Interviewer: Ms. Gladstone, what has been your biggest challenge in running TWO successful cupcake shops?
MG: Okay, first of all, please call me Missy (grins) – and secondly, it’s Gladstone-Beckett since I married the love of my life, Chas, several months ago.
Interviewer: Yes, of course, forgive me Missy, and congratulations!
MG: Thank you, it’s been absolutely wonderful being Mrs. Gladstone-Beckett. I’d have to say the most challenging thing in keeping up with two successful shops is finding my work/life balance, and trying to stick to a schedule that gives me some personal time and the freedom to relax. Chas has been great about reminding me to slow down and breathe when I need it, and the time that I spend with my dogs really helps too.
Interviewer: I can see how prioritizing your time and making room in your schedule for self-care would be important. What kinds of things do you do to relax?
MG: Well, oddly enough, even though I do it professionally on a daily basis, I love to bake, and creating new recipes gets my creative juices flowing. I lose track of time and feel completely at ease when I’m in the kitchen. It’s like therapy. I also love going on walks with Chas and our furry companions. Lately, we’ve been popping down to the quaint little bed and breakfast inn where we spent our honeymoon, so that we can catch our breath and lie on the beach, soaking up the sun. I’ve learned to be much better at delegating tasks so that Grayson and the others are able to run the shops while I’m gone.
Interviewer: That’s great, Missy. Talk to me a little bit about why a smart, lovely and accomplished woman like yourself managed to stay single until your forties.
MG: (Laughing) Well, that might be a long story! As you know, I inherited the family business when I was very young, just seventeen, and I worked really hard to make certain that it stayed afloat. Friends of the family and neighbors were tremendously supportive of my efforts to keep my parents’ legacy alive, and I managed to work my way through college while running the first shop, Missy’s Muffins and More. With all the work involved in managing and running a growing business, there really wasn’t time for dating.
Interviewer: Was it that there actually wasn’t time, or was it that you didn’t make the time?
MG: Oh my, I can’t slip anything by you, can I? (Smiles) Yes, you hit the nail right on the head – I didn’t make time. In retrospect, I suppose that was because I lost the most important people in my life. My parents were taken in the accident, and my baby sister passed away way too soon as well. I guess, subconsciously, I may have thought that if I loved someone, it would somehow cause their demise. It’s silly, but I think that may have been the case.
Interviewer: It’s not silly at all, you were traumatized by untimely deaths – it’s completely understandable that you’d want to protect yourself emotionally.
MG: (Nodding) Yep, I think you nailed it again…I was hiding so that I wouldn’t get hurt, and Chas would probably tell you that I still do that sometimes.
Interviewer: Speaking of Chas…he must be pretty special to have snagged Missy Gladstone. Tell us about him.
MG: Chas is the best thing that ever happened to me. He brings out the best in me, and is the most supportive human being that I’ve ever known. His smile is irresistible and his emotional strength is a source of comfort and hope for me. He’s kind and giving, and I couldn’t ask for anything better. He’s the man of my dreams.
Interviewer: And quite a hunk too…
MG: Well, there’s that (Blushes)
Interviewer: Have you heard from Echo lately?
MG: Oh yes! Echo and I talk every day, whether it’s by text or phone or video call. She’s my best friend, after Chas of course. I can’t even begin to think of life without her.
Interviewer: Do you have any plans to visit her?
MG: Actually, she and I are going to have a girl’s weekend at the B&B in a few weeks. I can’t wait to see her.
Interviewer: I bet! You’ll have to come back and tell us all about it.
MG: I’d love to!
Interviewer: We’ll look forward to that. Okay, last question for now…If you could sum up the most important lesson that you’ve learned through your years of running shops and dealing with people and living life…what would that lesson be?
MG: That one’s easy. Relationships are what makes life worth living, and I try to invest in the relationships in my life every day. When folks remember us after we’re gone, they’re not going to remember the trophies on the shelf, the money in the bank – they’re going to remember smiles, kisses, hugs, wiping away tears – the little moments when life hurts and then it gets better because someone truly cares. I take time every day to appreciate the beauty of life and love all around me – the sound of a baby laughing, the soft fur on the top of Toffee’s head, holding hands with my handsome, loving man, the smell of vanilla lavender cupcakes fresh out of the oven. We have a limited time on this crazy, turbulent, wonderful planet, and I try to squeeze as much as I can out of every possible opportunity, and hope that it blesses those around me. It takes no effort at all to try to brighten someone’s day. The smile that I give may be exactly what someone needed to try to make it through a tough time, and it literally costs me nothing, yet is the richest investment that I can make.
Interviewer: Well said, Missy. (Nodding, eyes moist) Thank you for joining me today – it has been a true pleasure talking with you.
MG: Oh, thank you so much, the pleasure was mine, really (brilliant sunshiny smile)