If you had asked Filipina Vero Aguirre, aka Mrs. Makes, where she saw her Instagram account going, you can bet she wouldn’t have told you, “a full-fledged Instagram shop known for selling delicious crack pies.” But that’s exactly where—and what—it is today.
But we’re pre-empting ourselves. Let’s go back to the very beginning of Vero’s story and take a look at the surprising start of Mrs. Makes, its evolution, and all the factors that led to its success today. We get personal with Vero and learn the secrets behind her flourishing Instagram shop, and later ask her what advice she’d give to anyone who is just starting out in their own IG business.
It wasn’t all it was cracked (pies) up to be
In 2019, Vero Aguirre started her Mrs. Makes Instagram account with one goal: to share whatever it was she was making that day.
The account started out as a hobby page that detailed some of the recipes she was trying, the dishes and meals she whipped up, and anything and everything that, in Vero’s words, “was random things I wanted to make.”
In short: Mrs. Makes started out as a hobby account.
She occasionally used the page to sell some of those creations, like the famous sushi bake craze, or a deconstructed sushi stuffed in a large pan, that took much of the world by storm.
It wasn’t until we fast forward to 2020 (or the year everyone started a side hustle, at least to us folks here at Cococart) that Vero decided on the one thing that helped her business truly make it: she decided to make crack pies.
If you’ve never heard of a crack pie, we’ll get you up to speed. These pies, first created and coined by New York-famous Momofuku’s Milk Bar, are the best of many worlds: crunchy, crumbly crust, ooey-gooey flavored filling, and sweet and salty flavors combined.
(Also interesting to note is that Momofuku’s Milk Bar had to rename their famous Crack Pie to Milk Bar Pie, but that’s a story for another day.)
It was these delectable desserts that were Vero’s muse during the global lockdowns in 2020, and little did she know that they’d be her claim to fame in the Manila food scene.
The most interesting part? Vero shares with us that she’d had no plans of starting a business at all. Making and selling crack pies was a fun hobby that just organically evolved into the thriving business it is today.
The making of Mrs. Makes
After creating and selling her first iteration of crack pies, Vero realized she was on to something. She devoted much of her time improving her homemade crack pies, from perfecting the base recipe down to innovating new flavors and formats she thought her customers would enjoy.
It was this attention to detail and care for her customers that led to them coming back and telling their friends, and soon Mrs. Makes slowly started the transition from hobby Instagram account that doubled as Vero’s recipe dump to Instagram shop in the Philippines known for selling New York-inspired crack pies.
Since launching, Mrs. Makes has found much success in launching interesting crack pie flavors like her Caramelt and Brûlée Cheesecake, as well offering her bestselling crack pies in smaller sizes and assorted sampler packs.
Today, she’s even launched interesting new crack pie concepts, like the Crackwich, which—you guessed it—is a crack pie-turned-sandwich, where flavored filling and toppings are sandwiched between two crumbly oatmeal cookie crusts, and well as the Double Decker Series that doubles the crack pies and stacks them up in a tower of ooey-gooey goodness.
“Such a lifesaver. My customers say they love the new order process!”
When Mrs. Makes first started selling crack pies, it started off like most online bakers hoping to make bank on their hobby: through the Instagram DMs.
Vero shares with us that her typical day was spent directing prospective customers to her Instagram highlights, where she housed her price list, crack pie flavors, and other FAQs. Eventually, as her business grew, she realized this was quickly becoming unsustainable, especially as many new orders and inquiries landed in the dreaded Requests folder of her Instagram account.
She eventually made the switch to Cococart and launched her shop in March 2021—and she hasn’t looked back since.
“I didn’t think Cococart would give this much convenience for me,” Vero admits. “Even my own customers were giving me feedback that they like [the Cococart checkout process] more than [using IG messages].”
Having customers gush about the new ordering process came as a pleasant surprise. Vero explains that she believed customers wanted to interact with her on the DMs for that personal touch—but quickly realized that many people, especially her repeat customers, didn’t want to start a conversation; they just wanted to order straight away.
