Life can turn on a dime, and many have found one day you can be gainfully employed, the next day applying for food stamps, and Norma Cavazos knows exactly how one day can make a difference.
“I was a successful radio advertising executive for 24 years, then life took a sudden downturn and I ended up unemployed, filling out forms for food stamps and medical program for my daughter and I. This was a really hard time, nerves frayed. I had always been on the other side of the table, donating to food banks. But things got worse,” Cavazos said.
A few months later, Cavazos begun receiving letters from the bank that her home was going into foreclosure. But things got even worse.
“I was diagnosed with cancer,” she said. Where do you go when life falls apart? To your knees, and that is exactly where Cavazos went.
“God is great and His amazing grace will carry us though, these are the words my daughter and I lived by, and now a few years later, I know God was and is with us every step,” Cavazos said.
Throughout all of these rough times, Cavazos continued to see articles about how people had reinvented themselves in the business world, and she knew that was what she needed to do if she was going to survive.
“My daughter has many allergies so I wanted to make a candles that was allergen free and after researching what was the healthiest wax to burn, I came up with Lola-Rose Richmond Soy Candles,” Cavazos said.
One of her first customers requested soy wickless candles, that are 100% soy wax that are placed in warmers and heated. The fragrance is a clean burn with no soot or allergens.
“Within weeks, the candles were flying off the shelves. In January 2012, a Richmond old timer came in and asked if I would make some goat’s milk soap. I did research and found the great benefits of this product. Goats milk is a good source of calcium, amino acid tryptophan, protein, phosphorus, vitamin B2 and potassium. This would make the perfect soap, especially for those with problem or dry skin, so I got busy,” she said.
Jesse Mata, owner Richmond Post Office on Morton Street, stepped up to lend Cavazos a helping hand.
“Mr. Mata, has been like a father, friend, grandfather to my daughter and a true angel to me. He rented me space in the front of his Post Office and some months, when I could not make rent, he said OK, I could pay him when I could. He believed in me and worked with me. I can never say thank you enough for all he has done, he really has been a strong force in helping me succeed and change my life,” Cavazos said.
After months and months of hard work, Cavazos now has a contract with Walgreen’s.
“They will be carrying my products in four locations, with a possibility of expanding to other stores. The first stores to carry my products are in Richmond and Rosenberg. This has been so exciting, so heartfelt, and I believe now my daughter and I are going to be OK. I believe we have made it over a very big hill we have been struggling to get over for a very, very long time. I think we have made it,” Cavazos said.
Through her faith in God and so many prayers and support of friends and loyal customers, she also has more to celebrate.
“I just celebrated my first year of being cancer free. I also celebrated my 50th birthday in September, and my teenage daughter gives grace for all that she has, and while we still may lose our home, I know no matter where we end up calling home, my daughter and I are going to be just fine. Through the grace of God, we are going to survive,” Cavazos said.
Walgreens will be carrying Lola-Rose products by the end of October 2012, until then, products remain available at the Richmond Post Office, 310 Morton Street, Richmond.