Dee Florea - Woman to Watch Class of 2014

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Dee Florea is the owner of Gigi’s Cupcakes, a national franchise cupcake boutique that opened this month in Granger. 
A Sassy team
As any team leader comes to find out, Dee has learned that as a business owner, she is only as strong as her team. Dee cites “assembling a great team” as one of her proudest career moments. “I am proud of the caliber of individuals I have in place,” Dee gushes. “My store manager, Mary Juckett, who is also an active partner, is incredibly passionate about our business and driven to succeed. I have some extremely talented decorators and bakers who make me laugh everyday, and a lovely group of high school age, young ladies working customer service!”
Making a change
Prior to this new business venture Dee worked many years in the pharmaceutical industry with AG Bayer and Pfizer. She began working in Los Angeles in the 1980’s, came back to central and northern Indiana and was later promoted to a Hospital Sales Specialist in Detroit where she managed large teaching hospitals. 
After doing what she dubs the “corporate climb,” Dee says that her goal in life at this point is simple: “I want a nice, little business where people look forward to coming to work and I can bring a smile to family, friends and new acquaintances with beautiful and delicious Gigi cupcakes!”
Dee excitedly recounts the day that she realized that her dream would become a reality. “The most recent best day was watching our Gigi's Cupcakes exterior sign being installed!” Dee remembers. “It was proof that all of our hard work and planning was becoming a reality!”
Flexibility is the key
One of the best parts about Dee’s career, to her, is the freedom that self-employment brings. “I love being self employed and having the control to make decisions I believe in,” explains Dee. “The reason I love what I am doing is that it is not a ‘job’ to me, it is ‘my baby’! I also love that I am doing something that will bring joy to others. Face it—cupcakes are fun! What an honor to be able to share in our customer's special celebrations, weddings, birthdays, graduations, holiday parties, corporate events or fund-raising. I have always loved to throw a good party and now I can do it everyday!”
A role model
One of the most inspiring things we find in all of our Sassy women is how they draw their strength from other women—and Dee is no exception. She cites her mother as her inspiration and role model in life. “My mother was not a career woman,” Dee says. “She worked extremely hard her whole life, but few would call her a professional. My mother is now 91 years old and was one of twelve children growing up during the Depression. She inspires me because she had to drop out of high school to work. After raising her five children and while in her seventies, she went back and got her GED. I love this about my mother.”
And Dee is no stranger to a little bit of Sass, either. “Dee is...fashionable, just a polished gal with a great personality. She is also starting her own business, which shows she is a risk-taker, with a desire to succeed,” says her friend Tracy Schrimsher. 
Dee is a native of her beloved Culver, IN and has a Bachelor of Science degree from Ball State University. She lives in Granger with her husband of 29 years, Rich. The couple has two sons, Tucker and Max, along with four pets: Miss Maisey, a black lab named George, and Miah and Kiah, two Yorkie sisters.
Gigi’s Cupcakes officially opened Thursday, November 21 and they will be hosting a Grand Opening on December 7th!

Sassy Facts About Dee:

Best piece of business advice?
Believe in yourself!
Guilty pleasure?
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it’s “The Bachelor.”
Favorite TV show?
Homeland and Newsroom.
Favorite candle scent:
I don't really have one but if I had to pick it would be cinnamon at Christmas.
Favorite dessert:
Love a warm chocolate chip cookie or plain old chocolate anything!
Favorite book:
Too many to choose a favorite, but I really liked "Kite Runner", "Unbroken", and "Devil in the White City". I tend to be drawn to history or political themes.
What’s your go-to office style?
Used to be a business suit and heels, but now it is blue jeans, tennis shoes and a Gigi's shirt. I love that!
Favorite beauty product?
Moisturizer and a little blush!
What’s in your purse right now?
Wallet, lip gloss, Kleenex, dental floss and of course, my cell phone!
What is your definition of a Sassy woman?
A little bit of this and that, but mostly a kind heart and tenacity for life!
If you were a Sassy shoe, what would you be and why?
I would have to be a Sperry dockside, not because they are attractive, but because that would probably mean I am at the lake!


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