Two Maryland sisters who are both furloughed from their government jobs have launched a business selling cheesecakes to help pay the bills. Nikki Howard, with the FDA, and sister Jaqi Wright, with DOJ, never imagined the government shutdown would lead them to start a business. Each has husbands they say can’t work due to disabilities, and with bills such as college tuition for Nikki’s daughter piling up, they say they had to do something.
“It’s either cry or get up and do something, so we decided to get up and do something,” Nikki said.
Jaqi says everything came about after Nikki made cheesecake for New Year’s and she and her mother were amazed at how good it tasted.
“My mother said, ‘Girl, you could sell these cheesecakes,’” Jaqi said. “And I was like, why don’t we sell the cheesecakes?”
“Light bulbs went off and the Furlough Sisters and the Furlough Cheesecake came about,” Nikki said.
Jaqi, of Oxon Hill, and Nikki, of St. Mary’s County, both grew up in the D.C. area and are graduates of Friendly High School.
They’ve spent much of the past week launching their business through Facebook, Instagram, and thefurloughcheesecake.com.
They say they sold about 10 cheesecakes in roughly 24 hours this week. Orders have not just been local – they are shipping several cheesecakes to Indiana.
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“I’m not saying that I’m happy that we’re not at work and getting a consistent paycheck, but it’s a great way to use the time,” Jaqi said. “As far as just having something else to put my brain on, my creativity on, it feels amazing.”