Gigi Butler has an incredible story to tell. The founder of Gigi’s Cupcakes, the largest cupcake franchise in America, took an untraditional route to get to where she is today.

Originally moving to Nashville in 1994 for a career in country music, Butler soon found herself cleaning bathrooms to get by. A transformative phone call with her brother led her to starting a cupcake shop, and she has since grown that one shop into a cupcake empire.

“My favorite story was about Gigi Butler, who literally went from cleaning toilets to owning a cupcake company which generates $35 million in annual sales,” says Daymond John of the television show Shark Tank. “Her path wasn't linear and nothing came easy. She was an Oklahoma girl who moved to Nashville with $500 in her pocket at 17 years old to pursue her country music dream.”

Gigi Butler looks to share her journey to success in her latest book. The Secret Ingredient: Recipes for Success in Business and Life will be released on Tuesday, December 4 through Howard Books. The book will highlight life lessons Butler has picked up along the way, pairing these life recipes with some of her food recipes.

“Life is a journey of ups and downs. Success is actually picking yourself up after having a failure and being able to find another dream, another path,” says Gigi Butler. “My secret ingredients, and the sweet and savory recipes at the end of every chapter, make this book delightfully delicious!”

With Gigi's Cupcakes under her belt, Butler has been exploring new business ventures such as the summer debut of her kitchen textile line with Mariasch Studios – a line that includes kitchen towels, potholders, gift bags, and other kitchen accessories customized with her personality. Additionally, Butler has used her past experience with kitchen design to partner with Serenade Cabinetry, an American-made cabinet company.