Suzanne Nahay is a farm-raised, city girl at heart with a lifelong case of wanderlust. She’s the oldest of nine and mother of two who believes in the power of prayer, the power of the pen, and the power of AND. Relishing a life marked by paradox, Suzanne loves college football and Joan Didion, cheap beer and expensive perfume, Louis C.K. and C.S. Lewis, and classic red polish at the tips of her callused weightlifting hands.
As a strategist and copywriter at Delevante Creative, Suzanne also stands firm in her belief that branding and advertising can be about truth-telling and difference-making, sharing stories and shaping lives for the better.
Storytelling, fiction or non-, has been her life’s calling, first given a boost of confidence at age 12 when she won a local Young Author’s contest. Others’ words fed her passion through the years, from her Aunt Eileen’s letters written in an Austrian convent to the postcards her father composed in Cairo while teaching at university. In middle school, she consumed Sweet Valley High and Danielle Steel during her first (volunteer) gig at her hometown library.
Today, she prefers Mary Karr memoirs and hand-me-down issues of Vogue after a day at the office or an evening with the husband she loves madly, the children who amaze her daily, and the dog she, well, wishes would stop eating her shoes.
“Entrepreneurship is the ability to believe in a dream big enough to follow it and start wherever you are each day until the dream is not only a reality but perfection.”–Mignon Francois
When the Francois’ were in the depths of their debt, Mignon Francois knew what she had to do to save her family. In 2007, after many sleepless nights she began the groundwork to answer her life’s calling. Never mind that it called her to make cupcakes, at a time when the mother of six couldn’t make a proper cake from a boxed mix. And never mind the amount of sacrifice it would require from her children. Mignon knew her calling was much greater. She would serve as a lighthouse for others–showing people the way out of a dark space.
As unpredictable as the future was, Francois went full speed ahead with her growing desire to launch a business. She was able to combine her love for entrepreneurship and the opportunity to share joy by way of homemade, straight-from- your-grandma’s-kitchen-tasting cupcakes. Countless back-and-forth calls with her favorite baker, her grandmother Virginia “Jenny” Matthews, and her college studies in Chemistry laid the foundation for the art of baking. Followed by numerous taste tests and honest feedback from her family, it was right there in her family’s living room that The Cupcake Collection was born.
Since its opening in 2008, the bakery, located in Nashville’s Historic Germantown, has won over the taste buds of the entire city, hailed as “Best Bakery,” “Best Cupcake,” “Best Dessert Food Truck” and “Best Roving Food Truck In Nashville.” But its sweet influence spreads far beyond city lines: The Cupcake Collection recently gained national attention by appearing on ABC’s The Chew and ranked Number 10 in the Best Dessert Food Truck in the U.S. national ranking. Francois’ business savvy has also been recognized, earning the owner and founder the titles of “Emerging Business Leader of the Year” and “Woman of Legend and Merit” by Tennessee State University.