Friday, February 6, 2015

From Sandwich to Success: Cupcake Wars Winner Heather Saffer Inspires Us to Never, Never Quit...

A while back a young friend messaged me through facebook... she said she had someone I needed to meet, someone I'd love, someone who was just as crazy, focused and driven as I was. (She nicely didn't belabor the age difference, for which I was grateful!) She spoke in glowing terms and I thought... Hmm.... I can work circles around this fresh-faced chickie! Well, I was wrong, but delightfully so because Heather is a younger version of me and I fell in love with her right away because she doesn't stop, doesn't quit, and when she gets knocked down??? 

She stands up! I've always said if we all tackled writing with the focus of a toddler determined to walk, we'd all see our dreams come true! Introducing the author of "The Dollop Book of Frosting", winner of "Cupcake Wars" and now a Rochester-based entrepreneur... Heather Saffer!




When I sat down this morning to write this post, I had no idea where to begin. Sometimes that’s the hardest part for me, figuring out where to begin.

So I went to my own blog and started reading some of my older posts, seeking inspiration. Does that sound conceited? Reading my own writing to inspire myself? I wrote a lot of my older posts during/after tough times and I thought that a reminder of how I felt during those times would be helpful.

Sometimes you forget where you’ve been. And sometimes you forget that you’ve gotten to where you were going.

When I began this business journey six years ago I had no idea where I was going. Nor did I have a clue where to begin.

I was 25 years old, working as a cashier at a car dealership, and living in a dinky apartment with my boyfriend of almost two years. I disliked my job, I disliked my home, and I just about disliked my boyfriend by then. But where to begin to find happiness eluded me.

All these years later, the part of my day that I remember most clearly, the part that made me decide that no, this could not be my life, was the part about the sandwiches.

Each morning I’d wake up and plod the three steps to the kitchen; pull out six slices of white bread, slather four of the slices with mayo, two of the slices with peanut butter, douse the peanut butter half with strawberry jam, the mayo half with lettuce and ham, and finish the dance by packing the three sandwiches into two cooler bags; purple for me, black for him.

Monday.

Tuesday.

Wednesday.

Thursday.

Friday.

And then back to Monday.

The monotony of it was like living in a gray box. Everywhere I turned it was just same, same, same. I felt like I was watching the movie of my life and I already knew the ending.

And that’s when I knew that there had to be more.
“How to make cupcakes”, I typed into Google. Never having baked before, I didn’t know where to begin.

Today I sit here, six years later, after opening and closing a very successful cupcake bakery, winning Cupcake Wars on Food Network, publishing a cookbook, and launching a line of all-natural gourmet frostings into over 90 retail stores!


Boy it’s been a long road of not knowing where to begin.

The first time I met Jim for coffee he asked me if I liked to be tickled. If any “businessman” you meet asks you if you like to be tickled, run. Just run. Fast and far. No, not towards him! Away! My intuition was shouting this in my ear as I swatted it away like a pesky fly. Never become so desperate for help that you ignore your heart.

Nine months after hiring Jim to help “grow” my first cupcake business, The Cupcake Dreamery, I found myself sitting in the police station across from Officer Michaels, flabbergasted as to how I didn’t notice that Jim had been stealing from me to pay for his rent, car repairs, daughter’s daycare, dinners and drinks, etc.; cleaning out my entire bank account, leaving me with $200 in cash and a mountain of unpaid bills. I closed my eyes to the realities surrounding me and when I opened them I was sending my “general manager” to state prison and trying to figure out how to start over.


I had finally found something I was good at doing – making cupcakes – and there was no way I was about to stop. I just had to figure out where to begin again.

Two years later people were waiting in a 45-minute line outside Dollop Gourmet Cupcake Creations, my two-year-old cupcake bakery, in the bitter February cold of Rochester, NY just to snag a set of my four Cupcake Wars winning cupcakes. The line began forming 30 minutes prior to opening and continued until we were completely sold out. This went on every day for well over a month after my episode of Cupcake Wars aired on Food Network.



Business was booming, people were flocking, and little girls were drawing me pictures to thank me for inspiring them. It was the stuff that dreams are made of!

Until it wasn’t anymore.

Three months later I was plotting my escape.

