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Check Out Brooke Icenberger’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brooke Icenberger.

Brooke, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I spent years making coffee and now I make jewelry, but one thing has remained the same I’ve always liked making people smile. All the early mornings out at DeNovo Coffee in Tomball brought some incredible people into my life and I was able to form so many special friendships and relationships during that time. One frequent customer, now my current boyfriend, Robert Cegielski, invited me out to his custom furniture shop, Broken Tree Designs, to get a behind-the-scenes look and taught me some artisan skills and trades of my own. I wanted to find another use for the materials we were using, like wood and leather and decided that jewelry was the best way to channel my creative outlet and become a maker myself. With the encouragement and support from Robert, my family, my friends from DeNovo, and largely, the strength and courage from God, I was able to close one chapter of my life and walk boldly into the next to follow my own dreams and goals.

Out of all my goals, spreading kindness and light to others has definitely been what I’ve wanted to reach the most. Even though I left my customer service and retail job, my opportunities to form connections have only increased by being able to get involved with the community through different local markets throughout the area, like Eleanora’s Market on Ella in the Houston Heights and the Tomball Farmer’s Market on Main Street, in Tomball. To further build our brand, we have come together and formed a new company, Beauty and the Tree, now offering all of our former products like jewelry, décor, and custom furniture. Even though the goals may have changed, the purpose never did. While working for the Woodlands Church Café as a barista, and after going on mission trips to visit orphanages in Haiti, the Lord ignited a fire in my heart to somehow help children who needed love, care, and shelter. After many years and many detours, I am now able to give to kids like those who welcomed me with loving arms and, despite how little they had, just wanted to give you they’re all. To provide assistance and care for kids like those, we now give 2 percent of our sales to Arrow Child & Family Ministries, based out of Spring, TX.

The moral of the story is that if you follow the Lord with all of your heart, surrounded yourself with positive, uplifting people and don’t let fear hold you back, you can wind up in some of the most beautiful seasons of your life… and all great things start with coffee.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
When I first started my company, I was still working for the coffee shop. The late nights of designing, making, helping Robert when he needed a hand, and everything else that being a small-business owner entailed and early mornings of being a barista soon weren’t meshing too well. I wanted to prove to myself and everyone that I could take it all on with this weird defensive mentality, which quickly led to burnout. Taking some time to pause, reflect, and truly be still allowed me to have clarity for what was best for my life. I realized I was letting the fear of failure and my pride keep me from truly embracing the life that was meant for me. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and leave my job of two and a half years and take on a new venture.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I’m a maker that likes to make pretty things. In particular, earrings and necklaces, made of wood, acrylic, and leather. One thing that sets our products apart is that even though they’re made of genuine materials like hardwoods, they are very lightweight, not causing wear and tear on your ears. What I love about our products is that it’s more than just the piece of jewelry, it’s the smile that our customers get on their face when they see the bright, fun colors of the earrings, that quote or verse that resonates with their heart on our key chains or signs, or the beauty of the exotic woods and patterns in our cutting boards. It’s that piece of happiness that someone gets to take away with them. One thing that I am most proud of is my resiliency, my ability to pick back up my life, despite what was meant to break me and to move forward with grace allowing something beautiful to grow. I now have greater confidence in myself and my abilities and can let my light shine brighter than ever before.

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
I believe that success has the freedom to do things that bring you joy. I’ve always loved the quote, “if you do what you love, you love what you do,” and that is why I feel successful in my life right now. I am able to wake up in the morning and choose how to spend my day and make time for what is important for me and the things I love. With constant adjusting and time management, I am finally learning to live a balanced life with time for the Lord, serving in church, my partner, family, friends, and everything else that has a special place in my heart. My ultimate goal in life is to spread this joy that I’ve cultivated to others, and if I can spread these seeds of kindness and brighten the lives of those around me, then I would consider that to be a success.

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