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
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.
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: 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.
Here is more of Rebecca!