“How to write a cookbook”, I typed into Google. It was time to figure out where to begin again.

I signed a book deal for The Dollop Book of Frosting with Adams Media in October of that year and closed Dollop Gourmet Cupcake Creations at its height, at the end of that December.



Three weeks later I was standing behind my very own booth at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco trying to market my line of Dollop Gourmet Frosting to the largest retail buyers in the world.

“What’s the shelf-life of your products?”

Uhhhh…

“What’s the retail price?”

Uhhhh…

“Where are you manufacturing?”

Uhhhh…

It was apparent that I had begun without figuring out where to begin.

Over the next two years I fought tooth and nail to launch my line of gourmet frostings. I called 70 manufacturers, each of them telling me no. I quit every other day.

Deep down I believed this frosting line was going to happen but for two whole years, I could not figure out how to make it so. I knew I would make it to this day of seeing my products on grocery store shelves but at the same time I didn’t know if this day would ever come.

The Dollop Book of Frosting was released nationwide sending me on a blitz of media appearances and books signings. A published author! It felt incredible to see my face in the pages of People Magazine and on Oprah.com!

But the fact that Dollop Gourmet Frosting was only being shelved in my own kitchen cupboard was eating away at my spirit.



You’d think I would have quit by then. I thought I would have quit by then. I mean really quit, not the every other day “I quit!” that I shouted to the universe through sobs before picking myself back up to begin working again.

“You could go back to school”, friends suggested. “Look for a job using your psychology degree.” “Or maybe work in a bakery instead of owning one.”

Hearing these suggestions caused me rage. All I heard was, “Quit. Give up, Resort to an ordinary life.”

Last March my mom and I ran away to Florida for a week. It was a last minute trip to escape the brutal cold that was causing depression to settle in.

My mom’s friend Mary was driving, with my mom in the passenger seat and me in the back. The three of us were headed to the powdery sands of Siesta Key Beach when my phone dinged alerting me to a new email.

Subject: Manufacturing your frosting.

My heart raced as I tentatively opened the email from one of the manufacturing facilities I had contacted long ago.

“We believe we can make your frosting”, it read.

The sun was already shining that serendipitous day in Florida but from that point on it truly glowed.

And the rest as they say, is history. Oh sure, the uphill climb continued, as it still does today. Each and every day there’s something new I need to do that I’ve never done before. Each and every day I don’t know where to begin.



Looking back on the past few years I recall so many points in time when I never thought I would ever get here. And as I think about my aspirations and dreams for the future I sometimes think I’ll never get there, especially when I don’t know where to begin. But then I remind myself that if I could get here, I can get there. I don’t need to know where to begin; I just need to begin.

And to this day, I still won’t eat a sandwich.   


Ruthy here! Well now you all know why I had so much fun with Heather's story... because she doesn't quit and she doesn't always have to know where to begin.... (A TRUE PANTSER!!!!) ... she simply begins!

Come on inside, it's cupcake heaven in here and we've got a copy of Heather's gorgeous cookbook out of the prize vault! I'll toss your name in the very clean cat dish (I always clean it extra good for company!) and let's see what Heather's got to say for herself!








79 comments :

  1. Ruthy, WHO cleans the cat dish? I love Heather...I'm starting over, too, kind of and have no idea where to start. I guess I'll start with one footstep. Have an awesome day. I'll be right back for some of Helen's coffee

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  2. The coffee has arrived.

    Never, never quit. Great advice.

    I'm starting over, too. Tired.

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  3. Wow Heather! I am so impressed by your tenacity to continue pressing forward until you reached your goal. You go girl. I have a feeling whatever you set your mind to do you will be a success at.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

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  4. Goooooood morning, Seekerville!

    Isn't this a great story? Don't you just love it?

    So this is Heather, and I'm so delighted to have met this girl! Focused, hard-working, driven, ready to try anything... and then does it.

    Love it!!!!

    Helen, thank you for the coffee, you just made my morning!

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  5. Marianne, I love the one footstep thing. That's how everything begins, doesn't it?

    One small step for man...

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  6. If you quit you don't get a cupcake.

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  7. I love this story! It is an inspiration.

    Ruthy and the rest of you in places where it is cold stay warm! I will try to pack up some of this Florida sunshine and send it your way.

