Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to meet Jessica Welsch and Stephanie Williams – the ladies behind the HopeFULL Company at the Martha Stewart Dreamers Into Doers Event in New York City (if you missed the posts about the event, you can find them here and here).
After spending several hours with these two refreshingly positive women…over the course of just two and a half days, I sent them an e-mail and asked them if they would mind answering just a few questions so that I could share their story and spread the news about the HopeFULL Company. It wasn’t long after that I happily opened my inbox to find their story…and their story is one that is so inspiring that it MUST be shared.
What made you both decide to start the HopeFULL Company?
The HopeFULL Company came to fruition in a beautiful, organic way through a dear family friend who was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia in 2009.
Like many people undergoing chemotherapy treatments, eating was no longer an enjoyable activity for our friend. She struggled to find foods that she could tolerate and that would give her enough calories and nutrition. Knowing we both made homemade baby food for our children, she asked us to make her meals which were small in portion, packed with nutrition and without strong flavors. We were thrilled to help and dove enthusiastically into the project.
A week later, we delivered our frozen “whole-food pops” (now known as HopeFULLs) to our friend – each with a unique message of hope. The HopeFULLs satisfied her pallet, soothed her mouth sores and filled her tummy with healthy fat, protein, calories and nutrients when she needed it most. We also brought with us a message of hope and peace.
This friend of ours passed on six months later, after touching the lives of many with her grace, dignity, humor and tenacity. The HopeFULL Company happily dedicates some of its proceeds to local charities in her honor.
Twenty months after delivering our first batch of frozen HopeFULLs, we launched The HopeFULL Company. We are proud of our products and are excited to provide a way to feed those having trouble eating while delivering a message of peace, hope and love.
Who were your childhood heroes?
Jessica: My heroes were those from television and film…Wonder Woman (who does’t want a Lasso of Truth?), Goldie Hawn (Overboard – need I say more) and Tim Burton (because he’s just downright brilliant).
Stephanie: Neil Armstrong…I wanted to be an astronaut for most of my childhood. In my teens, I looked up to folksy musicians like Bob Dylan, Carol King and Cat Stevens for their ability to use music as a form of social protest.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Jessica: I love theatre and film, Yoga and catching up with girlfriends over a latte.
Stephanie: I enjoy seeing live music, reading and spending time outdoors.
Do you have any favorite stories from your work life?
Our HopeFULL Gift Pack was up for a Stevie Award for Best New Product of the Year. In November 2011, we got to go to the red carpet awards gala in NYC! As if that wasn’t enough, we were invited to be on The Nate Berkus Show to talk about our company while in town! We were also styled by Hal Rubenstein of In Style Magazine and were given a make over, new dresses and accessories for the event!
When are you completely satisfied with your work?
When we get a call or email from someone who has been helped by our products…our hearts become filled with gratitude. When we hear how our products are making life easer for people…that’s when we feel successful and fullfilled.
Find out more about the HopeFULL Company and their products by visiting: