one of the audience members got up and spoke about her 65 year old mother, who just retired, and is now brave enough to unlock her dreams and do what she wants and what she loves. How courageous, and a lesson to us all, that age is just a number.

Men look at themselves in mirrors.  Women look for themselves.  ~Elissa Melamed

“It was a pleasure to meet and listen to Holly’s story; truly inspirational and fun at the same time.” Gislene “Gigi” Moorman, Attendee

“It was wonderful getting to meet you yesterday and hear your story. You are a true inspiration to women.  I hope someday to be as brave as you and move forward on some of my personal ideas. “ Jennifer Taylor, Attendee

For more information about Miss Holly’s speaking presentations, please email

A visit to Jacksonville’s FDIC

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

For those of you who don’t know, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) preserves and promotes public confidence in the U.S. financial system by insuring depositors for at least $250,000 per insured bank; by identifying, monitoring and addressing risks to the deposit insurance funds; and by limiting the effect on the economy and the financial system when a bank or thrift institution fails.

One would never think that in a business like that, you’d find a cupcake decorating competition? Well, that’s exactly what happened. Miss Holly was invited to be their Women’s History’s Month speaker and the Chairman’s Diversity Advisory Council (CDAC) at the FDIC asked that we incorporate a “fun” element into the presentation. 5 attendees competed to decorate a cupcake, Sweet! style, with some pretty creative results. Will they trade their day job for a spot at Miss Holly’s store? Perhaps?

Miss Holly  also shared her Baker’s Dozen Sweet Nothings: Messages to Inspire and Surprise. These thirteen simple rules for sweet success can be applied to anybody’s lives. Drawing from her own life’s lessons about business and personal life, she hopes that her experiences, failures and successes will serve as a platform of knowledge attendees can find insightful as they navigate their own journeys.

Stepping away from baking up a storm in the kitchen with her talented chefs, Miss Holly’s month is busy with travel and presentations across Florida; so stay tuned to this blog for updates…  Tomorrow she’ll be at Universal Orlando spending time with 100 ladies.

For more information about Miss Holly’s speaking presentations, please email




Monday, March 12th, 2012

Hollis Wilder is so proud to be a part of  the GENERATION W inaugural event. The “Living Powerfully” event will be held April 20th at the Fine Arts Center for the University of North Florida in support of Generation W Women’s leadership program.

This event is a celebration of 800 female leaders in the community empowering others to reach for life and professional goals and to encourage self change and growth. With the belief that every person in this world has the ability to achieve anything they set their mind to,  a distinguished panel of guest speakers will be presenting how to achieve their  goal tools, not only to better themselves, but change the world as they know it in the process.

The philosophy of empowerment and finding your passion sticks true for the Sweet by Holly  brand, and fits perfectly in line with all that the Generation W belief stands for. Miss Holly is proud to be part of this event and share her story about starting from the ground up, taking chances and being blessed with success despite challenging periods. Starting a complete new career venture, treading in uncharted waters, turning her world upside down, she’s still evolving, learning, and enjoying the (sometimes bumpy) ride.

Miss Holly is excited to be joining a panel of many accomplished, well known speakers  from around the country including media moguls, political intellects, philanthropists, and world-class athletes to support in the development of strength and creativity for females of all generations. As a bonus for attendees, she will have cupcakes for everyone!

Miss Holly was asked the question: “What is it like to be a Woman in 2012?” Here’s what she had to say.

“While there are believers out there convinced that 2012 will be the end of the world, I think its an opportunity which places the world is at our feet. Women have more opportunities, resources, connections and power than we have had in the whole of history.

This is a gift of responsibility, to use it to our best ability to be all that we can be. We need to tell ourselves that there are no limitations except for the one that exists between your ears. It is our job, and not anyone elses to make us be the very best person that we can be; to do more, be more, challenge more, love more.

2012 is a time we don’t need to make excuses for our ambition, and most certainly, don’t need to ask for permission.

2012 is a time to honor our own truth. The most important being the ability to tell the truth when I know it; as a woman, business owner, mother, wife, employer and as a human being.  If I am not honest with myself, how do I expect others to be honest with me? Not honoring the truth only places obstacles in one’s way, obstacles that needn’t be there.

2012 is a time to believe in what you want because we have never been more modern, technologically advanced or capable. It’s not grandiose if you can back it up.

2012 is also a time we should be helping each other through platforms such as Gen W.  As former Former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright said: “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”  The world is more connected technologically than ever, lets use this and widen our network, helping all the women within our network, to push each other to the top – not trample on each other on the way up.

This is our time. 2012.”

We encourage women of all ages to review the upcoming highlights of this revolutionary event taking place in Jacksonville next month. Please visit for more information, and ladies of the future, we will see you there.

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
-Harriet Tubman

Kiss me, I’m Irish!

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Since everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, sprinkle a wee bit o’ luck into your March 17th celebrations with some Sweet cupcakes! We have dressed up our Chocolate Mousse cupcakes with green and white nonpareils, and our Boston Cream Pie with a green “S”.  The Plain Janes will not be looking so plain smiling in shamrock sprinkles.These three flavors will be featured from March 10th – 17th and are priced like our regular cupcakes.

Our special Irish Blessing cupcake, in the original size, will be available for $3.50 each and must be ordered 24 hours in advance. On St. Paddy’s day only, we’ll be featuring our green velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, but if you can’t wait for these, you can advance order them with a dozen minimum order.