    When I get home next week. I am wanting to dive into my writing.

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  8. Welcome to Seekerville, Heather -- and congratulations on SO MANY THINGS! And thank you for sharing your journey with us today. You really hung in there when you couldn't see even a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

    So what is your NEXT goal? From the sounds of it (and knowing Ruthy) I know there has to be one!

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  9. Gooooood morning ladies!! Just got up... but where's the sun?! :) Thank you magnificent ladies for reading my story this morning! I have to go walk the Donald, make the decaf coffee (I'm caffeine-free over here!) and I'll be right back!

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  10. Ruthy, I just seriously LOVE you. And you do run circles around me... especially for the three hours you're movin' and groovin' before I'm even awake! Freakin' amazing!

    Marianne, one footstep is the best way to begin.

    Helen, starting over is tiring. And it's also exciting because it means that anything can happen!

    Glynna, in all honesty, some days I still feel like I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. My NEXT goal is to build the Dollop brand by getting into more retailer stores and hoping people love my products! It's super scary. I've also always dreamt of having my own food related TV show some day so I've been working on that and crossing my fingers! Big dreams. Big dreams. :)

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  11. Mary Preston, LOL! If you quit you don't get a cupcake!!!! Love it!!!

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  12. I can totally see Heather on the Food Network, can't you?

    First, she's funny, she's empathetic, she lets you "in" and that's so important for a show personality. With just enough snark.... dash... and hope that people don't want to punch her for being young and beautiful.

    I love people with guts like this... you can't teach this, it's intrinsic in some people to just downright learn from their mistakes and keep on keepin' on!

    That's what I love.

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  13. WELCOME, HEATHER!

    Gosh, if you did a bacon and egg cupcake I could have one for breakfast!!

    I still want one.

    I'm from Silver Creek, NY. Though I am now in AZ. Next trip home your shop is tops on my list!!!

    Congratulations.

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  14. Sometimes you forget where you’ve been. And sometimes you forget that you’ve gotten to where you were going.



    New quote of the day.

    You are a prime example of our theme this year.

    #NOLIMITS

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  15. Oops, my apologies, Heather, I just went in and fixed the awesome last line of the blog to correctly read "still won't eat a sandwich."

    Oh, silly Ruthy!!!

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  16. Okay, and how cool will this girl be as a romance HEROINE???????????

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  17. Ah Ruthy, you are so sweet! I hope you're a psychic too!! Gosh what a dream it would be to regularly be on Food Network... AND be a romance heroine!!!!

    Tina, mmm bacon & eggs! I'd much rather be in AZ than NY!! You have warmth! I'll try to get my frosting into stores down there! Hahaha no, the mayo was with the ham and the jam was with the peanut butter! Oh, I remember making those sandwiches so well!

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  18. Well, my response disappeared when I hit "publish" -- so let's try again!

    Heather -- I have no doubt that you'll reach those big dreams!! And, like Tina, I'm hoping your products reach Arizona store shelves in the very near future. I'll be looking for them!

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  19. Thank you, Glynna!

    I'd like to learn how everyone else begins something when they don't know where to begin! How do you successful ladies do it?!

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  20. HEATHER!

    This is just terrific.
    Congratulations and keep on panstering!

    I'll look for your frosting!

    How fun Ruthy. Thanks for inviting her today.

    I'm trying to be a planster. Really. To recover from my old panster ways and at least plan SOMEthing... This gives me hope that I might just need to go for it anyway.

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  21. All I can say is "wow..."

    I think it's great you looked back on your writing to figure out where to begin to share your story. I love your line: "Sometimes you forget where you’ve been. And sometimes you forget that you’ve gotten to where you were going."

    I agree with Ruthy. You'd be a kick-butt heroine the readers would love to root for to find that HEA (happily ever after). Your story makes me ponder if I'm too willing to "settle" for a "normal" life. Thanks for sharing with Seekerville.

    and it's a tad scary there's another Ruthy amuck in NY (a good thing, btw). watch out world - great things are coming!

    thanks again Heather (and Ruthy too for the invite!)
    Who knew gourmet frosting and writing had so much in common?

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  22. Heather, when Indie books started coming into their own a few years ago, I scoffed... and then God smacked me upside the head (it came through Tina, but God was sending the message) that He'd just opened a DOOR and a WINDOW... So I took a few books no one wanted and published them myself, and readers loved them...

