It’s been over two years that I’ve been working diligently with NH Vocational Rehab and taking their business course with success coach, Dr. Deborah Osgood, who has been an enormous support.
There have been so many trials and tribulations during this journey. It took me six months of therapy to work on feeling worthy enough to even begin.
Then when I thought I was close to being ready, I learned about the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP’s). It took me another chunk of time to reformulate my lotion recipes to include all-natural preservatives so I could offer a safer product and avoid bacteria, yeast, mold, etc., I also changed the packaging from jars to pump bottles, because constantly putting our fingers into a jar of product can increase chances of bacteria, especially if water gets into it.
Not only did I need to reformulate recipes and packaging; but, I had to change my business direction as well. I originally wanted to include tea blends, herbal extracts, and salves; but according to FDA, those fall under the Supplement category, and my herbal chest rub under the Drug category, which has very rigid rules and regulations. Firstly, I would need a commercial kitchen and that just isn’t plausible presently. This discouraged me for a while and I struggled with depression, but I redirected myself to work under the Cosmetics and Aromatherapy categories which are a tiny bit more lenient, and I am able to make them from home. (I ranted a bit more in my post, GMPs, FDA, and reformulating)
All the while I was still studying herbalism and completed four herbal apprenticeships with Blackbird’s Daughter Botanicals, to build on the foundation I learned at Misty Meadows Herbal Center. I also took some online classes on Cosmetic formulation and preservatives.
Last month, I finally finished the course at VR and submitted my business proposal. I was congratulated and commended on a job well done. I felt such a sense of accomplishment, having persevered through my anxiety, fear, depression, family problems, health issues, etc.,
There were times I felt stupid for taking so long, and times I wanted to just give up, wondering if I was even capable.
Last week I received the email saying that NHVR has approved my proposal and they will begin buying supplies needed for me to launch my business over the next 3-4 weeks!!!
Tears of joy and relief were wept.
I signed the contract saying that I have ‘cashed in’ my Social Security ticket to work and I will submit profit/loss reports monthly.
If you would’ve asked a former me, I would have never thought I’d be here.
Sometimes I held a vague vision or a daydream of where I wanted to be.
Now I am living the daydream!
I have moved from being severely disabled, broken and unable, to an able person, functioning, and moving forward, still struggling with disabilities but also still doing the work and healing.
Disabled but not broken.
I am excited and I am terrified, but no matter what happens from here, I am proud to have made it this far.