When I lived in Los Angeles, the local Jewish Federation brought an impactful puppet show program to the local Jewish elementary schools. The message: Kids are different, but inside, they’re the same. It resonated with the students. It resonated with me, a volunteer puppeteer for this worthwhile project, too. Little did I know, it would change the course of my career and my life.
I am a voiceover artist, and at the time, I was represented by a very large talent agency that focused primarily on celebrities. Being on their roster was exciting, but ultimately I wasn’t getting the attention there to grow my career. During that time, I was also volunteering with the puppet show. I contacted the show’s creators to discuss turning the puppet show into a television series with similar themes, based on the characters already developed. I would write some scripts for the potential series and hopefully create more voice work for myself at the same time.
But the puppet show’s creators weren’t interested in expanding to other mediums. However, I decided to start writing shows anyway, as a way to generate more voice work. Much to my surprise, I enjoyed writing for the sake of writing, too. Before long, I had created multiple properties, which often included elements of the theme that kids are different, but inside, essentially the same.
Q.D. Foodie was developed from this process, initially as a TV series proposal. It’s the story of a girl who is blind and loves to cook. The title character, Quinn Daisy (Q.D.), is loosely based on Elda Zeldis, an elderly woman who would talk to the children after the puppet shows. Elda was blind and, among other things, loved to bake.
Together with my team, we develop artwork with every project. For Q.D. Foodie, we made drawings of utensils that look like food: spoons with carrot handles, celery spatulas and more. The designs made me smile, and I knew that others would love them, too. So I decided to take it to the next level and create real tools based on the drawings and have merchandise. It seemed a little crazy, as this was a huge undertaking, and I had no experience in manufacturing, but it all was part of a bigger picture that was growing clearer each day. Pitching the show would have to wait. I was creating an entire brand that focused on inclusiveness and creativity, and that made me smile, too. Big.
Q.D. Foodie tools are the first inclusive and fun kitchen tool collection. They are sensory-friendly and have easy-grip handles, Braille and vibrant colors that engage picky and non-picky eaters alike and make preparing food (even) more fun for everyone.
The themes of my show, and Q.D. Foodie tools, focus on treating all with respect and sensitivity. Q.D. Foodie believes in giving back, and thus a significant tzedekah (charity) element is included with all purchases. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to two charities: the Houston Food Bank and Leket.
The Houston Food Bank has had an extreme need in the recent past. More personally, my daughter was born with a serious vision problem. There are only two doctors in the country that perform the surgery she needed, so we traveled to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. Less than a year later, Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of the area and affected people we met.
We are also delighted to be donating to Leket, Israel’s National Food Bank. As committed and involved Jews, Israel is always on our minds and in our hearts, and my family hopes to make aliyah (immigration to Israel) one day. We are fortunate to have a thriving Jewish state, and we are committed to supporting it.
Q.D. Foodie tools are available now through June 7, 2018 on Kickstarter.