Why Did I Start My Own Line of Seasonings?

Don’t worry! I’m not considered “cool enough†to be affiliated with anyone or anything. So any links you find here Bestie are just to help you out! You’ll also enjoy zero ads and popups as you scroll! Course, I’d love for you to support my small business and check out my custom blended, low sodium seasonings to spice up any of your meals and snacks!

It wasn’t like I woke up one morning with this great epiphany that the world needed my seasonings! I wish it were so, but really it was more a gradual realization that happened over the course of the last 3 years.

For the past decade, I’ve had a great job as a data analyst working for major corporations in the energy sector. I really enjoy my day job, or as I like to refer to it as my “Big Girl Job”.

I thrive on the competitive spirit and challenging myself outside of my comfort zone!

I’ve always admired women who looked athletic. I myself was a “string bean”. I was never talented in sports, but I had still tried! In Junior High and High School I tried out for cheerleading, basketball, and even attempted softball for a short while. I just wasn’t athletically talented in any way. It was somewhat embarrassing looking back, honestly. But one thing I was good at was being in the marching band and playing the French horn and piano.

High School, Senior Year (undisclosed date haha)

In later years as an adult, I came across a couple friends who were doing bodybuilding competitions. Not the big girls you see on stage that rival men with their muscles, but a more feminine division called Figure. I was absolutely intrigued. Once I competed in my first show in 2015, I was hooked!

NPC Texas State Championships 2015 | FIrst Place Novice FIgure | First Place Open Figure

Over the last 7 years since, I’ve been competing in shows about 1 or 2 a year for fun. My friends and co-workers witness me shedding a few pounds and my muscles showing up more defined and my face slimming as I near a competition date. And even random strangers will make comments if they see me walking around the grocery store or pumping my gas. Their next questions often revolve around how to eat healthier and find ways to eat healthy choices without it being boring broccoli, chicken, and rice all the time.

It’s true, there’s a stereotype that all bodybuilders eat is chicken and rice…and while that is the case for a few misguided souls, there are more options out there…

and it doesn’t have to always be bland and boring, devoid of any salted seasonings.

I did a competition in the spring of 2019 in Ohio. It was the Arnold Sports Festival, which is a huge week long event with thousands of athletes in different sporting events. In addition to bodybuilding, they have all other kinds of sporting events for many ages. I was surprised to see fencing, power lifting, cross fit, and young girls doing gymnastics. I met a few of the girls who were competing in the gymnastics and was in awe of how much they admired and looked up to me. I never saw myself as anyone special. I wasn’t doing the competitions to gain followers or likes, or become famous. I enjoyed the rewarding feeling of waking up the morning of the competition knowing that with whatever happened during judging, I brought the best version of myself to the stage.

It struck my heart strings so strongly that these young girls admired me, wanted their pictures taken with me, and looked up to me as someone they’d like to aspire to be like one day.

Arnold Sports Festival | March 2019 | Columbus, Ohio
Miss Ellasyn is an awesome little gymnast & asked for my photo! We are still in touch today!

At the same time, I was beginning my blog to share what I do to flavor my own meals to keep from being bored after 7 years. In the summer of 2019 and we were looking for fun kids stuff for my bonus kids to do while they were with us for the summer.

I was shocked to see that outside of sports camps, there really isn’t much out there that offers

female empowerment for Hailey!

I grew up doing Girl Scout camps every summer of my childhood. I learned so much about leadership, teamwork, confidence, and other social skills that I really think helped shape me into the woman I am today. But often times with organizations like Girl Scouts, to truly benefit from it you need to be a member year-round.

I am still a big supporter of the
next generations of Girl Scouts!

I was thinking there needed to be a girl’s camp here in West Texas that would help offer those same skills and qualities needed to show these girls that they have the power to grow up to become more than desiring to be Instagram Models, or You-Tube stars. I’ve been inspired by so many strong and successful women I’ve had the chance to meet over the years, I just felt it deep in my bones that I could get it to speak to young girls the same way.

So I began my hyper focused “down the rabbit-hole’ research of how to start my own summer camp. I knew what I wanted it to look like the week of the camp, but was overwhelmed at all the steps I would need to take to get my dream into a reality. In addition, I knew I wanted this to be my lasting legacy. I knew I wanted this summer camp to outlive me. As it grows, I want the children who attend my camp to grow up and become successful mothers, stepmothers, aunts, grandmas, and encourage their kids to attend the camps one day.

I want this summer camp to be my lasting legacy.

