Let me start by saying, thank you for hearing my story. It’s quite a dream, so I hope you can bear with me.
I’d like to start by saying, I never thought I would own my own business. I didn’t go to school for Business, and I really had no idea what I was getting into. I went from being a CASAC, QHP to adolescents, to being a Homeschooling, Stay At home, Mom.
It wasn’t until my husband had a near death experience that my world turned upside down. Without getting too much into that story, the important note here is, it was the push we needed to rethink Life.
So, we bought a 45 foot, 12 bunk, entertainer coach from a NonProfit foundation (Just like the ones the musicians and movie stars use). We spent the next 6 months converting it into a self-sufficient off grid living space, while volunteering at the non profit foundation. We had no idea what we were doing, what we wanted next, but knew there was a calling. So we just went with the flow.
I never thought the grand adventure set before us would lead into this “wild dream”. As we traveled across our beautiful country, it became clear to me that I had a passion to teach and learn more on the benefits of a natural, holistic, whole body focused life.
It almost seemed as if everything was being laid out before me. As if i were able to see for the first time. Or at least, the first time in a long time.
After spending almost 7 months on the road we decided to head back to NY. We spent another 4 months or so at the non profit foundation, we had bought the coach from.
This time we were allowed to operate more freely. We created a beautiful community garden, from scratch. I established a relationship with the University of Cornell’s Gleaning Program. Which enabled us to give away organic produce every week to the community. I also established a Raw Milk program where i was given 30 gallons of free raw milk every week to give away to the community. We didn’t stop there. We took it a step further and cooked a meal as well, every Tuesday. We used our unique Santa Maria Grill Pit, that we would have never known about had it not been for traveling across the country.
In fact, as soon as this nifty grill fell into our laps, we began feeding people out of our own pockets. It was beautiful and amazing to see not only the gratitude of those fed, but the contagious fire it created for others to generously support this mission.
We have been handed pounds of redwood to cook with, cases of organic chicken to feed, and fresh produce to share. So, naturally we wanted to continue that fire when we returned to the community center. At the time I was learning to make homemade soap. The community encouraged me to sell my homemade soaps. So I started an Etsy shop.
When winter rolled around we headed back west for some more lessons on what was to unfold next. While there, we rescued our forever puppies. This move unfortunately closed the door to ever returning to the non profit again, the owner isn’t a fan of dogs. But we have no regrets.
This closed door only sparked a fire to open another. I had my AHA moment! I knew then I wanted to help, encourage, and educate our community on how you could not only live whole body focused, but also be self sufficient. Our Journey back west the 2nd time solidified this dream in me. I was taking Herbalism courses, spending time one on one with my ayurvedic teacher, and seeing first hand the need. The call to feed the need was clear. Yet the “Big picture” was still unfolding before me.
At this point I formed my LLC, Awakening Roots. I started with selling organic nail polish, and my homemade soaps. This didn’t satisfy and didn’t seem in line with what I really wanted. I wondered what was to set me apart from all the other homemade soap makers. So, I revamped my store and started creating a truly unique product incorporating what I love plants, and traveling.
I began sustainably foraging and sourcing all natural ingredients that I would then infuse into olive oil. This infused oil creates a truly unique soap bar. Not only is it traditional, non toxic, and smells great. But it also promotes a sense of healing, and comfort. It comes with a quirky story from across our beautiful county.
Soap making isn’t the focus of Awakening Roots. I make a plethora of personal care products, and promote awareness of the benefits of alternative healing through a whole body focus. I make every personal care product my family uses. From toothpaste to laundry detergent.
Yet, the dream is just so much bigger. The call to help is super evident.
Which is why I registered the business as a government entity, to enable us to help with Disaster Relief Aid work. I also applied for my disadvantaged women owned certification. I am still awaiting the results.
Since then I have also incorporated new websites that I plan to DBA under Awakening Roots.
BigBusThatsUs.com & BigBusBBQ.com
Big Bus BBQ is our micro catering company. Our current model is a 1:1 donation on meals. I look forward to this venture taking off. We’re not looking to be a big catering company but rather a more intimate experience. Serving good food, good energy, and forming connections.
Big Bus That’s Us to me is truly a “Living Fire Adventure”.
I hope Living Fire can one day be the non profit foundation I dream of.
Living Fire to me means going through the trenches, and coming out the other side.
Living Fire means being ALIVE, being Spirit Fire, Going and Doing!
Bare with me, I’m not done. Know that you know a small part of my back story, lets briefly discuss the wild vision!
I want to see Living Fire have a home base center.
A safe place where those in need can come learn, develop new skills, and grow in their healing.
Experiencing a full life, with a whole body focus, perhaps for the first time ever. Kind of like a retreat center.
From this center, I hope to have a fleet of motor coaches.
All with different functions. One, a full on Mobile Commercial Kitchen. Another, a Bunkhouse. Another for Showers and restrooms. One more for Storage of the foods being grown at the center, etc.
These Mobile Vessels are key to teaching others to live self-sufficiently while traveling across the country. Most importantly it becomes a “Mobile Aid Convoy”,
If a Disaster happens we can mobilize and help. In the meantime, ongoing seasonal trips across the country teach others how to forage, how to connect, how to give and how to serve our community.
One of my favorite experiences was in the Willamette Forest.
We were cooking on our unique grill when a young man walked through our campsite. He was in his early 20s. We offered him ribs as they had just got done cooking. He gladly took 2, one for each hand and went on his way. Not too long after he returned to thank us. He told us he had not had store bought protein in several years. He states he had run away from his foster home when he was 16 and has been living in the woods since and has been surviving and alone. We sat with him, enjoyed more food and invited him back the next day. He spent time teaching my son a few fishing tips, and then took us all on a beautiful hike.
My point in sharing that snippet is for you to see how great the need it.
Would you have imagined a need could be met in the forest. I certainly didn’t.
We are living in an age where people are hurting, alone, and hungry.
The amount of homeless, tent life, car life, people I have seen through our travels is tragic.
I can’t change all of this.
But I can create an awareness that we can,
Do more, Be more. Love more, Give more.
And overall Connect and Help each other.
I realize this is a big dream.
One I believe was laid out before me.
I can see how much I have grown and changed through this experience.
I look forward to having a team I can share this calling with.
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