Marketing consultant: “For your headshot, you should be in white. Something billowy and clean to visually represent how clean your product is."
Tonya: “I can’t be trusted with white.”
Marketing consultant: “Well, what about something that captures your personality.”
Tonya: “I have a purple dress that matches my purple hair and LOOK(!), cute purple socks! It’s Portland hipster meets Teletubby.”
Exasperated marketing consultant: 😐
I make a to-do list:
- Clear 2 hours on my calendar
Where’d I put my calendar?!?
- Find calendar
- Schedule photographers
- Schedule makeup artist
- Rent lights
- Wash dress
- Wash socks
- Decide on best light, angle, and background for photoshoot
Where’d I put my to-do list?!?!
- Remake to-do list
Makeup artist (Wendy) arrives on time. Sh*t. I’m not ready. Can’t find the socks. Where’d I put the socks?!?
Photographer 1 (Morgan), Photographer 2 (Kelsey) arrive on time. Sh*t. I’m not ready. Where’d I put my damn socks?!?!?!
Morgan and Kelsey set up lights while I tear apart my closet looking for the socks.
Wendy: “Did you wash them.”
Tonya: “Oh! Yes.”
Pull the socks from their four day slumber in the dryer.
I step up to the light and flip it on. Instantly, the cold blue florescent light causes chaotic signaling in my brain and my whole body slumps. Can’t recall words. Can’t keep my eyes open. I need to lay down. Just for a minute.
Morgan is in the loft and says, “If you put one arm up and one arm down, you look like you’re dead.”
That feels accurate, I think to myself. I will my brain to move my arms. The photographers giggle. I let loose something resembling a giggle…? I’m so tired. The cool floor feels good on my forehead. That’s all I can think about. Oops, I just drooled on the floor. I feel Kelsey straighten my dress and play with my hair. That’s nice, I think to myself. I can’t get up.
20? 30? 40 minutes later, the women are packing up. We’re going to need to reschedule.
Sh*t. Where’d I put my calendar?!?!
Hi! I'm Tonya Butts.
I am the founder/owner and now the face of Sweet Apricity. And on any given day, THIS is what the face of the company looks like. I am adventuring with general autoimmunity (leaky gut), PCOS, mold toxicity, and heavy metals. I haven’t always been this way and I don’t believe I always will be. What I do know is that this current iteration of me is a fascinating mix of all the most beautiful and terrifying parts of being human. As it should be.
For a year, I’ve wondered how to insert myself into the story of this company I’ve asked you to trust. How much of my adventuring/processing/practicing do you want to hear? How much do I want to share? My life doesn’t look like the other entrepreneurs I’ve seen. My life doesn’t look like the Instagram feeds of people living their best life. My company occupies a health-centered corner of the market and yet I am not at optimum health. Do I even belong here? I don’t know the answer to that, but here I am. I thought a professional headshot would be the best jump off point, but as you know with autoimmunity often our best efforts fall short of our expectations. Sometimes, face-down, drooling on the floor is the best we can do. And for now, that'll be good enough.
I want to know how autoimmunity has thwarted your best laid plans! Comment below or shoot us an email at Story@SweetApricity.com and share your experience with us.
I loved your writing, how honest, brave & vulnerable and oh how I relate. I wish I didn’t! Auto immunity has affected me most of my life from early 20’s till today at 60 – so one hella of a long time and boy doesn’t it get in the way! And in spite of those years I have never come to terms with it a 💯 percent. Yes, acceptance, understanding & patience with myself but also frustration, defeat and dealing with being in unreliable person with serious limitations. Also being grateful for the good days. Most people don’t understand (& I wouldn’t expect them to) how you can be ok one minute and not the next. I am a contemporary abstract artist & painting helps (when I’m up to it) but it doesn’t make it very challenging to be successful. So well done to you for your delicious products which I love & thanks for opening up about your health.
I. Appreciate. This. Not everyone will get this. I think that this resonates with people who struggle with an autoimmune disease. I have a wellness business and have these very same feelings. Thank you. Love your caramels. ❤️
I LOVE this authenticity as much as I love all of your AIP products. I have 6 autoimmune diseases, fibromyalgia, etc… & AIP has been made easier with your delightful treats. I particularly love the sea salt caramels & the sauce. I’m almost 3 years in, & I’m able to hike mountains again; did a few 8,000 foot elevation mountains this summer. So keep plugging along in your journey of healing; there are good days & bad. Rest & stress management are a must. Thank you for your vision & amazing product!
Love your story, Tonya, especially the ‘just a little rest ’ part. My adventure is with retirement and all the energetic seniors that I have met in my retirement community. It is IMPOSSIBLE to keep up with them! I can handle about 4 hours of mild activity and then
I have to rest for about half that time. Funny and frustrating. Autoimmune sucks but I love your sea salt caramels! They are AIP compliant and my dessert every night.😀 The marshmallows and sauce are wonderful too. I have Sjogrens Disease which isn’t going away and is only getting worse. 🤷
This is very inspiring Tonya… thank you for sharing it XO