    Which has increased my sales across the board and brought me more readers and more publishers. WHAT IF I CHICKENED OUT????

    What if I hung back and never hit "publish"????

    EEEEEEK!

    I always figure God's going to give me those head smacks (very Gibbs-like) and show me opportunity.... and he's also been great about teaching me patience. Knowing when to place your bets and when to "check" is huge.

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  23. I'm sure if I Googled "Perseverance" Heather's picture would pop right up.
    What an inspiring story. Thank you so much for sharing, Heather.
    I couldn't help but wonder when I read about your misery working at the car dealership, why cupcakes?
    Wishing you all the best! I'll be looking for your frosting at my grocery store.
    Thanks for inviting her, Ruthy!

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  24. Sounds to me like the stuff romance heroines are made of . . . :-)

    You stick to your goals, Heather, you'll make it! :-)

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  25. Welcome, Heather.

    Terrific story! Thanks for sharing. By the way, I LOVE Cupcake Wars, so that was so cool to read that you won it :)

    Please throw my name in the cat dish, Ruthy!

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  26. DebH, if you love your life, it's not settling! Even if it is "normal". "Normal" is totally awesome if you're happy!

    Ruthy, you mention patience and that's been a HUGE point of contention in my life. I have had NO patience. I feel like the past two years the Universe has said to me, "oh you're going to learn patience whether you like it or not!!!"

    I'm still waiting for my romance story!! Actually, it made have recently begun :))

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  27. I nodded throughout this post! I understand the helpful advice that only sounds like "quit, give up!" and wanting to quit every other day. It's so hard hearing no, over and over. I'm so happy you didn't give up AND you succeeded!!

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  28. May, wouldn't being a planster feel nice?!! :)

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  29. Jill, right?! It's really hard hearing no and not giving up. Even when I succeeded I still feel like I haven't "succeeded" because there are so many more things I want to do! I think you should have to let yourself be propelled forward, ya know?

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  30. Jill Kemerer, that's so true! There was a time when I stopped talking to my kids about my writing because I figured they must be feeling so sorry for me!!! After all, isn't there a reason to have the door shut repeatedly?

    And then one day my son asked why I wasn't mentioning it and I explained that I didn't want to be a Debbie-downer, that it had to disappoint them to hear me telling my tales of No! No! No!...

    And he said, "The only think that would disappoint me is if you quit."

    It wasn't long after that we got that first "call" from Love Inspired, and there have been dozens to follow, but I will always hold that quiet vote of confidence in my heart.

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  31. What a great story. We need to be reminded that things seldom just 'come'. They need to be sought out and fought out and thought out. What a great post. I'm inspired and on a Friday morning with tedious edits ahead of me I need that inspiration. I love how you said that you had to go back to read your own writing to inspire yourself. Sometimes we need to go back to the beginning to find that elusive spark that sent us on our journeys to start with in so many areas of our lives - marriage, writing, kids, faith. Loved meeting you, Heather. I hope and pray for continued success and in all that, moments of peace and fulfillment with more than a 'dollop' of fun.

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  32. Heather, welcome to Seekerville! I loved your inspiring post even more than I love cupcakes! I have a daughter Heather and she's starting over too. You've encouraged me for her journey. No idea where to start. Just start. Love the simplicity of it. Thank you!

    Siesta Key is my favorite beach! Love the cool sugary sand that never burns the feet.

    Will be looking for Dollop frosting. Go you!

    Janet

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  33. Ruth, I love your son and I don't even know him!

    Carolyne, yes, sometimes when things feel like they aren't working out you can drown in the thoughts that you haven't accomplished anything. That's one of the great things about writing - I can always go back and read for that reality check of how far I've come. I pray you have an easy breezy day of edits! :)

    Janet, thank you! Us Heathers, we must have tenacity! Your daughter is going to do awesome at whatever she chooses. I just know it!

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  34. Heather,

    Thanks for sharing your inspiring story to never give up.

    I needed this today.

    Hope you all have a great weekend!

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  35. Hi, Heather! Your perseverance is inspiring. I love that you don't let doubts, disappointments and discouragement win the battle. You might get knocked down, but you get back up ready to fight. You're proof that if we're willing to work very, very hard and never give up, our dreams can come true--and even have a Dollop of frosting on top.

