Milkweed and Mango???
I grew up in the country on a large plot of land that had a patch where wild milkweed grew. As a child, I loved peeling apart the seed pods, making a wish, and blowing the seed away to find its next spot to grow. When I moved to Florida, I planted milkweed in a butterfly-friendly garden and began teaching my daughter about how the plant feeds monarch caterpillars. We quickly became obsessed with raising monarchs—checking on them first thing in the morning, researching all about them, and even reading to them (my daughter’s idea). Also in my backyard stands a beautiful mango tree where our monarch butterflies often land to rest. My studio sits in a large bay window that looks out into the backyard. You can often find me sitting at the machine, windows open, listing to the birds and my kids playing, and occasionally looking up to see the butterflies flitting by. Milkweed and Mango are my backyard slice of paradise.
Sipping my coffee one morning while thinking about the possibility of starting this company, I watched a monarch fly from the milkweed plant over to the mango tree, and then it hit me. Butterflies represent the concept of growth which can be so closely related to our own lives. The transformation from caterpillar to butterfly can be exhibited in the lives of our children- Growing pains; times of ravenous hunger (“Can I have a snack, please?!”); periods of vulnerability; and moments of expansion.
Starting Milkweed and Mango was a huge leap of faith for me, starting with a simple concept (egg), then the major excitement and frenzy of brainstorming (caterpillar), to buckling down, organizing my thoughts and beginning the process (chrysalis), and lastly spreading my wings and staring this new journey with you all (butterfly). Being able to start this company along with our new lives in Florida truly has its perks: We get to help save monarchs all year long and the mangoes have certainly sweetened the deal!