These festive colors, decadent buttercreams, and sparkling sprinkles will showcase a jolly message for this cheerful holiday.  This Irish celebration is all about friends, family and fun! So, after your corn beef and cabbage add a miniature jig to the luckiest day of the year with a box filled with charmed desserts.

You don’t need to chase or catch a lucky little leprechaun to discover your treasures;  Sweet By Holly has made it simple by showering these cupcakes with a pinch shamrock fortune! One nip of these yummy treats will have your loved ones feeling the serendipity of discovering a rare four leaf clover. Make sure you pick up your kettle of cupcakes at the end of Miss Holly’s colorful rainbow of goodies for March 17th.

The folk of the Emerald Isle live a carefree philosophy, so in the words of the Irish themselves, Sláinte! Cheers for a happy and healthy St. Patrick’s Day to all!

Our Irish Blessing Cupcake, in the original size, is $3.50 each and can be ordered with 24 hours notice.

A Visit To Florida International University in Miami

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

I was chosen to be the keynote speaker for FIU University’s 2012 Women Who Lead Conference yesterday. This was a forward-thinking and inspiring event aimed to empower women of all ages to go break through the glass ceiling of conventional thinking and discover their limitless abilities.

It was my honor to speak to an almost all female audience on strategic development in leadership roles for students, and expansion for women who already have leadership roles in their respective careers. Being on this platform meant a lot to me.  With  roots established in a traditional culinary-based business, I took an epic chance on the unfamiliar pastry industry, in a brand new market 4 years ago. I didn’t know what the outcome would be, except that I had faith I could do it.  With gusto and guts and a (big!) dose of blind faith, I decided to  add gourmet flavors and exotic ingredients to the world’s ever trending obsession with cupcakes in an attempt to innovate a niche in the Florida dessert market.

I didn’t know the ending of this story. I really didn’t. And you know what? I still don’t know the ending.  Napoleon once said that victory is never final. There is still so much for me to do to evolve and stay ahead of dessert trends. The possibilities are endless, but only if we press on at Sweet By Holly – to raise the bar.

Speaking yesterday made me feel fortunate.  Seeing the faces of aspiring leaders in the crowd, with a light in their eyes, hungry for their own destinies.  It also inspired me to move onward and upward, because this story isn’t over yet!

This trip to Miami was especially close to my heart, because aptly, three very important ladies came with me: my mother-in-law, daughter, and sister-sister in law. 3 generations of women loose in Miami! They attended my presentation and it is my  hope, that they could watch and feel as proud of me, as I was of their presence in the room.

How very blessed I felt today, feeling the strength of these pivotal women in my life, and our innate ability to connect with each other on so many levels. That strength comes from one simple thing. Love. Maya Angelou once quoted that “Love liberates everything“. How very true, in every aspect of our lives. Love for my work liberates my passion. Love for my family liberates my sense of loyalty and protection. Love for causes close to my heart liberates the compassion that we all possess.

Who are the women in your life who have been there through thick and thin? Honor them, hug them and tell them you love them. We can never hear it enough.

Thank you FIU for including me in your event designed to empower  leaders. Driving home I realized, it was me who left empowered. And for this honor, I thank you.

March is Women’s History month. Lets honor the generations of women before us who have laid the foundation and lead the way for us. This event kicked off the series of speaking engagements I will be doing across the state of Florida this month. Stay tuned for updates, and in the meantime, read this compelling Presidential proclamation released a few days ago from the White House.

xoxo Miss Holly

We need to honor women in all their complexity.
It’s time that we acknowledge the wisdom women have acquired
by managing the chaos of daily life.
Women are realists, the glue that holds society together.
They bring a reverence to life that’s instinctual,  not just intellectual.
—Teresa Heinz Kerry

Thank You Ladies!


What a crew!


Three generations… Mom-in-law, Sis-in-law, and Gorgeous Georgia…

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Cinderella Changed Her Life With A Shoe…. Me? A Cupcake.

My friends,

It is a most wonderful feeling of relief and jubilation when you complete a project, especially one that means so much to you.

When I opened Sweet by Holly in 2008, I never thought The Food Network would contact me and that I’d be a contestant (and win 2x!) on Cupcake Wars. I never thought that I’d be offered a book deal as a result …

Well, my friends, today is a big day. Today, I delivered my manuscript to my editor at Stewart, Tabori & Chang (STC) for my first cookbook.

The project has been months of research, development, testing, and many, many days and nights of editing, and revising. And every minute has been worth it.

Now I wait with bated breath to see these recipe pages come to life next Spring with artistic photography Abrams books is world renowned for. I’m itching to have these recipes dive head on into your kitchens to see what you think of them.

Cinderella changed her life with a shoe…. I changed mine, with a cupcake. Who says fairy tales don’t come true?

xoxo Miss Holly

Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Crystal Ball in Orlando

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Miss Holly’s calendar is full of events, and March is no exception!  Sweet By Holly will be participating in the Annual Crystal Ball benefiting the Crohn’s and Colitis foundation. The event is by Invite only and will be held Thursday March 15th from 6:30-8:30pm at One80 at the Amway Center, located at 400 West Church Street, Orlando.

Do you know much about Crohn’s disease? The exact cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown. It is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when one’s body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue and to date, there is sadly still no cure.
Please join us as we raise funds and awareness with entertainment, martini and mojito bars and of course a delicious sampling of food, including Sweet! cupcakes. Simply click on this link to purchase tickets.