The true entrepreneurs, the dreamers and the go-getters, often aren’t the individuals plastered on the cover of Forbes magazine. When I look around, they’re the seemingly everyday people in my life, which is teeming with innovators. There’s my piano teacher who works so hard to cultivate potential in kids, my best friend’s dad who invented Robo call technology, the socially entrepreneurial filmmaker who attends my church and employs my twin brother, and so many more.
But alas, my very favorite entrepreneur is indeed my mother. My mom is the raddest and most creative person I know. She can do anything she sets her sights on and she’s never daunted by a good challenge.
In 1995, my mom decided that putting my dad through college, being a homemaker, and working full-time as a pharmacist just wasn’t challenging enough. She decided to spice up her life [literally] by combining her love for New Mexican red chili and culinary artistry into a single product: red chili caramel popcorn.
For those of you who haven’t been to the Southwest, imagine a caramel popcorn mixed with the heat of jalapeños. Like all good entrepreneurs, Mom made a good use of her connections, particularly that of a girlfriend who owned an industrial size kitchen. After concocting a flawless recipe with the perfect amount of spice, sweetness, and warmth, Mom began turning out massive batches of this stuff of Southwestern dreams.
She catered her specialty to grocers and distinctively New Mexican gift shops. Chili popcorn was addictive, easy to ship due to its light weight, and the all-around perfect snack. The popcorn was packaged in a simple, clear bag, sealed, wreathed in a ribbon of raffia, and the labels were stamped with a distinctive red chili design on organic-textured paper.
Mom was a hit! A smashing success! Soon she was harrolded in the local newspapers for her creativity and her product’s rising popularity. Within a mere few months she was asked to expand production by four fold. While she was waiting to decide, she found out she was pregnant with twins. Unluckily for the rest of New Mexico, she said goodbye to her poppin’ business and became the best mom ever.