When Inspiration Come From Desperation
It has been said that out of desperation comes inspiration. This is a phenomenon, which has become evident in my life. The "desperation" resulted from a loss of family employment during the economic downturn in 2001. The "inspiration" took the form of an idea for me to make the homemade cookies and candy that I had been baking for years. Friends were insistent that I market my edible gift baskets, but there was never the motivation or urgency to do so. With the help of my husband and good friends, my life-long dream came true when we launched Heidi's Heavenly Cookies in October of 2002.
In the beginning we encountered many obstacles, which I now see as blessings in disguise. A friend of mine always kept me focused when she said, "Don't miss the opportunity of a lifetime in the lifetime of the opportunity". This became our motto, when we became discouraged with all the red tape involved in obtaining the proper licensing, building our commercial bakery and launching our business. It continues to sustain us this day.
Our first holiday season, the news of our gourmet cookie baskets spread like wildfire, and we were so busy that we had to stop taking orders the first week in December. One day a neighbor stopped me and offered her time as she said she needed a diversion from her problems. The next day she showed up with 3 other neighbors insisting on volunteering their time. They knew that I wouldn't ask for help, so they just showed up. One of these neighbors, whom I hardly knew at the time, had just lost her Dad the previous week. They didn't just work for 1 day, but everyday to fulfill all the orders. I felt like I was living out a Little House on the Prairie episode, where all the neighbors pitched in together to help save the Ingles Family Farm. You have to realize that at this point, it was 3 weeks before Christmas, and all of these women had families with their own worries to contend with, but they chose to give of themselves unconditionally. For this I will be eternally grateful.
One by one we overcame our challenges, whether it was through my husband designing our brochures and website, to a good friend providing unsolicited assistance in helping us with the acquisition of our commercial bakery equipment. These along with countless other extraordinary act of kindness were performed without a limelight, out of a pure love and desire to help make another person's Dream become a reality.
As we continue to grow by leaps and bounds, I want to pay homage to those individuals that have made Heidi's Heavenly Cookies what it is today. May we all become involved in helping others, literally right in our own backyard. It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child...well in the beginning it took an entire neighborhood to bake Heidi's Heavenly Cookies. Some of those same neighbors and friends have grown with us as we have yet expanded again, into our current state of the art commercial bakery. It is my hope that my story will encourage others to follow their dream in spite of obstacles they will encounter. Don't miss the opportunity of a lifetime in the lifetime of the opportunity.
The overwhelming national acclaim and heartfelt testimonials from our many customers continues to inspire us. Thanks to word of mouth and accolades from the media, we now ship our gourmet cookie gift baskets nationwide from country roads to Park Avenue, to Hollywood and beyond.
It has been said that in school we study the lesson, then we take the test...real life is the opposite. Often times we are given the test first...only then do we learn the lesson. We are inspired by the goodness of our customers. Like the elementary school teacher who sent cookies to a student from another classroom, who's Mother was dying of cancer...she wanted to make sure that they had a homemade snack after school. We have come to realize that we are not just in the business of baking...We are in the business of making people feel good...some might even call us heavenly.