This is an essay submission for the essay contest here at Mom Biz Coach. Accepting submissions until Friday, Sept 2.
Is this really my life? I ask myself this question on a near daily basis. I never thought I would
get to live out my two greatest dreams in life–having children and a fulfilling career running my
own business…and have them both on my own terms.
Who would have thunk it? Just a few years ago I was working in senior management for a well known
apparel design and manufacturing company in New York City. I managed a staff
responsible for producing thousands of designs a year and traveled around the world for
meetings. Others thought my job was glamorous, but I was exhausted and unfulfilled.
I had always dreamt of a career in food. Cooking had been my lifelong passion, but after
working for more than a decade in the fashion industry I dreaded the thought of starting all over
I was thirty eight, single, and didn’t have kids so I figured it was now or never. And so I took a
leap of faith and left fashion behind to enroll in culinary school.
I knew I had made the right decision when I found gutting fish more interesting than handling
fabrics, but once school ended reality hit as I began my search for work as a budding chef. You
pay what an hour? How was I to go from my six figure salary to just north of minimum wage in
My love of cooking and the fear of failure motivated me. I worked as a freelance chef for
several New York City catering companies to learn the business, and it wasn’t long before I was
cooking for Bill Clinton, the Montel Williams show, and some of the New York’s most prestigious
companies and institutions.
After three years of freelancing I started my company, Sweet Basil Catering llc. The first year
was tough. I started with small parties–mainly for friends, but by the second year my company
had gained serious momentum.
My second year of business was also exciting in an even bigger (literally) way. After ditching
my boyfriend, who was less than supportive of my new career, I took yet another leap of faith
and decided to have a baby on my own via invitro fertilization. When my doctor announced I
was pregnant with twins I was both excited and terrified. How was I going to juggle two
newborns and a new business? Fear, as it turned out, was a great motivator. With the help of a
dedicated staff I persevered through nausea and bed rest and continued to build my client list.
Shortly after my twins were born my company was awarded the 2010 Brides Choice Award by
Martha Stewart Weddings and Wedding Wire. We also landed numerous corporate clients like
Sony Corporation, Trowe Price, Thomson Reuters, Lincoln Center, Prevention Magazine, and
the United Nations.
I’m still a distance from accomplishing all of my career goals, but I’ve created my own business
doing something I love–which enables me to spend time with those I love. That’s my idea of
Sweet Basil Catering www.sweetbasilcatering.com