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  36. Wow!! What inspiration for a Friday! Go, Heather! AND thanks so much for sharing! (Yes. I'm all about the exclamation points this morning.)

    Never. Ever. Give Up. Said it on my own blog many, many times. Perseverance, tenacity, and faith should be our battle cry.

    PS Ruthy, I just finished Loving the Lawman. *sigh* (That is... *happy sigh*) :)

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  37. What an inspiring story, Heather! Thanks so much for joining us and for sharing.

    How exciting to see your frosting on the shelf! I can't wait to try it! (Will go looking now to see about buying some.)

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  38. Mary Preston, I think we all need to put that on a note card and tape it to the computer monitor. :)

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  39. Heather, thanks for cheering my Heather on! Know you're right. God's got her back.

    Janet

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  40. Well, I was going to say I was curious what happened to the boyfriend. LOL But then I kept reading and saw that there may be a new romance on the horizon. Yes, I'm a romance writer and my brain had to go there. :)

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  41. Heather, this post is perfect timing. Totally, completely, absolutely, no-doubt-about-it perfect timing. I'm saving this post to read when the 'every other day I quit' hits ... until the 'I quit' quits.

    You have impressive tenacity and determination. I have a feeling you will be successful at whatever you decide you want to do :-)

    Thanks for the you-can-do-it!

    Nancy C

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  42. Heather said, "So I went to my own blog and started reading some of my older posts, seeking inspiration."

    Who else to give YOU inspiration and jumpstart the creative juices for something fresh and new? Something that was just a germ of an idea the first time around, but now you can flesh out. Brilliant strategy :)

    Welcome to Seekerville, Heather!

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  43. Misssy, HAHAHA yeah, that bf didn't last much longer! The romance dept has been well... not much to write about for awhile! But yes, I do actually have an incredibly romantic story that has recently begun... if it leads to a happy ending it would make quite the book! :)

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  44. Cynthia Herron!!!!! Didn't you just love it?????

    Oh, I can just hug Seth and Gianna for all they had to deal with. And those Italian sisters!!!!!

    I love them so much!!! They remind me of so many amazing and snarky but loving Italian matriarchs of my youth!

    (and maybe a few I know now who aren't so youthful, LOL! No one here knows who I'm talkin' 'bout, for sure.)

    Thank you!!!!!

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  45. Nancy, you CAN do it! Fake quit all you want! Sometimes it just feeeeels good :)

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  46. Pam, thank you! I'm so very honored and humbled to be here in Seekerville!

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  47. Well, now I WON'T tell Heather that both of my younger sons are single.

    They will probably appreciate me not setting them up, but a mother's got to do what a mother's got to do.

    One was supposed to marry Mary's youngest daughter but now she's gone and got herself a fiance.

    (((sighs....)))

    Heather, I think a natural next step would be a cookbook to go with the frosting book.

    And then I'd look at doing a "blog" romance book, using your blog as a model but making it fiction and having the blogger find romance in the end, but more importantly, find HERSELF in the end.... and realize that kissing a frog or two is just part of life.

    And while I was doing that, I'd be exploring ways to promote Dollop frosting and appeal to the naturalness of the product and the benefits of pronounceable ingredients.

    Natural goodness.

    Old fashioned integrity.

    Old-time taste.

    New-fangled deliciousness.

    Really, there is so much potential here so you have to keep that plate spinning and build sales... but instead of sleeping you should be writing a book on the side.

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  48. Ruth -

    I LOVE your ideas!! Want to help me start my romance blog?! :)))) Hahaha! I kid! (I don't really kid). :) How does one write a romance blog book anyway though?!

    A cookbook... like cooking?! With food?! I don't cook, dear Ruth! I mean, I can make a mean microwaved steamed broccoli but that about covers my skills. If it's not sweet, I don't know what to do with it!

    One thing I'm actually pretty bad at is selling my products. Directly promoting my products is soooo uncomfortable for me. And I know I need to if I want to grow my business and make any money.

    Your sons are single... tell me more?! ;)

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  49. Heather
    I think Ruthy needs to write the book that has you as the inspiration behind her next heroine. then she can match-make her sons too with no "real world" repercussions.

