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The 4 Million-Dollar Idea

Bev and Charlotte are best friends who’ve been described as “a couple of grannies on steroids.”  Both their families were doing o.k. financially, until 2008, when the economy crashed.  Bev’s husband, Larry, nearly lost his general contracting business.

Bev explained, “We were in debt to the point where we were probably a hundred thousand plus our house.”

Charlotte’s husband, Bob, also got hit hard. His tile fitting and installation clients were slim to none.

Bob said, “Credit cards alone, our debt was over $30,000.”

Charlotte said, “Things had gotten so bad that people showed up to repossess the car.”

“The bank showed up and they were taking pictures of the outside of the house,” Bob added.

Charlotte said, “When you don't know when it's going end, you can be very terrified.”

Through it all, both couples continued to tithe to their church and give to others.

“We don't tithe to get,” said Bob. “We tithe to honor God with our substance. We recognize the fact that what we have, whether it's much or whether it's little, that we owe it to Him.”

Charlotte and Bev teamed up to sell homemade herbal lotions, soaps and teas to supplement their incomes, but nothing took off.  Then they decided to pray for “witty inventions.”

Referring to Proverbs 8:12, in the King James version of the Bible, Charlotte laughed as she said, “We got the idea for praying for “witty inventions” right out of the Word that says He'll give us witty inventions."

In 2009, during a church service, Bev says God gave her an idea for a sugar-free candy that is actually good for teeth.

Bev recalled, “I am praying and singing, and I get the complete recipe for Ice Chips candy. I mean, I knew how to make it, I knew how to pour it. It was all there!”

Charlotte said, “She came up to me after the church service, one of the church services and said, ‘Ah, I just got the whole recipe on how to make that Xylitol candy!’  And I went, ‘Oh, okay!’"

Bev added, “So, by the end of the following week, we had already made the candy, people were sampling it, and they loved it.”

Their husbands retrofitted their garages into kitchens, as Bev and Charlotte began to make and sell their “Ice Chips” candy.  By 2011, sales were around $200,000.  Then, a year later, they got their big break when they made it onto Shark Tank.  After the show aired, sales skyrocketed!

Bev said, “We used to say, ‘Just go jump off the cliff and believe,’ because we knew God was going to be there, and God was going to catch us."  Not because God is a piggy bank, but because God is faithful, and we did what He told us to do.”

All their debts have been paid off.  And the company that started in a garage is now operating out of a 21-thousand square foot facility.  Its revenues have grown to four million dollars a year, and these “grannies on steroids” thank God for making it happen.

Charlotte said, “God's kind of sneaky like that, you know. He's got things planned, He's got it. He has a way out. And we can relax knowing that He’s on it. He knows exactly where you're at, exactly what has to happen, and when.”

Larry said, “One of the reasons tithing is so important, because it is a biblical principle. And by following and being faithful to that biblical principle, you have everything to gain, and the blessings that come with it.”

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