It has been a very busy couple of months. While sitting amidst the unknowns in terms of our many major life decisions, we’ve been slowly and steadily moving forward with the idea of starting a small business in which we make and sell artisanal handmade raw chocolate online. This seemed wiser and less place-dependent than our original thoughts of a raw food education business. We’ve worked really hard at getting this up and ready to go. We’ve put in hundreds of hours designing a website (with much very appreciated help from our friend, Noah ), sought out the best prices on boxes and wrappers and labels, searched for the highest quality and ethically traded ingredients accessible to us, tested out and finalized recipes, written some initial blog entries to post, envisioned and re-envisioned ways of making it work out financially, returned to our values over and over again as we have felt ourselves pulled into other’s visions, worked hard to incorporate principles of right livelihood, to weave a message of mindful consumption throughout our work, and remained committed to trying to be mindful of each step along the way.
Our website is pretty much ready to go. We have a domain name for 3 years, a great logo (thanks, Leah!), and some incredible professional photos of our chocolate (thanks, Nick!) We have hundreds of shipping boxes, thousands of product labels, eco-friendly packaging for 2000 bars, more chocolate making gear than any single person could possibly need, and enough quality ingredients to make about 400 of our raw, vegan, organic, fair trade, gluten free, and refined sugar free bars. Sounds like we are about ready to go. We should be excited!
The thing is, we aren’t. We’ve recently realized that the past couple of months filled with all-the-things-we-need-to-do-to-get-ready-to-make-and-sell-raw-chocolate-online have been filled to the brim with feelings of overwhelm, frustration, anxiety, and stress. I’ve discovered that I am not particularly skilled at all the various tasks involved in starting a small business. We haven’t managed to find a way of seeing how we might actually make a little money to support ourselves off of this venture. Plus there has been one really key ingredient missing: It hasn’t been any fun for quite some time now. In trying to finalize recipes, we’ve lost the creative aspect of it all (I mean really, who wants to make the same thing over and over and over again – especially when it comes to raw chocolate?!)
So here we sit – feeling somewhat lost and a bit disappointed. And this on the heels of another hoped-for but missed work opportunity a couple of months ago. We aren’t in a place of judging ourselves about any of these feelings. They just are what they are. We’ve made some mistakes; we’ve learned a lot along the way. In the end, it just doesn’t feel right. There’s no yellow arrow pointing us clearly in this direction. Et bien, c’est la vie. And as a friend says, Onward!
The real question becomes, what do we do with all these shipping boxes, labels, ingredients, chocolate-making gear, etc.? Well – we’re going to do what we really wanted to do in the first place: We’re going to make beautiful, fun, nutritious, and joy-filled raw chocolate and give it away to friends, family, and strangers to boot! Yup, once Tiny is done and we’ve landed somewhere; once we’ve had a bit of quiet time to re-center – raw chocolate fairies we will be :).