Today we’d like to introduce you to Toni Diamond-Bingham.
Hi Toni, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I own 2 businesses. Toni’s Touch Seasonings, LLC and Rare Diamonds Performing Arts Studio, Inc (non-profit organization). Toni’s Touch started by accident. I have always cooked for parties that I attended or gatherings. The hosts would always ask me to make some type of specialty dish.
This particular time was different. My friend asked me if I could come to her house and make some salmon on the grill for her and her guests. She explained that she would only provide the salmon. I had to bring my own seasonings. I went to my spice cabinet and began to pull all the seasonings I use to make my salmon. When I realized all the seasonings I pulled out, I didn’t want to carry all of them so I found an empty parsley seasoning container and mixed everything I needed in that container, and went over to my friends to cook the salmon.
Everyone loved the food and the taste, they was was amazing. I left my seasoning mix at her house and the next week, she called me and told me she used all of my seasoning concoction and wanted me to make more for chicken and vegetables for her family and she would pay me. I did that and word of mouth spread quickly. Before I knew it, I sold over 200 containers of various seasonings in 1 month.
I made a Facebook post about it and received another 400 containers. I couldn’t keep up with the sales and I was not even legal. I had to rush to get incorporated and get an EIN and the next thing I knew, I was catering. Everything happened so fast. I came off my job to keep up with all of the orders.
Rare Diamonds was created in 2014. My passion is the performing arts. I love writing and producing stage plays, performing, and singing since I was 4 years old. When I began having kids, I was a single mother. I noticed they had a niche for the arts as well but I couldn’t afford to put them in private lessons so I taught them myself.
They excelled at it. I realized I could help other families who could not afford private lessons with the opportunity to have the same training my kids had and give them pointers on how to audition for Broadway and movies. I write stage plays to put them on stage as a recital so to speak.
I love both of my businesses. It gives me so much satisfaction to see the faces and happiness of people I have touched.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It definitely has not been a smooth road. One of the biggest struggles is money. I don’t have enough of it to be able to push both companies to their fullest potential.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Business #1 – Toni’s Touch Seasonings – I create a special blend of seasonings for Chicken, Veggies, and Fish.
I also make pickles from scratch. I also cater to the seasoning blends I create. With my seasoning blends, you don’t need to add anything else to your meat, fish, or veggies and my pickles are one of a kind.
Business #2 – Rare Diamonds Performing Arts Studio, Inc – I do vocal and acting lessons. I contract choreographers to teach dance lessons, write stage plays, and am hired to do themed productions for different organizations.
What do you like best about our city? What do you like least?
I love the warmth of Jacksonville. I’m from Ohio and there is a lot of snow in the winter. What I like least about Jacksonville are the hurricanes.
- Seasonings $10 or 3for $25
- Pickles $10
- Vocal/Acting Lessons $40 per hour per session.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.tonistouchseasonings.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/tonistouchseasonings
- Facebook: facebook.com/tonistouchseasoningsandcatering
- Other: www.rarediamondsstudio.org