Don’t give up Once in every life, There comes a time
We walk out all alone, And into the light…
Someone is with you. Like stars across the sky. We were born to shine
And in order to shine. You will have to win
– Andrea Bochelli
My journey started as a four year old, munching a bar of chocolate and wondering how it would be if the world was made of chocolate! It would be amazing, wouldn’t it, thought the child, little knowing that the seeds of the future were being sown.
After completion of my academics, a corporate life as a PR professional and communication specialist, was the obvious next step. Life was pretty satisfying and successful. After 17 years, destiny had something else in store for me.
I was given the pink slip on March 14th 2014. I was caught, totally, unawares. Every day seemed to be a struggle with no hope at the end of the tunnel. Darkness was intensifying with each passing moment. But my faith kept me going …. I took one day at a time.
The darkest hour is just before dawn. One year had gone by and I was tired….at the verge of breaking, when one of my friends called me. She asked me to join her baking class and a day-long chocolate-making workshop. I had always been passionate about cooking; especially, baking. My love for chocolates drove me to attend both the classes; not knowing that this was going to make my childhood dream come true.
The first time I made chocolates at home and posted the photos on Facebook, my friends were ecstatic. One of them even took it seriously, and persuaded me to make 50 boxes of chocolates. On 31st January 2015, my first order was delivered and ‘Madchocolates’ was born. Though the child in me couldn’t build a chocolaty world, she could at least create a world of chocolate.
My friend gave me encouraging feedback. I decided to take a professional course in chocolate-making to hone my skills. A madness for chocolates had always been inherent within me and with Madchocolates I started living my dream.
My first order went out on 31st January 2015. I also started making customised chocolates according to themes and delivering them myself. After an arduous two years, I got my first break when the management of Spencer’s believed in the uniqueness of my handmade products. I was elated when they offered me a space to open my first counter on April 16th 2017. It was a huge achievement. With no knowledge of retail, here I was, operating a counter, standing for nine long hours and coming back home to make the products. But the unconditional help and moral support that I received from everyone at Spencer’s, was special. My product and brand started getting recognition slowly.
Little did I know that another storm was brewing on the horizon. I lost my mother just 6 months after my first counter opened. I was devastated. On the other hand, within a year I had three counters in three shopping malls.
I wanted to quit but my brother’s wisdom brought me back on track. He reminded me that I was now responsible for the livelihood of many. I understood that I was here to make a difference, however small it might be. This gave me the purpose of my life.
Now, whenever a child comes up and says, “Aunty, your chocolate is the best”, I know that all my efforts have been worth it. Whenever I am at the Spencer’s counter, I am surrounded by children and I often play, dance and sing with them. It’s always an amazing experience which makes my journey sweeter!