How selling pickles saved a Florida woman's life
Olivia Sain has been a fan of pickles for a while and began making them at home for fun. But, four months ago, she opened her own business and started selling them at local farmers markets around town.
But, it's the story about why she made pickles – and how her sprawling business, Liv's Gourmet Pickles – may have save her life.
"I lost him at 23. He was my mentor, my best bud, someone I looked up to, so when he died that was very sudden," she said. She lost her dad – and it nearly destroyed her.
She became depressed, she said, and to numb the pain, she turned to alcohol.
"I was numbing the grief, easing the anxiety, filling the loneliness. Little did I know I got very deep into that," she remembered. She sought help at rehab and once she completed that program, she focused her attention on a new venture.
"The pickles literally gave me a purpose, a new perspective, and hope," she said, adding that it gave her something to look forward to each day.
And turns out, they're pretty good. So after her friends encouraged her for a while to open her own business and sell them, she did.
She has a variety of flavors – Sweet Jalapeño, fresh rosemary, and fresh drill. She uses fresh ingredients and thick pickles.
"I look at the pickle as a metaphor for change and transformation. I figure once it's a pickle, it can never go back to being a cucumber and that's what I'm trying to do- never go back to my old ways," she said.
She wants to help others too. A dollar from every bag and $3 from every bucket sold is donated to charity. All proceeds in March will be donated to the Realize Foundation, which seeks to provide awareness around mental health and suicide prevention.
"I love doing this. I know I'm giving back to a great cause and that makes me feel like I'm doing meaningful and purposeful work," she said.
Deana Mitchell started the foundation after he own suicide attempt. She knows the pain many people go through.
"The whole purpose of everything we do is so that people know they are not alone and that there is hope," she said.
From pickles to resources, Deana's and Olivia's purposes are now aligned through the brine.
"I look at the pickle as a metaphor for change and transformation. I figure once it's a pickle, it can never go back to being a cucumber and that's what I'm trying to do- never go back to my old ways," she sai.d
998 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: If you or someone you know is dealing with a mental health crisis, help and resources are available. Call or text the 998 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline - type or dial 998.