Keziah; Our Southern Bell
One year ago today, the Hoodsly team was faced with an unspeakable tragedy when one of our Customer Service team members, Keziah Caton, unexpectedly passed away. It is cliché to say that someone was kind, loving, and brought a smile to everyone they met when they have passed away, but in Keziah’s case, those accolades fail to tell the full picture. Keziah brought a smile to everyone she spoke to, cared more about how you were doing than herself, and poured her energy into being successful. While working full-time with Hoodsly, Keziah was a full-time student pursuing her college degree and was well on her way to fulfilling her dreams before she was taken too soon.
On the day of Keziah’s passing, our team was devastated. The phones kept ringing, the challenges of managing a growing e-commerce brand were fully present, and the perspective of what is important in life was on full display. While we understand the importance of every hood, and every customer that trusts us to be an important part of their kitchen for years to come, there are moments in our lives that our core is shaken. Our team was shaken. We are a family at Hoodsly. We care about the lives, the dreams and the passion of everyone that calls our company home. In this moment, nothing mattered more than supporting those most impacted as we all grieved. Her passing brought our team together, taught us to value every day, to tell those closest to you how much you love them, and not to let the everyday stresses dominate your world.
In the months following Keziah’s death, our team was focused on finding a suitable way to spread Keziah’s love. We designed a hood, the Bell, in honor of Keziah. As a team, we decided to provide scholarships to incoming college freshmen that exemplify Kenziah’s characteristics and the passion for success that Keziah had shown in her young life. For every Bell hood purchased, we contribute 10% of the proceeds to Hope Mill, a 501(c)3 that we established to carry on Keziah’s legacy. We will continue to share the stories of those that receive the scholarship and look forward to the annual giving as a way to show what Keziah meant to our team, her community, and those that were lucky enough to know her.
This post is not about Hoodsly. This post is to remind everyone that there are times home projects, frustration, and complaints pale in comparison to the stresses of the real world. We are human, we care, and we are here to help. But there are always things happening that the world will never know. Please consider the human element of the people that are helping you, in all walks of life, and bring compassion to every interaction, as you never know what is happening behind the scenes.
We love you, Keziah. We miss you.