October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So it’s only fitting to feature one of our customers who is not only a breast cancer survivor herself, but who is also doing something positive to help women who are walking in her shoes.
In 2008, Jan Scibor was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer and underwent surgery and chemotherapy. But her story really begins over 25 years ago, when Jan got started in the chocolate business.
A group of moms in her Missouri neighborhood had taken a local candy-making class and started making children’s Easter candy together. When Jan’s family moved to Chicago, she made chocolate as gifts and started working in a local candy store where she acquired even more chocolate-making skills.
After her family later moved to Michigan, she was asked to demonstrate chocolate making to various groups. With her background in education, this was a natural fit for Jan. Soon she had people ask if they could order from her. That’s when she realized it was time to start a business. She called it Chocolate Elegance.
After six years in Michigan, her husband’s job moved them to Tennessee; then his job was eliminated. So he decided to join Jan in the chocolate business. Her husband makes most of the chocolate, while Jan works on other aspects of the business. Together they create new products.
Many people offered to help her during her cancer treatment three years ago. So Jan decided to create a gift basket designed for people going through breast cancer. Since many women love chocolate, she thought it would be the perfect gift to cheer up a cancer patient. Even though taste buds are dulled during chemo, they can still taste chocolate. For her Breast Cancer Gift Basket, Jan added gifts that would keep a cancer patient uplifted when the chocolate was gone. Some of the items were things that people had given her during her own treatment, like The Pink Prayer Book.
The response to these baskets has been amazing. One woman told Jan the items in the basket truly helped her get through breast cancer, more than anything else had. Another woman told her that when chemo had left her unable to taste anything, she could still taste the chocolate. Stories like these keep Jan motivated and passionate about helping cancer patients.
Chocolate Elegance does all their business by telephone and through their website. They are able to ship nationwide, and have even shipped to servicemen in Iraq. They do not have an actual storefront. However, they participate in many shows and charity functions and make many sales calls to corporate customers. Jan loves that they are very visible in their East Tennessee community, where she is affectionately known as “The Chocolate Lady”.
They use Nashville Wraps products in many ways. Our cello bags are used to wrap many of their chocolate treats. They use our popular market trays, basket boxes and shred along with our ribbon, tulle, tissue paper and shopping bags. Jan told us, “We believe in exquisite packaging, and your products help us to achieve that goal.”
She also adds, “To be successful with both gourmet chocolate and gift baskets, you need to provide a high-quality product EVERY time. People need to know that your items are CONSISTENTLY outstanding. Only promise what you can produce well and people will trust you and your products (like Nashville Wraps!). Finally, our promise is providing exceptional taste and exquisite packaging – and being cheerful – because people would rather give their business to a cheerful person.”
Jan’s commitment to help women who are striving to overcome breast cancer as she did makes the rewards in this business a whole lot sweeter.
Internet Advertising Manager