|photo by gazely design|
My Mom will be the first to tell you that I have always been creative. She loves to tell the story of the Blue Mushrooms- a pen and watercolor picture I made in grade 5. We were learning still life and I plucked a few button mushrooms from the assorted fruits and vegetables that our teacher (an art teacher) had laid out for the project. I proceeded to sketch and draw my mushrooms. When it came time to paint them, I painted them blue. When the teacher asked why they were blue, I said I was imagining the mushrooms at night. She docked me marks because "mushrooms aren't blue." (My Mom framed this painting and it now hangs in my kitchen).
Throughout my childhood and adulthood, I've pursued many creative passions in the arts and in various crafts. Performing arts has played a major role in my life and I studied and worked as an actor for many years. I have also been crafty with my hands. From sewing to beading to jewelry making to paper crafts, I have dabbled in many forms. Baking has taken prominence in my life since having children because it serves many purposes- I craft, I feed, I'm in the kitchen and central to the family. Little did I know how much baking would become a part of my life and identity.
People often ask why I started this business. When I launched Kimberley's Kitchen I wrote the values of what I wanted to achieve- I still have my first notes and my values haven't changed a bit. Back then, I wasn't even sure what this company would be. I had many ideas but the trajectory of the business was still unknown. Now, looking back I remember all of the opportunities I have had to stray from my values. But those original words have kept me on track.
The words that sift through my thoughts these days are "do things differently." There are the typical routes to bringing a brand to marketplace, and choices in ingredients and packaging. There have been plenty of opportunities for me to compromise on my values (personal and business values, for me, are one and the same). But the words Do Things Differently keep echoing for me. This is my new mantra, in business and life, as I approach the 4th anniversary of Kimberley's Kitchen.
I endeavor to continue to Do Things Differently. Organic ingredients. Real food flavors. Sustainable packaging. These aspects of Kimberley's Kitchen will never change, no matter how cheap or easy it would be to compromise. No matter how much more money I could make on cheaper ingredients and packaging. Because it isn't just about money, is it? I have always told people (mostly in my life in HR) that I have to do work that I feel good about.
As I approach the anniversary of the beginning of Kimberley's Kitchen, I am forging new business partnerships and opportunities that are both exciting and challenging. However, the reality of being an entrepreneur is that the work still needs to get done. So even though meetings and lawyers and accountants and making deals sounds exciting, my two hands need to do the work. The work of making marshmallows and crafting candies, the washing of dishes, the mopping of floors. Because being an entrepreneur requires a willingness to do all the dirty jobs too.
I am a firm believer in outsourcing. My philosophy has been to outsource the work that are my weak areas. I focus on my strengths. And truth be told, I enjoy the ritual of cleaning at the end of the night. So I will continue to mop.
I feel grateful for the opportunity to share Kimberley's Kitchen with you. And with growth and change comes many exciting ways for me to share my passion with you. In the next few weeks, I will share a little more about how I Do Things Differently. I will also share how you will be able to be a part of the growth of Kimberley's Kitchen. These are exciting times, my friends, so stick around for the ride. I promise it will be sweet.