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Why Jewels & Why Sugar Free?

"my passion for Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations wasn't that deep!" 

It all started with a boring night in... 

Finding myself in on a Saturday night (it was freezing outside, so all my plans involved TV and my couch) I was watching a cooking competition. All of the competitors were talking about their passion for food and how they either knew from a young age that they were destined to become a chef, or took a great leap, quit their corporate job and jumped into the 'food game'.....all were now very successful and had found their one true vocation in life and I was suddenly hit with a pang of envy. I wish I could talk about my current career like that, but my passion for Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations wasn't that deep! 

It made me question, what do I like (aka obsess over)? 

Well, I absolutely love diamonds (what girl doesn't), gemstones and crystals and I also love sweets/candy. So, I thought it'd be interesting to combine both of these in some way, something pretty to look at and then you could eat it afterwards - bonus! So, I started looking into sugar art and the beautiful creations you can create, watching endless YouTube videos of Michelin chefs expertly whipping up spun sugar masterpieces, but they pretty much all came in one colour and tasted of one flavour (sweet sugar), which is nice if that's your thing, but for me, I wanted something a bit more multi-faceted. 

So I started watching videos of sweet makers cooking large quantities of coloured molten flavoured sugar and it was so satisfying watching this glossy and glistening mass be created into a perfect bite size treat, however all 7 of my teeth fillings (told you I liked sweets) started to ache just from the thought of all that sugar. Plus, as diabetes runs in my family and me being the sweet addict that I am, I would bring sweets into the house and my family we're unable to eat them, which made me feel awful. On top.of that, I selfishly wanted to make sure I could have a good and long-lasting relationship with sweets into my old age, so I wanted to stay away from table sugar as much as possible. 

"I selfishly wanted to make sure I could have a good and long-lasting relationship with sweets into my old age" 

So, I went back to the drawing board, looking into natural sugar-free alternatives and sweets. Just one slight problem; I've had my fair share of sugar-free sweets (in my 'dieting' phase) and they rarely tasted nice, leaving you with a bitter and artificial aftertaste. After doing some research into sweet origins, tongue maps (yes, that's a real thing) experimenting with different ingredients, cooking and burning a lot of samples, using my family and friends as tasters (guinea pigs) I eventually came up with a method, formula and recipe that had a long lasting and mouth-watering fruity flavour, without the weird aftertaste. Best of all, the ingredients I used actually promote healthy teeth, had 50% less calories of table sugar and was suitable for diabetics. It was a hard, frustrating, relentless time, but I finally had something I could be proud of, a hobby I really enjoyed and a potential side hustle for me to make some extra money ....to buy my own diamonds ;-) 

"...my work attire now consisted of shapeless jumpers, leggings, beaten down trainers, bed hair and no make-up (sacré bleu)" 

Things took a turn for the worst, kind of... 

After working in the city for nearly 15 years, reaching what I thought was a high point in my career, I found myself in an unexpected and toxic situation at work that was out of my control. I started to withdraw from my family and friends, I made the least amount of effort; my work attire consisted of shapeless jumpers, leggings, beaten down trainers, bed hair and no make-up (sacré bleu). To try and snap out of it, I listened to every motivational Ted Talk, podcast and 'retrain your brain' exercise available, but for the first time in my career, I found it a painful struggle to come into work each day. After 9 months of what felt like insanity, I did the one thing I said I would never do......I left my employer, without having a new job to go to. 

"I waited, and waited...nothing came up other than rejection emails" 

Over the next few weeks I applied for countless jobs, emailed employers and companies, reached out to all the contacts I had and constantly clock watched my Inbox for a reply, and I waited, and waited, and waited....nothing came up other than rejection emails - it was crushing and I felt like a complete inadequate failure. 

It took me a while, but I thought,'ok, it's fine, it'll take some time to get an interview and I'll be back on the corporate ladder soon and in the meantime, I'll work on my hobby/side hustle to help pay the bills'. I started cooking prototypes, wrote the product descriptions and developed a social media strategy for advertising. Little did I know how much fun I would have doing this. 

"the Dictionary and Thesaurus became my new best friends" 

What started as a hobby, a potential 'side hustle', I now realised could manifest into my own business, which was terrifying, but also so exciting. After some studying, 2 exams, multiple webinars, tutorials, video calls with field experts, learning code to build a website, reading research studies and policies with mountains of legal jargon (the Dictionary and Thesaurus became my new best friends), I made this into an official business. 

I hope you love these as much as I do and I can't wait look to bring you what's next on my list of sweets and candy creations! 

Davinia (Founder of Sweet Clarity)

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