This past Saturday morning, I delivered the keynote address and a cosmetics regulatory presentation and Q&A at the Lone Star Soap & Toiletries Conference in Austin, Tx. While there, I met Joan Biggs and her daughter Chris King, owner of Pampered Sisters (FaceBook) in Spring, Tx. Just before I delivered my keynote, Joan, pictured here with Chris, shared an amazing true story of faith, tenacity and triumph over adversity.
Joan was the oldest of five daughters being raised by a single mother in Baltmore, Md. When it was time to go to school one morning, Joan's mom, Jewel Lucas, announced that the only things they had to eat were maple syrup and bread. When Joan and her sisters asked what they would eat for dinner that night, their mother assured them that she had faith, and that they should have faith, and that they should not worry about where their next meal would come from.
Joan and her sisters walked to school that day with syrup sandwiches in their lunch bags. Meanwhile, their mother scrounged up .50¢ and set out for a nearby dairy to see if she could find anything to feed her daughters. When she got there, she overhead a few men whining about how they didn't have anything good to eat.
Making The Most Of Her Talents And Gifts
Jewel approached the men, told them she was a good cook, and offered to prepare their meals for the day. While the men had no food, they apparently had money to buy some, so they gave Jewel money so she could purchase food and prepare their meals for the day.
Backing It Up With Hard Work
Jewel took the money to the local A&P and loaded up on meats and vegetables. When she approached the register, the store manager asked her how she was able to buy so much food. She told him about her new job assignment. Not wanting to miss out, he gave Jewel some more money so she could purchase additional food and make enough for him. Jewel took her groceries home and started cooking.
When Joan returned home from school and saw a bunch of strangers wandering around in her yard, she was concerned that Jewel, who had a heart condition, might have taken ill. She ran through the front door to check on her mom, but instead of dealing with a health emergency, Jewel was cooking food. A lot of food. Joan was greeted by her mother's frantic instructions to put her books away and start stirring a massive pot of collard greens. Joan did as she was told.
That night, Jewel and her daughters sat down to the most amazing meal ever. Not only that, they had money left over to pay some of their bills. The next day, the same people returned to enjoy Jewel's amazing home-cooked food, and this time, they brought their friends.
A Business Is Born
Word began to spread throughout the community that if you were hungry, you could stop by Jewel's house and get a delicious home-cooked meal at a great price. From that day on, there was always a line outside Jewel's front door. She and her daughters couldn't produce meals fast enough to satisfy the demand.
Miss Jewel and her daughters were in business.
Jewel did everything right. She had nothing, yet she didn't sit around moaning about it. She was proactive. She took the bull by the horns. She tooted her own horn. She believed in her talents. She was not afraid of hard work. She got others to help her.
Jewel's abundance mentality produced abundance. How amazing is that??!
Life, Liberty And The Pursuit Of Happiness
Jewel is an example of the kind of grit and determination that this country stands for. When a woman with .50¢ at 7:00 in the morning has enough money to feed five children and pay her bills by 7:00 in the evening, something extraordinary has happened, don't you think?
It's up to us to make sure that our Congressional representatives know about Jewel and her daughters, and about her granddaughter who is just now starting her own cosmetics and candle business. Like her grandmother before her, she should be allowed to put her talents and gifts to work to care for her family, contribute to her community and leave a legacy for her children.
Jewel's dedication should not die with this generation. It must be allowed to live on to inspire others, starting with you.
Question: Who does Jewel remind you of? Yourself? Your mom? What does Jewel's story make you think of? Your life? Your liberty? Your ability to own and manage a business using your talent, guts and common sense?