A few years ago I met Rachel Starla Bradshaw, a local pastry chef, at a wedding I was working on and she made the phenomenal cake. It was a brief encounter, but I really liked her and thought she was super talented, very kind, and just sparkled. As a result of our meeting, I began following Rachel on social media–I began to “like” her posts and photos and, in a weird way, I felt like I knew her.

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In this manner, the internet is a funny place sometimes–people you have only met in passing can suddenly become a fixture in your day (life) as a result of seeing their posts on social media. Whatever snippets of their lives that they choose to share, you're now privvy to and, at least peripherally, connected to them.

Which is why I was so sad to learn that Rachel was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 at the young age of 35. I was in shock–I can only imagine how Rachel, a single mom, felt. She was not only honest and brave in her fight, but so candid and incredibly positive. Her attitude and grace in the face of Stage III cancer was so inspiring; it also put things into immediate perspective for me.

In the fall of 2013 the restaurants that Rachel had previously worked for came together to put on a fundraiser to support her fight against breast cancer–it was an impressive tribute and testament to Rachel as a person and respected colleague.

After spending nearly all of 2014 enduring cancer treatments, Rachel realized that what got her through one of the most trying years of her life was her family and baking. Spending time in the kitchen creating new recipes was therapeutic, but also brought a sense of normalcy to her life.

As a result, Rachel is now focused on going after her dreams–something that I wholeheartedly support and encourage everyone, but especially women, to do! She recently launched a GoFundMe website to help launch Starla's Apron–a patisserie that will have plenty of delicious treats (maybe she will end up near KOWE headquarters!).

I'm writing this post to not only introduce you to an extremely talented pastry chef, but to also help another small business (and dream) come to fruition. No donation is too small!

Please click the link above to help make Rachel's dream a reality.

Thank you for your time and support and, as always…

Keep sparkling–