Our "Moon Face" Chocolate sculpture with Wood's original mold.
We had the kitchen. We had the concept. We had the tag line. We had the logo. What we didn’t have was permission to use the name and images that were central to our branding. For that, we needed authorization from the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts (BWCA). The BWCA is a small non-profit located in Wood’s old home and studio. Their mission it is to celebrate her life and work. Something about the location, size, and nature of the foundation told me that we needed to approach them on a personal level. I started to work on market analysis, financial predictions, and a licensing agreement. I was going to win their hearts with pie charts, statistics, and a contract filled with legalese. While I printed out posters and met with a lawyer, Lisa made one single phone call to Kevin Wallace, Director of the BWCA. She told him we were from The Porch Gallery, and asked if it was “cool” if we used Beatrice’s artwork and ceramic molds to create our chocolate molds. After a lengthy conversation that only had 5% to do with business, Kevin enthusiastically agreed to support us and recommend us to his board.
Our first visit to Beatrice’s studio felt like a game show. Kevin opened the doors and said, “pick anything you want!” In response, Lisa and I spastically ran in circles, bumping into each other, screaming “that one! that one! that one!” It was the best game ever. Given Kevin’s generosity and Beatrice’s legendary love of chocolate, I couldn’t believe that no one had ever thought to create chocolate molds from her ceramics before. And then I asked myself, “Really, why had no one done this before?” I was reminded of the quote, “Dating is just wondering why someone is single, then figuring it out.” I feared we were about to figure it out.
Co-Founder of Beato Chocolates