Total loan: $6,000
Ann Arbor, MI, United States / Food
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Margarita's loan finished fundraising,
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A loan helped me to produce 2,500 units of product.
Every hero needs a cool origin story. I suppose mine could start with a fact that I grew up in a small town in Ukraine and my family was granted refugee status to avoid religious prosecution. We moved to Flint, MI in 1992 with 2 suitcases and $200.00 to our names. Everything we have - we worked for. Or I could start it on the first day I walked into a Meijer supermarket and was completely overwhelmed by the amount of plentiful variety. These choices I have never seen. The adorable yogurt bottles that made me giggle. I should certainly give credit to my parents, who, despite the broken English, utilized their engineering backgrounds and started a successful electronics business. The story of my sister being the first Lawyer in the family and the struggles and sacrifices she made to reach her goals. The passion and dedication that my husband shows to his work while he is finding a cure for cancer. My brilliant son who's crushing his Engineering classes at MSU. My strong-willed daughter for whom I became a businesswoman - to show her that a girl really CAN do anything. Anything. All of these factors play a major role in my personal character growth and in building the story that led me here.... But the actual starting point is a lot more commonplace than all that... A few years ago I got diagnosed with IBS. I learned that I was sensitive to gluten, garlic, onion, chives, fats, salt and sugars -so, basically, EVERYTHING. My stomach lining was so inflamed, that all I could eat was white rice and boiled eggs for a few weeks. I lost 20 pounds in 3 weeks. I still remember going to the store to find anything I can quickly cook and literally crying in the isle from being overwhelmed by my lack of choices. And whatever I could eat was just so TERRIBLE. The new normal became, "Mom can't eat anything." I stopped going out with friends for a meal because I couldn't stomach yet another awkward conversation with the waiter. But I missed my favorite dishes - Thai, Indian, Mexican. Every single one of those dishes contains garlic and onion. So, I started mixing my own spice blends inspired by the world's tastiest dishes so we can all eat dinner together again. I came up with a few go-to blends that taste great, were easy to make and don't hurt my stomach. My friends and family love these mixes so much that I felt inspired to start sharing them with other friends and neighbors. With continuous glowing reviews, I decided to take a first step towards commercializing the process.