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"Grandmothers bake and mothers bake, not entrepreneurs!"
That's what Elaine Kallinis remembers thinking when her daughters first told her their plan to quit high-powered jobs—Sophie was in venture capital, while Katherine worked at fashion house Gucci—and open a bakery specializing in cupcakes. It didn't help that it was at the beginning of the recession in 2007, and her girls were talking about founding their baking business on credit cards and savings.
Today, that tiny sweet shop, Georgetown Cupcake, is a thriving, sugary empire popping out about 25,000 of the frosting-topped treats every day, from five locations across the country. And despite her first reaction, mom has actually been helping out since the day the cupcakery opened its doors.
Although some believe the gourmet cupcake craze that began around 2000 is crumbling, according to an October 2011 report from research firm IBIS World, the industry is expected to grow nearly 4 percent over the next few years—a small decline from past growth rates. The sisters, who are also stars of TLC's "DC Cupcakes," remain busy and plan to open a sixth location in Atlanta next year.
Learn more on how Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne found the guts to start their own business below, part of CNBC's "Escaping The Cube."