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From Furloughed to Famous

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

By: Dr. Sharon H. Porter

Imagine you are working for the federal government and a partial shutdown hits late December. Government workers and sisters, Nikki Howard and Jaqi Wright didn't have to imagine that at all. It was their reality, along with approximately 800,000 government workers and contractors in December 2018. The Prince George's County, Maryland natives found themselves in a situation that did not look promising. Ironically, there were no intentions to ever start a business. As Jaqi, stated during an interview on The I Am Dr. Sharon Show, "it was all because of her sister's act of obedience" to make and donate a cheesecake for their church's New Year's Eve service that led to their mom eating a piece of the cheesecake and simply saying " This is good enough to sell"... That was the light bulb moment!

The sisters have appeared on Ellen, CNN, in O Magazine, and Essence, and so many other media outlets. What I love about them is they have remained humbled and grateful through it all. You can catch them all around the Washington, DC metropolitan area (DMV) and beyond. Any given weekend you can catch them at a Pop-Up Shop selling the delicious cheesecakes whole or by the slice. I must admit, I have never just bought a slice...It's always the whole cheesecake for me. They have six tasty options; the original, Sweet Potato, Key Lime, Strawberry Swirl, Banana Pudding, and Cookies & Cream. I will leave it up to you to decide which is your favorite.

Just as fate will have it, Nikki and Jaqi attended the elementary school where I am currently principal. It really put things in perspective knowing the possibilities are limitless for the little scholars that currently attend the elementary school.

Jaqi Wright and Nikki Howard, Owners, The Furlough Cheesecake

The long hours, the many Pop-Up shops and the hard work have paid off. The Furlough Cheesecake will now be housed in a brick and mortar in the beautiful National Harbor, in Maryland (170 American Way, Oxon Hill, MD). When is the opening you ask? The perfect day, National Cheesecake Day, Thursday, July 3o, 2020!

I am incredibly proud of Nikki and Jaqi, and I certainly believe that hard work and prayer can get you the desires of your heart. The Furlough Cheesecake Sisters are living proof.

Congratulations. You are an inspiration to small business owners everywhere, but especially in Prince George's County, Maryland!

Stay tuned for a full interview from the Furlough Cheesecake Sisters in an upcoming release of Vision & Purpose LifeStyle Magazine.


Dr. Sharon H. Porter (Dr. Sharon) is an educator, author, publisher, and host of The I Am Dr. Sharon Show.

Dr. Sharon in President of SHP Enterprise, the umbrella entity of Perfect Time SHP LLC and SHP Media and Broadcasting, She is Co-Founder and Vice-Pesident, Media and Communication of WNM Ventures, LLC.

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