YBC: Tell us about Rawsome Creations. What is the business and what is your role? Can you give me a quick overview of your personal and educational background?
Brenda Hinton: I am creator, principal and chief visionary for Rawsome Creations. My daily activities are varied and range from assisting new and existing wholesale and retail customers, shipping from our headquarters in Northern California and working with my team in Bali for production and new product creation.
YBC: What was your inspirational vision for Rawsome Creations?
BH: Continue to spread the word of a plant based vegan lifestyle as an opportunity for us to heal our world, the planet and ourselves.
The initial creation of the More Than a Nut Milk Bag was to share this simple product with as many people as possible. In doing so to help them realize it is as simple as making your own nut milk or juices where you CAN make a difference, in your life, your families, friends or communities. You never know who is listening, watching or seeing you 'do what you do.' Live by example and your world follows.
Mothers with small children who have just been told they are allergic to dairy, adults who have been diagnosed with a health challenge they don't understand, or athletes looking for simple ways to juice or create smoothies without making a large financial investment in equipment. Anyone can use the bags for so many things. It's my way of healing the world, simple as that.
YBC: Tell our readers about your love affair with Bali!
BH: Have you ever traveled to a new and faraway place, and, upon arriving, had a gentle feeling of "I'm home" ...an overwhelming sense of recognition and remembrance? For me, that place is Bali. I started my love affair with Bali long before we met in person, and each time I return, she rises to meet me with a soft welcoming spirit I feel in no other place. My time in Bali is filled with magic moments, every step of the way. Each time, I find myself awed by her people: their open hearted way of living, their reverence for spirit and nature, and their overwhelming sense of belonging to something grander than their everyday world.
Here's the link with the full story.
YBC: A portion of every purchase of a Nut Milk Bag goes towards charity. Which charities do you support and why?
BH: I chose these two for several reasons. One main reason is they are only privately funded, meaning they do not receive any funds from outside government sponsored sources and with their determination through the years they each have changed SO many lives. Robin Lim, of Bumi Sehat, is amazing. In fact so amazing she was awarded the CNN Hero of the year award in 2011. Ketut from Widya Guna made the decision early on to help children with disabilities at his orphanage. The opportunities he offers to the most vulnerable children among us speaks to his commitment to their futures.
I want my donations to mean something to real people and these two help real children at the start of their amazing lives. A portion of the sales from the Nut Milk Bags go directly to these charities and to a 'fair trade' arrangement I have made with the women who work with me and to the entire Bali team of Rawsome Creations. Real people, living real lives, receive real help from each bag sold and each year I visit them taking funds collected. To see these organizations benefit from year to year is one of my greatest joys.
YBC: What's your greatest accomplishment outside of work?
BH: Being married 35 years to my high school sweetheart, running 5 half-marathons and being a cancer thriver. Not just a survivor. Cancer changed my life and for that I can truly say I now thrive, not just survive.
YBC: What might someone be surprised to know about you? What are your passions outside "the office"?
BH: I'm blessed to combine my true passions with my work. Each day I share the joy of plant based cuisine with my customers, I create products to help people heal and I give back to causes I believe in.
For me there is no separation between my work and other daily priorities. If I had to pick something I would say I love to walk, read and spend time with my animals. I rescue senior Golden Retrievers who are SO heart centered they remind me daily to lead with my heart, not my head, and for that I am grateful.
YBC: Your Nut Milk Bags are super versatile! Tell our readers about the many uses of your bags and the fun little competition you've created to win free product!
BH: From the beginning I wanted everyone to realize that my Nut Milk Bags can be used for so many things. Not just simple kitchen tasks like making milks (and not just nut milks -- try seed, soy or rice milks too), juices, sauces, sprouting seeds, or making cheese or jam (think raspberry jam and those pesky seeds) but also bone broth and even brewing beer (the bag holds the hops when in the boiling kettle).
I am always looking for new innovative ways to share my Nut Milk Bags. It's one reason I called it the More Than a Nut Milk Bag from the very beginning (almost 8 years ago, wow!). If customers share an innovative new way they use my bag which I've not heard of, I will send them a free bag. If they send me a picture via email, post it on Instagram or on our Facebook page that would be grand.
YBC: You've released your first book, a recipe collection. Tell us about that experience.
BH: I have always wanted to write a book and had heard 'when it's time it's possible it will just write itself'. Well it's not entirely like that but I will say one day I was driving (I remember exactly where) and all of a sudden these thoughts started filling my head and I knew right then 'oh it's time to write the book' and recipes almost wrote themselves. I wanted to put some together which answered the questions 1) what else can I do with the nut milk bag besides make milk and 2) what do I do with all the leftover nut pulp when I make milk, and that's what the More than a Nut Milk Bag Recipe Collection is about. The third edition was just completed and it keeps getting better with each edition.
YBC: What does the future of Rawsome Creations look like through your eyes?
BH: The sky is the limit. I am always adding new products (the newest I designed for folks who use a dehydrator. They will soon be released in partnership with the Tribest company).
The Nut Milk Bags were only the beginning and who knew that spark of divine inspiration would lead to so many opportunities to make a difference. Truly it can happen that way; never ignore those small voices which say 'try this or that.' Those voices and thoughts can be the start of something small that can be something truly big or be whatever you want them to be.
YBC: If you had one wish for the world, what would it be?
BH: I think I covered this in question #2. I think everyone can benefit in some way from a More Than a Nut Milk Bag. With this in mind it's my way of making a simple healthy difference in someones life.
YBC: And lastly, just for fun, what's in your gym/yoga or travel bag? Any products you can't live without?
BH: Not any special 'products' per se that I can't live without. I have probably the same things others do in their gym/yoga/travel bags. What I do LOVE and take with me when headed out the door for a workout, yoga or a run, is a drink I make called Electro-Lemon-Aide. It's in my book and has only 3 ingredients: grapes, lemons and ginger. Here's the recipe.
For me, a healthy life style has been an ongoing transition. I was an omnivore, then a vegetarian, then a pescetarian, then vegan, then raw. It hasn't happened overnight....
We invite you to connect with us and share your kitchen adventures. Please like Rawsome Creations on Facebook or follow @Rawsome_Creations on Instagram for contests, ideas, and updates. Just use #MoreThanaNUTMILKBAG on Instagram and @Rawsome_Creations will follow you and re-post. Get pinning with Rawsome Creations' boards on Pinterest.