Charlene Simon

Entrepreneur
Bathhouse Soapery, Fat Bottomed Girl’s Cupcake Shoppe

Charlene Simon knows the secrets to David Copperfield’s trick to making people disappear, but her true magic is routinely creating successful businesses. Simon is a serial entrepreneur whose success has proved a formal education is just a formality. A wife at 15 and mother of three by 20, her self-determination has led to many titles in her career. Simon earned a GED and started making soap and cosmetics at 19, launched Bathhouse Soapery & Caldarium and expanded it to five retail locations across the South. Her success allowed her to acquire Villainess Soaps and Plenty Mystic Beauty Emporium. Her culinary affections led her to launch Fat Bottomed Girl’s Cupcake Shoppe, the first of its kind in Hot Springs, and Evilo Oils & Vinegars.

Hometown: New Baden, Ill.

Education: GED

First job: Server at Ozzy’s Mexican Restaurant in a town of 900 people. My goal was to move up to sopapilla maker. 

Favorite food: Pork Butt seasoned with Evilo Oil & Vinegar's  "Sprout & Tines" seasoning

What was your first big break? I don’t believe in getting a “big break.” I feel that you can’t wait around for something big to happen to you, you must make it happen. I do feel being poised to seize an opportunity can be a catalyst for success. Being invited onto Food Network’s Cupcake Wars was a big catalyst for future success in my personal and business life. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for Fat Bottomed Girl’s Cupcake Shoppe to get its name on the map. Not only does it continue to air on Food Network, but for a few years it was on Netflix. I think that’s just the coolest unforeseen outcome…I mean, it’s Netflix!

What accomplishment are you most proud of? I have experienced remarkable success, but I’m most proud of my family. I’ve been married to my husband since I was 15 and had all my children before I was 20. Watching our children grow and develop into adults continues to be one of the most marvelously fulfilling accomplishments.

What’s something others would be surprised to know? I am privileged to know, under confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements, of course, David Copperfield’s trick to making an entire group of people disappear…right before your eyes! I was once part of his Vegas act and will go to my grave knowing one of the tricks up his sleeve.

What do you love most about what you do? Creating an experience for my customers and watching their mood, day or life change because of my efforts helps me make my mark on the world.

What quality do you most admire in other women? I gravitate to confident women. I believe confidence comes from owning your trials and triumphs and using them to lift others. A woman who has courage to use her voice to make the biggest impact is influential and inspiring.

Person, past or present, you admire most? Without question, my husband of 22 years, Justin. His strengths carry my weaknesses over the threshold to greatness. Every single day with him feels like a roller coaster ride, demolition derby and the best vacation you’ve ever been on.

Do you have a personal motto? Don’t wait for a light to appear at the end of the tunnel, get on down there and light it yourself.

Hobbies: I’m not good at hobbies because they all end up becoming a business! I have started cycling and that, I can assure you, isn’t in my wheelhouse of business…even though creating a bike seat for “fat bottomed girls”, like myself, wouldn’t be the worst innovation introduced to Shark Tank. Oh, and CATS. Cat collecting is a fulfilling hobby.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? I’ve made my home exactly where I want it to be, Arkansas.

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