Page 25 - William Woods University - Winter 2013-14

The Woods Magazine WINTer | 2013-14
25
surprise. You really can be let down.
Between receiving little money from
investors and having an unsteady
salary, you have to be motivated
by the little things.”
Motivation is exactly what is
driving Watkins to grow his business
in the future.
We already have a website up and
running but we are hoping to expand
Nissi’s Cakes into bigger things. We
want to have a mail order business
and perhaps even expand parts of
the bakery into totally separate
businesses,”Watkins said.
He credits the professors at WWU,
especially Brenda Popp, assistant
professor of business, for giving him
the knowledge to make Nissi’s Cakes
a success.
I like to think we stimulated
his entrepreneurial spirit. We try
to create a breeding ground for
innovative thinking and risk-taking,
and I believe our small-school
atmosphere helps us do that,”
Popp said.
A lot of what I do at Nissi’s I
learned from William Woods,”
Watkins said. “I was a basketball
player on campus so I already
understood the importance of
teamwork, but my classes really
strengthened my knowledge of the
business world. My professors taught
me to focus on the task at hand and
to take it seriously.”
Nissi’s Cakes isn’t the final stop for
Watkins. “Being the brain for the
business is my job right now, but I
hope I can build it up strong enough
where one day I can hand it off. My
mother’s dream is to be CEO, but
I would still like to be a partner,”
he said.
Watkins eventually hopes to take
his experiences into a different
business venture.
I plan on writing a book and even
possibly becoming a paid speaker,”
Watkins said. “I want kids to
understand in this day and age you
don’t have to just rap or play a sport
to be successful. Reading books is
how I taught myself and I was lucky
to have a business mentor such as my
brother-in-law to support me. I want
to pass that knowledge on to kids
now.”
Watkins is already preparing for the
future in an unusual way. “I want to
be able to use experiences from work
right now into my book, so I write
down something every day that I
dealt with or problems I encountered.
I don’t journal, so it’s been kind of
difficult to make myself (write),”
Watkins said.
On his own, and running his own
business, Watkins has some advice for
those about to leave college.
Be prepared for the real world, but
enjoy college.There are days where I
wish I was back, because I miss my
friends and the community,” he said.
But you can’t go back, and you don’t
want to end up out here wishing you
would’ve been prepared.”
››››
Vern Watkins (center) talks with WWU business students during a visit to WWU last spring
when he spoke to various business classes. With him, left to right are Phil Davis, Amy Faus,
Ilana Archuleta, and Ryan Mann. (Photo by Mary Ann Beahon)
Vern’s mom, for whom the
bakery is named. (All bakery
photos courtesy of Watkins)