    I'm not very good at selling myself or my work either - but I'm sure you'll get the hang of it fairly quickly.

    Sending prayers of over-the-top success for you.

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  50. Heather, I LOVED this post. Your just-begin-again attitude is absolutely inspirational. It's so easy to give up when things don't go our way. But your story shows the best option is to find another way forward. Or another direction altogether. Not giving up. Not accepting less.

    I'm ready to pump iron after reading your post. ;)

    Thanks for sharing here today!

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  51. Wow, Heather! What a journey.....and you've only just begun. You are a model for Seekerville's NO LIMITS slogan of the year.

    What do you believe gives you this "never give up" attitude?

    Thank you for sharing your encouraging message!

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  52. Truly inspiring, Heather! We're so glad Ruthy invited you to Seekerville today! We never really know where our dreams will lead, but we'll never find out if we stop dreaming!

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  53. Aw, you're wowing the people here, kid!!!!

    No, not a cookbook, a partner book to complement the current one. Cakes. Treats. Cupcakes. Desserts. I mean, you have to look at the long road, the big picture:

    Food Network means diversity. Just like I had to learn how to write short novellas and long books and everything in between, then for you, you need to be able to W-O-W a variety of things to make your dream come true. Life and our butts can only handle so much frosting!!!!

    BUT THERE'S SO MUCH MORE TO BEING HOT IN THE KITCHEN!!!!

    Your sass is such a gift, personality to the max, now we need the skill level to match it, and how can we watch you on the Food Network if you can't find your way around a kitchen, darling????

    But here's an idea for a hook: A singles ad: Single female has been lookin' for love in all the wrong places, makes great cake and frostings, and jokes about her relationship status... Cupcakes named after real and imaginary ex-boyfriends... "The Studmuffin" "The Executive Sweet".... I'm thinking outside the box and that's what I do when I plan a book or how to raise children without them knowing I'm running the show. :)

    So the romance blog is two-pronged: A real BLOG that you feed several times a week AND you work on writing a book about a blogger who finds herself.

    Now we've got two prongs working while you're practicing your cooking.

    Paula Deen started in her kitchen with her boys running deliveries.

    Ree Drummond started in her kitchen taking pictures of hot cowboys and maneuvering her mother's recipes...

    Think girl-next-door small and dream BIG!!!

    and when all the tumblers fall into place, you're ready!

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  54. Heather, thanks for sharing your story. I'm a huge planner, and the thought of doing almost anything without a plan is terrifying, but you've shown that sometimes you just need to DO IT. Having gumption helps, too :)

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  55. Heather, you had me at cupcake. I love good cupcakes.

    Congrats on all your success. It's an amazing story. I will have to look for your frosting.

    (And, of course, there's always that note about Ruthy to remind me that I didn't wake up this morning to write.)

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  56. Hey Heather, thanks for sharing your inspiring story. You remind me why America is still the greatest country in the world! Go Cupcakes - Go USA!

    Do you have a recipe for low sugar or or no sugar cupcakes? Just wondering...

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  57. I love that idea, Heather. Begin whether you know where or not. just do it. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  58. I'm overwhelmed with all the love and ideas here! Madness!! In the best way possible :)

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  59. What a wonderful story! And I like the honesty - people fail and start over and make mistakes and start over and learn and start over. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

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  60. DebH, I agree!

    Jeanne, let us know how the iron pumping goes!!

    Sherida, I've tried to figure that out. Honesty, I always just feel so compelled to keep going. Like something is pushing me forward. I have such large goals and dreams but it feels like there's something larger than me that pushes me. Sounds so spiritual, I know!! But it is!! I feel like I'm meant to do something big and make a difference and not for ME but for others. I hope I don't just sound coo coo here! :)

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  61. Ruth, your ideas have got my mind a spinnin'! Don't hit me if you find me messaging you for follow up thoughts after today!

    Stephanie! I've learned that plans have a way of not turning out as planned. So sometimes you just need to throw a box of spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks ;)

    Walt! Let me know how ya like that frosting!

    Mark... so sad to tell you that I'm a major sugaraholic and so I don't. Maybe someday! I've had a lot of requests.

