FEW’s Extraordinary Woman of the Month!
You are just going to LOVE Rebecca! She is absolutely AMAZING. Every time I talk to her or spend time with her, she inspires me more and more. Take this interview for example, she had me in tears with her raw, challenging & inspiring answers. (Hold on a sec – you’ll see!) Rebecca is a truly TRAILBLAZER for women. She is fearless, passionate, driven and her gift of joy makes her absolutely BLISSFUL.
Rebecca Scarberry is best known for turning personal hardship into sweet success as the owner of Becky’s Blissful Bakery
. After losing her job and getting divorced in the same week, she turned to cooking, a passion since childhood, for comfort and guidance. You can now find Becky’s award winning caramels gracefully adorning the shelves of fine food stores and boutiques nationwide
including Whole Foods Market
and Williams Sonoma
. (Her caramels will transport you to another place! Some say they can hear angels sing while they eat them!) Read more of Rebecca’s remarkable bio and her many accomplishments at the bottom of this post.
As you are finding out, nominating Rebecca for FEW’s EWoM was a no-brainer! Check out her answers to my interview questions and you will agree! Here goes-
Founder of Becky’s Blissful Bakery
Grew up in
Currently lives in Brookfield, WI
Kim: Who are two extraordinary people that have inspired you most?
Rebecca: My mom and my mentor.
I didn’t realize what an incredibly strong woman she was when I was growing up and truly how much she sacrificed for her children and family. She was the bread-winner in the family and started college and her career at a time when women had to fight to just go to college. S he was asked to leave her economics class at UNCC because, “the instructor didn’t teach women” and when she explained to the instructor the class was a requirement for her degree, he told her to change her degree and drop his class.
She did not take his advice and was the only female who stayed in the class; he made it as difficult as possible for her, but she passed. Later in her career she was denied an office as the lead salesperson because, well… they never had a woman as a lead salesperson and they didn’t know how to give her an office. That would mean asking a man to leave his office? So, they said she could “share” an office space with a man, whose sales were consistently less than my mother’s every month. This lasted until his wife found out her husband was sharing an office with a beautiful blonde woman, then he moved his desk back out into the center cubicle area with the other sales associates.
She was featured in the local Business Journal as the top salesperson for her company. After being recognized in the paper, an employer she had interviewed with previously called her to offer her a sales position. He told her he didn’t know how to hire a woman but now that she had “proved” herself and that she could sell, he wanted her to work for him. She gracefully declined his offer and continued to work off of ONLY commission and raise her family of four as a single mom. She was the primary care giver for our grandfather, handled all of the finances for two homes and was left with over $50,000 debt after paying off a lien on her house after a “mistake” made by the nursing home that took care of my grandfather before he passed away.
As an adult, I look at her as the strongest trailblazer I know. As a child, I didn’t understand why she didn’t come to my basketball games, swim meets or cheerleading competitions. I wish I had the opportunity to go back to those moments, hug her tight and tell her how much I appreciated what she did and how hard she worked for me to be able to afford to do any sport, activity or event of my choosing. She never had any validation, support or acknowledgment of her accomplishments, sacrifices and unending loyalty and love for her family. However, she kept on blazing and became well known in the business community.
Today, she is still a member of Rotary; she donates to several charitable organizations, volunteers and is an avid reader at 78 years old.
My mentor came into my life at mylowest and darkest point. The solo entrepreneurial journey had left it’s mark on me. I had made some major changes in my business that proved to not be beneficial for me personally or professionally. Not to mention, an on-going family crisis had left me emotionally spent and physically ill. I was ready to throw in the towel and go back to the “safe” place of being an employee.
My mentor did not see the mistakes, anguish, pain and emptiness that I felt. He only saw determination, grit, perseverance, passion, opportunity and a desire to succeed. He validated my struggles, mistakes and pain and packaged them in the positive. He recognized how bad things were but then focused on the fact I never gave up. I continued to move forward regardless of how terrible my circumstances were.
Having someone that believed in me renewed my spirit and my self-worth. Having someone to hold you accountable is necessary for growth. My mentor is committed to helping me be the best version of me in all aspects of my life. He listens and asks questions, never judges, has a desire to understand the whole picture and identifies what drives and motivates me. I take every opportunity I can to listen, learn and spend time with my mentor. I am blessed and lucky to have the unwavering commitment of an incredible mentor!
Kim: What are your two most extraordinary accomplishments?
