A Visit To Florida International University in Miami

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…