    LoRee and Sherri - Thank you for your words! Your encouragement encourages me to keep trekking :)

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  62. You know, when we're brainstorming plots I never grab a plot and run with it....

    But it feeds a seed that grows and becomes a solid novel by the time my mind has worked it around.

    And that's the fun we had here! Throwing ideas out, thrashing, raking, winnowing and then we bale when the hay's just right.

    Forgive the hay analogy but I've been writin' cowboys today! :)

    I love me some cowboys!!!!!

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  63. Heather, not coo coo at all. Being "pushed" to do something big, make a difference, and for others is all good.....that elusive motivation...the push onward...strong determination that your path is the intended one, I understand.

    Thanks again....and I'm sending you good thoughts as you find new goals.

    And now I'm hungry for cupcakes! :)

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  64. Heather's story is very inspirational and tells us all that we should follow our dreams and not give up. I will try to take that to heart. Please enter me into the drawing.

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  65. Hi Heather:

    Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

    Can I put you down for saying, “The ordinary life is not worth living, either”.

    I think the above is a corollary of this statement from your post:

    “Hearing these suggestions caused me rage. All I heard was, ‘Quit. Give up, Resort to an ordinary life.’”

    I can just ‘see’ a philosophic series of cupcakes with famous sayings for different philosophers on the paper cup. Great for smart parties and faculty meetings. Meaningful cupcakes.

    If you find time to read romances, I think you’d love the French Twist series from Sandra Byrd. (1) “Let Them Eat Cake”, (2) “Bon Appetit”, (3) “Piece de Resistance”.

    This is the story of a 25 year old heroine wanting to use her French degree by going to France and attending a famous Pastry School. The reader gets to attend all the classes for the whole degree program. Amazing. This makes rocket science look easy!

    She is single, lets her boyfriend go, changes careers, then drops everything to follow her dreams by going to Paris to become a pastry chef. Great writing and totally fascinating. And I’m just non-baking man. I think you’d love it!

    Vince

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  66. Hi Heather, Welcome to Seekerville and the minute I read this I knew Ruthy was thinking of you as a heroine. Did she find you to do research for her next book? LOL

    Or she was looking for cupcakes. chuckle.

    Glad you two whiz kids hooked up. sounds like you are having a great party. Thanks for sharing your story here in Seekerville. It is always great to be encouraged.

    Have fun today.

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  67. Hi Vince! Yes, you can put me down for that saying. :)

    You've taught me a thing or two here and you've absolutely sold me on reading the French Twist series! I thank you!

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  68. Sandra - If Ruthy makes me a heroine in her next book, you best believe I'll be making her cupcakes! And I rarely make cupcakes anymore!

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  69. Heather, you're an inspiration! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

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  70. Heather, you're an inspiration! And, yes, you remind me of our Ruthy!

    Congrats on your success. Love that you just start...and then you succeed! Amazing.

    You've got determination and courage.

    May I sample a cupcake?

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  71. Heather, what a wonderful, inspiring story of your success! Each point of doubt became a point of no return.

    I love it!

    I can truly see why Ruthy loves you and invited you to inspire us in Seekerville. You are a heroine of the top water!!

    Is your frosting marketed out West? I'll have to look closer at my grocery store.

    Thanks so much for sharing today. You are truly an inspiration!!

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  72. Oh my! What Tina said...Heather is the embodiment of #NOLIMITS

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  73. Heather, thank you for your inspiring story. Six years is a long time, and it's always wonderful to hear success stories that center around perseverance. Not to mention stories where you succeed after finding something you love to do.

    And I loved the earlier comment that those who quit, don't get a cupcake.

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  74. Heather, what an amazing life of determination and persistence you've led. You are an inspiration to all of us! Thanks for sharing a part of your journey!

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  75. Thank you all again so much for reading my story and joining the conversation! I am so honored and humbled to be able to inspire you.

    And Ruthy! Gosh, thank you so much for inviting me to Seekerville! What an amazing time with an incredible group of people!!! Love!!

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  76. Hello... That is such a great story Heather! I'd love to be in the draw for your beautiful book :) Keep ON ! !

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  77. This made me laugh and cry. What an inspiring story of never giving up -- always pursue our dream. Create a new dream if we need to. Oh, and love your name. My youngest is a Heather.

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