Virtually anyone with a real talent not directly related to their field of employment who has friends will be told “you should do that professionally!” While friends mean well by such compliments, they seldom realize that starting a business is a huge task, often involves a skill set entirely different from the skill or product that their friends love, and they are asking their friend to take something they love doing and become dependent upon it for income. Very few people have the wherewithal to go through with such an endeavor. However, Julie Degnan not only made a business out of her hobby, she had all the business skills to make it a success!
Julie Degnan is the Founder and Owner of CakesAndKids.com, a very successful website through which she sells her homemade fondant cake and cupcake toppers. While running her own website might seem like a leap for a professional baker/chef, in the case of Julie Degnan, it was not a stretch at all; her primary employment before CakesAndKids.com took off was in online marketing for companies throughout the tech sector. Degnan took that knowledge and training and applied it to the hobby she developed while raising her three children and the result has been spectacular.
A graduate of the University of California in San Diego, Julie Degnan earned her Bachelor’s of Arts in Mathematics in 1988. After a few years off, Degnan was accepted into St. Mary’s College of California for her graduate work. There, she studied business, earning her MBA in 1992. With her strong head for numbers and her interest in business, Degnan went to work for the Bank of America as a Product Manager. Julie Degnan spent four years with Bank of America before she began to focus on her interest in marketing.
After a few years of exploring different aspects of marketing with Schwab, OnDisplay/Vignette, and Epicentric, Julie Degnan turned her marketing talents from finance and software to the Internet when she joined LoopNet in 2002. As the Marketing Manager for LoopNet, Degnan was responsible for marketing to the 300,000 LoopNet members and wooing more to the site using online marketing campaigns that she developed. With her success at LoopNet, Julie Degnan became a hot commodity in the world of Internet marketing. After two years of strengthening LoopNet and helping it to grow, Degnan was wooed away by Reply! Inc. where she served as their Online Marketing Manager. An SEO expert, Julie Degnan was sought by tech companies to turn around or rapidly improve their businesses. She helped companies like PurePlay, OneSeason.com (for the E-Global Sports Network), Cardstore.com and, most recently, the software company FICO.
Despite her very heavy workload and being very much in demand by the tech sector, Julie Degnan is focusing on the company she started in 2008, CakesAndKids.com. With the success of her business and website, Julie Degnan does not need to show other businesses how to use the Internet to better make money; she sets a great example by utilizing the Internet effectively and doing what she loves!
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