One thing that Evelyn Quigley, owner of Making Chocolate, LLC in Bergen County, NJ knows for sure: The time has come for homemakers, whether they have outside employment part time, or their sole profession is to care for their children and family, to finally realize their worth.
While the male homemaker is on the rise throughout the past decade, still, most of the world’s stay at home parents are women. Additionally, more women are working part-timeobs outside the home versus men employed full time. Working mostly with women, Quigley not only teaches the fine art of making decadent and artistic candies, she empowers homemakers to realize that their time and hard work IS of value, monetarily and all kinds of otherwise.
“I was speaking with a client one day who’d just made these gorgeous chocolate cake pops for her cousin’s birthday party. My client says to me, ‘I need to also get her a nice gift.’ I said, are you kidding me, she’d have to spend $200 at a store get chocolates like that.” No need to buy an additional gift.
Chocolate cake pops aside, the thing is, homemakers ARE supporting the family monetarily. For example, outside childcare costs at a center can run more than college tuition. Considering typical college tuition for a bachelors’ degree can be plus or minus $200,000, a stay at home parent of two children may create a value for the household of $400,000 for childcare alone. Divide that figure by, say, 8 years to get both children into public Kindergarten if your town is lucky enough to offer Kindergarten full time, and that’s a hard money value of $50,000 a year. Add the value of cleaning the home at $200 a month that would otherwise go to a cleaning crew, plus birthday party and event planning, running errands like a personal assistant, and a myriad of other things, and the homemaker’s monetary value in many cases wind up being equal or more than the full-time breadwinner.
In fact, let's add it all up for what it would be as an annual salary for the same work done outside the home, or if people needed to be hired in the home to do these jobs. We already said that childcare alone could be $50,000. Add cleaning at $2,400. Then event planning for, say, 10 events per year. That could be $3,000 or more depending on the type of event. And, finally, a part time personal assistant could easily be $10,000. So, a proper salary for a homemaker might be around $65,000. Fair enough.
Unfortunately, we aren’t quite there as a society to see it that way. Quigley works to challenge the undervaluing that the homemakers and often their spouses hold for the one who’s not bringing home a paycheck.
Quigley bought the Dumont, NJ business Making Chocolate in 2011 from long-time chocolatier and factory owner Camille Lombardo. It all started for Quigley in 2002 when she literally knocked on the chocolate factory’s door and offered to work for free if Lombardo taught her everything. Nearing retirement age, Lombardo took Quigley on as an apprentice and groomed her for ownership.
Lombardo retired, Quigley bought and kept the chocolate factory operating. She got sick. "I learned on the bus, after serving as a judge in a chocolate cake competition on Good Morning America.” says Quigley. She knew then and there that she’d need to slow down for a while. And so, she spoke with Lombardo, who was the landlord. Got out of her lease. Quigley went on to take business on the road, gradually as she recovered from the medical condition.
Quigley has been managing Making Chocolate, LLC part time while recovering. Thanks to some time off, and varied medical remedies over the past few years, she’s feeling a lot better and ready to rock and roll full time again with the business. “I want to teach as many people, especially children and homemakers, everything I know about making delightful candies that are as artful as they are delicious. I want all of my clients to feel proud of their work.”
She believes that crafting something to be proud of, to give to others, can translate to valuing “unpaid” work in other areas. And, most importantly, Quigley hopes that by valuing what you do and what you create, you’ll learn to value who you are in the world.
It’s easier to appreciate others when you appreciate yourself. “There are two types of people in the world. Those that bring others down and those that lift others up. I strive to be the person who empowers others,” says Quigley
Evelyn Quigley lives in Dumont, NJ with her husband Mick, 15-year-old daughter Éire, son 14-year-old son Ronan and their dog Hardy. Evelyn and Mick are both from huge families and have a total of 123 first cousins.
Making Chocolate, LLC is available for in-your-home candy making classes anywhere in Bergen County, NJ and surrounding areas. The chocolatier is also available for children’s and adult’s parties, adult education programs, elementary schools and clubs.
For more information about Making Chocolate, LLC, check out www.makingchocolate.com.