One of the perks about having a successful idea is proving the people in the peanut gallery wrong.

Johnny Earle, founder of Johnny Cupcakes, a clothing company based in Weymouth, Massachusetts, took a victory lap via Twitter after The Boston Globe named him one of the most innovative business leaders in Massachusetts. Earle, a college dropout who got his start selling T-shirts out of the back of his car, has come a long way in 11 years: His company has earned a spot on the Inc. 5000 three years running.