It all began with a vintage pot from a thrift store...
It all began with a vintage pot from a thrift store...I was in college and I stumbled across the most awesome pot. It was huge, heavy, and vintage. She was a beauty and I was immediately drawn to her and all her battle-scars. She whispered stories of old and of magical things to come. I could imagine making dinners in that pot for the family I would someday have. I paid $5 for her and happily skipped home with my treasure as visions of amazing dinners danced in my head. With every savory dish I attempted to make, I failed, and my pot mocked me. I came to the sad conclusion, that I was not a cook. In fact, I was a disaster in the kitchen. Over the years, the pot was pushed to the back of the cabinet and laid forgotten.
Until one day, many years later, I stumbled across an old English recipe for caramel. I was intrigued and immediately remembered my old thrift store pot. It was like she'd been waiting for THIS very moment! I started experimenting with different caramel recipes from friends, old newspaper clippings, and vintage cookbooks...my vintage pot sang with pure joy!
After years of experimenting and countless disasters, I had finally created something truly amazing, something worthy of my beautiful vintage pot. A buttery soft caramel so delightful in flavor, it would induce sighs of pure bliss when consumed. Even more beautiful to me, were the HUGE smiles of joy that quickly followed the sighs of bliss. With those smiles, I was hooked! I was addicted to the beauty of spreading yummy kindness. For special occasions and holidays, I would make hundreds of caramels to pass out as Acts of Kindness to family, friends, acquaintances, and even perfect strangers. And their smiles of joy never got old! Over the years, family and friends urged me to sell my caramels, but I always resisted, because I loved giving them away. I loved the sweet joy of spreading yummy kindness, it truly made my heart and soul happy...
2. Rising Action:
In 2015, I joined Teach for America and AmeriCorps and dedicated two years teaching science to underprivileged inner-city kids. I moved from TX to CT, not knowing a soul, but with a passion to help others and spread kindness.
I arrived in Bridgeport, CT with my vintage suitcase, my caramel pot, and a Texan can-do attitude! I had promised two years but fell in love with my students and teaching. Every day in the classroom brought new challenges, but also pure joy.
I started an after-school kindness club and it grew QUICKLY! In fact, it grew so quickly we had to split the middle school club and form a junior kindness club too! It was such a beautiful experience to see kindness spread throughout our school. The student's enthusiasm for kindness was contagious! I had finally found my calling and purpose in life--to teach. Happy smile, during this time, I also met my soulmate, Neil. He captures light in beauty, we fell in love, got engaged, and life was so very good...
In 2020 the pandemic hit, and the world stood still. Due to underlying health conditions, I was forced to take unpaid medical leave during my sixth year of teaching. I was devasted. I mourned the loss of my calling and I missed my students with all my heart. I missed the kindness club and all the little acts of love we performed weekly. My world kinda stopped turning and I had TIME, lots and lots of time. As I struggled with the loss of my teaching identity and income, I started searching for what truly made me happy. The answer was pretty simple--Kindness. Kindness makes me happy. Kindness has always inspired me to be the good in the world. Yet kindness does not pay bills...
One night, as I was snuggling with Neil in front of the fireplace, listening to Martin Sexton, I had an aha moment! I would make and sell my caramels, but with a twist! In order for it to sit right with my soul, a portion of sales would go to spreading kindness-Happy smile. In every bag of Bespoke Caramels, there is a bonus caramel tied to a handmade kindness card for you to share with someone who needs a smile! #sharethegood #sweetkindness
At every stage of production, there is love, attention to detail, and a sense of awe and wonder at the process of creating something for others to enjoy. We decided to call our company, Bespoke Caramels. Bespoke is a British adjective used to describe something that is custom-made especially for you. The very definition of my caramels!
Huge gigantic grin, thank you for the amazing support, love, and help in spreading kindness, one caramel at a time. Your support and belief in kindness is humbling and inspiring.