2011 around the Holidays our budget was tight, my husband and I were both in Real Estate, he was my Broker and had moved from our home office to a fancy office a few months earlier in the hopes of generating us some much needed business. It was a chance he had to take and unfortunately it did not generate us any leads or business and the Real Estate bubble was not the only one that had burst….our savings bubble was on the verge of popping too!
We have two small children, at that time they were 3 and 1 year old, I did not have the extra cash or the desire to put them in daycare and get my old desk job back. In fact, I could not have thought of a more miserable way for me to spend my day, me the girl who since the age of 3 when asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” answered emphatically, every time ‘A MOMMY!’
I turned to something I truly LOVE doing and that was baking, I felt that if I did something I truly loved I could support my family. I started with a generations old recipe for Baklava, the same pastry my Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother and many, many, Diab women before me had made. I quickly expanded into making gourmet brownies, chocolates and various other baked goods as I received more and more inquiries from friends and friends of friends. The first month I did not make enough to even cover my car payment but the next month was better and the next better than the last and every month a little better than the last….
In the process of, set up and acquisition of quality organic and non gmo ingredients I was building a steady customer base, but also falling far behind on the household bills, months and months behind. I called each utility company, credit card, cell phone, car loan servicer and home loan servicer and made arrangements to pay small portions of what I owe, just enough to avoid complete shut off of our services. I gave my fancy car back to the bank, cancelled Satellite TV, Satellite Radio, and all Vacations were off. Home is where the heart is and that is where we were going to be for a while.
The kids had no idea we ran out of money. I watched them day after day playing, laughing, singing and enjoying each moment with what we did have, which was still A LOT! They taught me so much, I don’t miss the things I let go of, I embrace me new old car that gets me from point A to point B and back and has air and heat, I am grateful for every moment I can be with my children for we all know how fast time slips past and I have no regrets about not returning to a desk job. I was confident that one day Sweet Box Treats would be able to sustain us all, my goal each month was not to beat anyone else but myself, just do better than you did last month Nisreen, I kept telling myself I could and I did.
Support from my friends and family and others in the community who had heard about me was AMAZING!! There were some non-supportive messages received along the way, I only mention that to let you know there are always those who will try to rain on your parade or think you should do things differently….I ignored them and kept on doing what I was doing, making quality treats with LOVE and spreading the good food word.
At the end of March 2012 the weekend of my Son’s 4th Birthday I started a Facebook Fan Page and it’s been growing every day, almost 2,400 fans as of today! Encouragement in the form of Likes, Sharing, Orders and even Donations came pouring in not just from my friends or fellow residents of the Verde Valley but from other cities, then other states and even internationally!
This last December I by myself completed 58 orders in a two week time period, I baked many party trays of various goodies, made almost 50 dozen chocolates, over 85 jars of salted caramel sauce and hot fudge and 20lbs of Peanut Brittle! Looking back, it was a lot of work but it didn’t feel like a lot of work at the time.
After New Year’s Day had passed I had some down time to reflect and write this post to share with you all. I want to say THANK YOU so much for a terrific end to 2012 as I am now caught up on all of our household bills, it’s a great feeling and I couldn’t have done it without you.
Your support allows me to be the actively involved Mother, the Wife, the Realtor, the Baker, the Candy Maker, the Negotiator and more!!
I move into 2013 ready for continued success, exploring avenues for private funding to expand my business license, obtain more efficient equipment, perhaps a tiny boutique style storefront to showcase my Organic Chocolates and Pastries, and grab a freshly brewed cup of Coffee or Tea. On the wall of my modest space it will read:
“Everyone deserves to feel they are supported.
Everyone deserves the strength to mute the voices of their critics.
Everyone deserves to relish in the sound of laughing children.
Everyone deserves to indulge in a decadent treat.
Everyone deserves quality ingredients.
Everyone deserves LOVE.
Welcome, I’m so glad that you’re here.Taste the Love!”
Please visit me at: www.facebook.com/sweetboxtreats and keep tabs on what’s new!
Email questions/orders to: MyFoodieUniverse@gmail.com
Donate to the further expansion of Sweet Box Treats: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=UY25GG797Y72N