“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
Crisis happened. The initial gestation period for Tonka Beans Studio was initiated during a three day period in November of 2016. It was on a Monday when I was in my first major car accident. While stopped behind a stop sign, I was rear-ended by a box truck, totaling my car and wrecking my back and neck. The next day was election day. It felt like the ground beneath me was slipping away as I watched in total disbelief the outcome of the presidential election. On Wednesday, things in my personal relationship came to a head and I broke up with my boyfriend, who was also my business partner, thus, pushing myself out of a job. I had no car, my body ached, had a killer headache for days, and was saying goodbye to the organic farm I helped build from the ground up, but somehow, I felt.....liberated!? I had spent the previous year feeling beaten down and basically unhappy. It's not fair to expect others to change, you can only change yourself. After deciding to no longer stay in a relationship that was not supportive of who I was as a person, I said goodbye to everything I helped build and nurture and stepped back into financial uncertainty. Outside forces were beyond my control and instead of feeling anger or regret, I tuned into my own heart and took a leap of faith to become the captain of my own ship once again. Slowly, everything began to fall into place. My life did a 180.
There were two huge safety nets that I had unknowingly woven for myself. My connections with Winter Green Farm, my previous employer, were still strong and they were willing to hire me back on full time. I could count on a regular paycheck at least. Yet there was something else that padded my fall. While managing the farm that I had helped get up and running, I was simultaneously jumping through all the hoops for a NEDCO small business grant which was intended to build another greenhouse. After the breakup, I had no need for a greenhouse yet still had access to future small business funds that would be coming my way once my IDA was complete. The gears started to turn....
In time, the idea of investing in my own creative abilities began to take shape. It had been over a decade since I had worked on any artistic pursuits in a serious way. The time was ripe to revisit the art world again, and so, Tonka Beans Studio was born.