My grandmother, Angeline “Bessie” Sanders-Nelson is the inspiration behind Bessie’s Sweet Delights. The company was started shortly after her passing. Grandma Bessie was the co-owner of “Bargain Fair Variety Store” for over sixty years in Sumter, SC. My grandparents displayed a sense of entrepreneurship in me at an early age. I remember selling penny candy to my friends during recess in 4th grade.
I learned so many valuable lessons from them 1) Customer Service is everything when owning a business; 2) Invest in your business, yourself and your family; 3) Don’t be afraid to take risks (The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward)! I am forever grateful for the lessons my grandmother taught me, the business acumen she instilled in me and the love that I still feel every single day!
VonGretchen C. Nelson-Donawald
VonGretchen C. Nelson-Donawald is a Diversity and Inclusion Strategist/Educator, entrepreneur, author, talent advisor, and engaging public speaker. She spent twenty-two years helping companies securing a more global and inclusive workforce for generations to come through education and awareness. She received her M.A. in Human Resource Management with a concentration in Organizational Management from Walden University. She holds a B.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Child Development from South Carolina State University.
Shortly after the passing of her grandmother, Angeline “Bessie” Sanders-Nelson, VonGretchen walked away from corporate America, relocated to her home state of South Carolina to follow her passion for cooking and baking. She initially started baking for family and friends and through word of mouth she was in high demand. VonGretchen serves her homemade desserts at over six farmer markets through the midlands, South Carolina State Fair, Vintage Markets, Trade Shows, Festivals, and inside several malls.
In addition to her leadership role at Bessie’s Sweet Delights, she has expanded the brand with her husband, Tyrus to develop InnoVATV Crafts & Woodworks set to debut Winter, 2020. VonGretchen resides in Blythewood, SC with her husband Tyrus and daughters, Victoria Renee' and Abigail Angeline.