The first hurdle of starting any business or in this case a non-profit is fundraising. Donations and grants just don’t rain from the sky. My first thought was that I would offer personal training services. It seemed like an easy fit, just get my personal training license and offer workout routines and schedules for others to follow in return for a fee. There was just a few problems for me with that. Biggest of which was I knew the personal time it would take away from my family for me to have to meet people to train. And I wouldn’t want to have some “cookie cutter” schedule I just hand out to the masses, I would genuinely want to help everyone, in particular with their own unique struggles. That seemed beyond what I could offer. I also registered for NASM for their self-paced online personal training course. How hard can it be right, there’s thousands of young certified trainers that come across my social media feeds daily…if they can do it, so can I right? Well, I got about half way thru the online self-paced course and stalled out.

While I had a deep appreciation for the depth of knowledge the course was trying to get you to retain, I just couldn’t see myself really ever utilizing the training. It would give me clout to brag to others, “oh yea I’m certified”, like somehow that makes me more credible. Isn’t the proof in my competition day photos good enough? Especially considering I train myself for the competitions…and no longer use a coach!

I needed to think of another way to raise money to help go towards my summer camp.

First, I thought I would sell peanut butter! I’d been buying jars of it from a small business in Hawaii and paying ridiculous shipping fees to get it from the island to Texas. I loved the way the peanut butter tasted, and it was only a mixture of coconut oil and peanuts. The cost with flat rate shipping alone for 4 jars was $100! How crazy was that…. But as I began to look into all the rigors of starting my own peanut butter line, I had so much trouble finding a copacker that would help me, since peanuts are a significant allergen. And trying to come up with an efficient way to package or bottle them for online purchases, that wasn’t heavy breakable glass jars, or large plastic bottles…still proved to be a challenge when considering shipping charges. How could I ask friends and family to pay upwards of $16 or more for USPS flat rate shipping for a jar of peanut butter?

Fast forward to how I decided I would come up with my own line of seasonings:

I was making turkey tacos in the kitchen one day, and I’ll never forget this moment of revelation. I was buying packages of 1oz of seasonings that I loved, and appreciated the “low sodium” disclaimer they had on them. However, when I got to looking closer I realized it really wasn’t as low sodium as it could be. And spending $1 for each single serving meant it would add up over time. So I got to digging further into my spice cabinet. What else was I buying and using for my meal preps that was chock full of salt, preservatives, or both. I set them all out on my countertop and in that moment realized, I could do better. The Girl Scouts have their annual cookies that they use as their fundraisers, what if I had my own line of seasonings to use as a fundraiser.

What I loved about the idea of seasonings is that it doesn’t discriminate! You don’t have to be seeking a healthy lifestyle to want to flavor your food with seasonings! What’s great on chicken may also taste great on mac and cheese!

It was around the same time the world went on pause in 2020 for Covid. I became scared even if my summer camp could be successful in a post-pandemic world. I was already worried about minor bumps or bruises or the potential peanut allergy (did you know Chick-Fil-A uses peanut oil for it’s chicken…I found out when I thought how fun it would be to have them sponsor a lunch for my girls one day at the camp). Now I had to worry about keeping kids healthy from a virus we understood very little about. Thankfully, I have an amazing support system between my fiance Jeff and his family as well as my sister and my family, who encouraged me to keep striving towards my dreams.

I began the test kitchen process for just the right seasoning blends that would be a fit for some of the favorites we already used in our family meals and my healthy meal preps, but offer enough diversity in the flavors to keep people from getting bored. Once I nailed those flavors down, it was time to think of fun names for each of them.

As you know, I already had my Bench Press Betty platform that I’d created as a fun way to allow fans of my fitness journey to keep in touch with me. Betty was my Grandma’s name. I sadly lost her to cancer in 2013. She was my biggest cheerleader and believed in me with every aspiration I had. So I wanted to find a way to honor her in what I was doing. Plus, Betty’s are synonymous with the “pin-up era” like Bettie Page, and Rosie the Riveter. So I would tailor my seasoning brand around that, and came up with fun and flirty names reminiscent of popular songs from that time period.

My Wonderful Grandma Betty | 2006 Oahu, Hawaii (while I was living there)

I wish I could have fit “Bench Press Betty” on my seasoning packages, but with my cute names it proved to be a mouthful and take up a lot of valuable real estate on my pouches. So that’s why the seasonings are abbreviated to say Betty’s.

I still use a lot of the cookware that was given to me from my Grandma, so I always feel her presence with me in the kitchen, and now I could share those blessings thru my seasonings with others.

Long story short, that’s how my new line of low sodium seasonings were born! It took about 3 years for me to get from the thought of doing them to actually rolling them out in February of this year (2022). And thanks to everyone’s love and support and purchasing my seasonings, so far I’ve been able to raise enough funds to get thru all the legalities required to start my non-profit and get it accredited to 501c.3 status. More info is coming soon regarding my Supergirl Summer Camp 2023! Stay tuned!

The future of my new small business and my non-profit summer camp look bright! I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

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