Vero tells us, “What my customers like most about [my Cococart shop] is the user experience. It seems like they’re not filling out a lot of details, even though they are.
Comparing Cococart to other order forms, she adds, “If you get all these questions in one order form then see how much you have to fill out, you’re too lazy to do it all. With Cococart, you get asked one by one, so ordering seems so easy and short,” that she attributes to better and faster conversions for her shop. “Such a lifesaver!”
“It means I’m making more sales!”—seeing 4x higher ad conversions and 3x more sales
Aside from seeing success organically, Mrs. Makes boosts her marketing efforts with the occasional Instagram Story ad. Prior to setting up shop on Cococart, Vero shares conversions weren’t too high.
She used to get about 60 clicks on her Story ads, with the call to action being to send her account a message.
She suspects one reason she didn’t get more conversions was because the sales cycle was slower: many potential customers felt discouraged to send a message to make inquiries and orders, or waited too long to receive a reply from her, then decided not to put in an order in the end.
These woes disappeared after making the switch to Cococart. Prospective buyers no longer had to wait for a response or send a message to order. They could see an ad for a crack pie and place their order right away—a reality that Mrs. Makes has enjoyed after now seeing a huge bump in orders and sales.
“At some point, because I could direct to my Cococart shop from the ads, I quadrupled ad conversions just because people could order right away,” Vero tells us. “My sales have since tripled compared to before I launched my Cococart store.”
This growth wasn’t just seen in her Instagram ads performance; she saw this growth on Cococart too. From seeing her sales numbers grow on the Cococart Analytics dashboard, Vero also noticed that her shop moved up on Cococart’s subscription tiers.
“My orders grew, and my [subscription tier] would automatically upgrade,” Vero explains, alluding to her shop surpassing her then-Cococart subscription. “[Moving up the tiers] was actually good for me. I’m happy to know every time I got upgraded—because it means I was making more sales!”
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3 tips to grow a home business, from Vero Aguirre
The growth of Mrs. Makes from hobby baker to full-fledged Instagram shop is one that many aspiring business owners also wish to see, so we of course couldn’t resist the opportunity to ask Vero for some of her top tips to grow a home business.
She’s been generous enough to share three must-know pieces of advice:
The number one thing that any aspiring business owner needs to remember? Starting is the hardest part, but you have to do it.
Vero shares, “Sometimes you have these thoughts like, ‘I could sell or perfect this thing,’ but if you don’t start, you’ll never know if it’s actually good enough or not.” When she first launched her crack pies, she notes that they were so different from how they are today.
By just committing to starting and figuring things out as she went, Vero realized she could make some important tweaks to improve her crack pie recipe, and come up with the best way to market and sell her products.
Listen to your customers
You don’t have to do heavy market research that takes weeks and weeks. Vero shares one of the best ways to get your customers’ thoughts and feedback is actually through Instagram Story Polls and Questions.
These built-in features are free for any Instagram account to use, and business owners should be making the most of them. On Vero’s part, she’s used Polls and Questions on Mrs. Makes’ Instagram account to ask customers what new flavors she can try to make.
According to Vero, this engages and includes customers in the business, making them feel like they have value. “And [getting customer engagement] helps me since I’m sometimes too close to the business and don’t get to come up with fresh ideas myself.”
Add value to your business
Finally, Vero shares that the most important thing any small business owner can do is adding value to your products.
“You don’t have to have this groundbreaking product that’s super innovative,” she explains. “For me, [added] value was letting customers add dedications on the pie, so they’re customized and makes it more fun to send to friends,” which Vero also believes was a great way for her customers send personal gifts to friends and family they couldn’t see when there were city-wide lockdowns.
“But value [to your customer] is also an easier way of ordering,” Vero adds, especially after seeing how Cococart has made managing orders easier not just for herself but for the very customers she loves to serve.
If you want to experience the seamless order management that Vero sees with Mrs. Makes’s menu of crack pies, then sign up for Cococart to launch your business in minutes and dedicate more time to the parts of business that truly move the needle.
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