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Johnny Cupcakes has gone Google

Posted by Justin Hiltz, Media Futurist at Johnny Cupcakes

Editor's note: From the founding of Faneuil Hall in 1740 to the opening of Franklin Southie in 2008, Boston’s businesses have embodied an enterprising and entrepreneurial spirit. Today, we’re wicked excited to hear from Justin Hiltz, Media Futurist at Johnny Cupcakes, a designer, manufacturer and retailer of unique, limited edition t-shirts founded in Boston. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

We’re fans of individuality and expression at Johnny Cupcakes. Our t-shirts are specially made in small batches to help express and reflect our customer’s unique styles. This independent ethos helped propel our brand from a cult favorite in our hometown of Boston into a multi-million dollar, international business with stores in London, Los Angeles and, of course, across Massachusetts.

We’ve grown a lot since Johnny Earle started Johnny Cupcakes in 2001, but we’ve always put a premium on staying fresh – both with our designs and the technology we work with. When I joined the company two years ago, I realized our email system was causing more harm than good, especially at the rate we were growing. I knew we needed an upgrade, I knew it didn't make sense to install a server that required constant maintenance, and I knew most employees were already using Gmail on their own. Moving to Google Apps seemed both attractive and obvious.

Google Apps for Business makes communication a snap. We’ve grown to 50 employees, but still work at the same breakneck speed we did when it was just Johnny hustling to get the company off the ground. That’s why it’s essential to have the tools to keep up with our pace. Google Chat makes that possible. We love that we can send a quick ping to someone with a question, an idea in need of feedback or a project update without having to leave our desks.

Google Apps saves us a lot of time and prevents a lot of headaches. Take our recent website redesign, for example. Our customers are our biggest fans, so we wanted to show them some love by highlighting a handful of them on our new site. At first, the thought of coordinating, collecting and curating that amount of content seemed daunting. I was worried we’d have to use a 3rd party questionnaire app or do everything over email and pull it all together manually (and painstakingly). Then I realized I could do it all through Google Forms. I set up a questionnaire, sent it to our customers, and saw the responses show up in real-time in a single spreadsheet. It saved me hours of work I would’ve wasted emailing, copying and pasting.

Johnny Cupcakes is all about our customers – we love them and they love us. This connection fuels our drive to make clothes that are both exclusive and accessible. Google Apps allows us to communicate more effectively, which helps free up our time so that we can concentrate on the things that really matter: our customers.