Often times I’m asked, “How did Chocology come about? What made you want to work in chocolate?”
I’d love to say, I’ve dreamed of becoming a chocolatier since I was a babe. I’m afraid my story is a bit more meandering than that, though.
While I loved working in the kitchen with my mom as a girl, the thought of working professionally with chocolate never crossed my mind. I was a late bloomer and marched to the beat of a different drum than most. I was late by most standards to marriage; late to motherhood. But one thing that was always apparent was my desire to help people. To make them feel good about themselves and the world. My joy was to bring a different perspective to those around me and to make the world a little brighter; A little sparklier; A little more fun.
When I started out in the corporate world, I rarely had a traditional position. My desire to help people must have been evident. My employers always knew I genuinely cared and would do the job well. I was the first Senior Customer Service Representative at Sprint and when I moved into sales, was the number one sales representative in revenue retention. I like to think that my success was attributed to my desire to bring great customer service to the table every single day.
After I married and had my daughter my job became being a full time mom. It’s the best job I’ve ever had! My quirkiness and ability to see different perspectives led me to homeschool Madeline, our Chief Creative Director here at Chocology. Bringing joy and fun into her life was now my dream and vocation.
My fathers passing in 2007 had a deeply profound affect on the way I see life and pushed me to look at life from a different perspective yet again. I realized that I had something in me that wanted to be born into the world. But what?
As much as I’d loved the corporate world, it didn’t align with my vision of being a homeschooling mom and I wasn’t willing to give that up. So I began making lists of the things I loved doing, things that even if I never earned money from, were important to me and would give me a sense of making a difference in the world.
What surfaced for me over and over again were my love of family, travel and volunteer work. I was doing these things to some degree, of course, but my heart was yearning for more. Could I take these desires and maximize them to create the life that I was yearning for?
In 2011, I packed Madeline up in the car and we traveled cross-country to meet and interview people who inspired us. We met authors, philanthropist, and others who had made a positive impact on our lives. I still didn’t know what I wanted to do “when I grew up” but was open and willing for something to be revealed.
The road trips became a thing with Madeline and I. We took another one in 2013 to meet several of Madeline’s online friends across the country. And in 2014, it hit me. I love bringing joy to others. Madeline loves chocolate and so do I. Heck, doesn’t everyone? Let’s start a chocolate company!
The rest is history I guess you could say. We boarded a plane immediately for Belgium in early 2014, to go study chocolate from the greatest. It was a great education for Madeline and a great bonding period for both of us. I became a professional chocolatier through classes with Ecole Chocolat and then launched Chocology in September 2014.
Chocology is a blend of all of my past experiences. We value seeing things from different perspectives, promoting education, building strong and lasting relationships, extending kindness and giving back. This way of doing business was built upon the past accumulation of all of the things that were most important to me. And Madeline has been right by my side the entire way. It is my pleasure to serve people through chocolate. Chocolate has a way of bringing the best out in everyone.
When I think about why I love what I do so much, it has nothing to do with the end result. It’s the people we meet along the way, who all have a story. As Madeline often says, “Mama, we meet the best people!” And she is right. We do.
Dreams don’t come true in a day. Sometimes not in a week or even years. My wish is that my story will inspire others to stay true to themselves and keep digging to find that one thing that lights them up. I sure did and am excited to be on this chocolate covered adventure with YOU!
A few mantras I have adopted to help me along the way. Perhaps they’ll become yours as well.
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
I am paid in proportion to the amount of service I am to you.
When the student is ready, the teacher appears.
~ Linda Johnson, Managing Director of Chocology