Rebecca: Getting a divorce and starting a business 🙂 (Smiley face is Rebecca’s)
Having the courage to stand up for myself and file for divorce. Walking away from what was safe and secure. Following my gut-instinct, following my passion, my truth. I was liberated, I was free, I was given a second chance at life, living my true authentic life. I was free to be blissful, smile, enjoy life, all aspects of life. I was free to show my son the joys of life without quilt or indebtedness. I can be different, I can like different things, I don’t have to follow the social norms of others expectations of me. I am strong enough to be true to myself, my spirit, my own identity.
If being “me” upsets someone else, that is their problem, I don’t have to change to make others happy. People who truly love and respect me will want me to be happy, even if they don’t agree. I was no longer being stifled, punished, controlled or put-down. I was being encouraged, lifted up, loving getting to know myself all over again.
I was able to start my own business. I was succeeding and failing, learning, getting back up and trying again. I was scared, alone and had no safety net. I was running on adrenaline, hope and regardless of what awful circumstance I had gotten myself into, I still believed it was going to be okay. I knew my goal, regardless of my circumstances, was to keep moving forward in my truth. It was the hardest and most isolating experience of my life. I knew I could throw in the towel and get a job with benefits, consistent income, stability. However, I had my second chance at life. I was free to do it, I knew it would be okay, I knew it would be a success. Day by day, mistake by mistake, loving being free and loving being me.
Every day I pray and every day I thank God for my freedom and my health. I am not being punished for being my true self. I make mistakes, do and say stupid things at times, my family and friends still love me. They don’t judge me or hold things over my head. They allow me the space to be me and love me in the process, blissfully.
Kim: What kind of impact do you strive to have on other women?
Rebecca: I want to have a positive impact on other women and let them know that they truly can do and be anything they want, regardless of their circumstances.
Kim: In your own words, what do you think it is that makes a woman extraordinary?
Rebecca: Generally speaking, women have an extraordinary way of connecting with others and making a positive impact/change on anything and anyone. Women are fueled with passion, compassion and a desire to make things better. You add some professionalism, expertise and enthusiasm and that is the ultimate recipe for extraordinary!
Kim: What is something on your bucket list that you are yet to do that you consider extraordinary?
Rebecca: Exporting my product worldwide. Marrying my one true love and life partner.
Kim: What is your favorite inspirational quote?
Rebecca: My favorite quote is by John Wesley:
Well, I told you that you’d love her! I am so blessed to have her in my life and to be able to learn from her. Rebecca’s courageous journey both personal and professional has inspired me to dream bigger and act on those dreams. How about you?
How has Rebecca’s story impacted you? Let me know by commenting.
Thank you for inspiring us, Rebecca. You truly ARE blissful!
PS. If you know of an extraordinary woman who inspires and challenges you, nominate her for FEW’s Extraordinary Woman of the Month by replying to this email!
Since founding Becky’s Blissful Bakery in 2007, Scarberry has earned a BSB/M degree from the University of Phoenix as well as numerous accolades. Most notably, she has received The Milwaukee Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 Award, The Business Journal’s Eureka Award, the Spirit of Service Award through the University of Phoenix Alumni Association and the Pewaukee Chamber Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Her gourmet caramels have been featured extensively in many publications including: The Hallmark Channel, Gluten Free Living, M Magazine, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 30 West Magazine, BizTimes Magazine, Simple & Delicious Magazine, Taste TV, Washington Examiner, The National Journal, IMBIBE Magazine, Fox 6 News and TMJ4’s The Morning Blend. She volunteers her time and supports several local nonprofits, including the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation. She speaks to businesses and organizations on marketing, entrepreneurship, overcoming hardship and navigating the business world. She is also a member of the Professional Business Advisory Committee for the University of Phoenix and was the Commencement Speaker for the University of Phoenix in 2013.
Scarberry is an avid supporter of the ‘Buy Local First’ movement and is very active in the Milwaukee business community. In the spirit of entrepreneurism, she created a “How to Start a Food Based Business” workshop at Waukesha County Technical College that aims to connect fledgling entrepreneurs with local food-industry resources. This characteristic innovation has led to successful partnerships with many organizations. The company also enjoys membership with The Specialty Food Association, National Confectioners Association, FAB Wisconsin, Something Special from Wisconsin, Wisconsinmade.com and Local First Milwaukee.
Despite the head rush of such rapid success, Scarberry still remembers where it all began: in her home kitchen, spatula in hand. She is grateful for and humbled by the success of Becky’s Blissful Bakery and considers it a great honor to be a part of people’s joyful occasions and celebrations. In her spare time, she enjoys burning off caramel calories by running, biking, and swimming. She lives in Brookfield, Wisconsin with her son, Paul and dog, Charlie.