It was 2009 and, in Saunderstown, Rhode Island, times were tough for Miquette Bishop and her family.
Looking back at a period she describes as 'financially dark', Miquette is frank in admitting this ranks amongst the 'lowest points' she has ever known.
She might not have realized it at the time, but, from the darkness came a light that has changed her life forever. That light is known as OM.
In using her artistic aptitude to shape and craft the clay, Miquette created something magical that morning . . . .
You might - perhaps - recognize him.
There soon followed a concept and a catchphrase, connection - a force Miquette has long believed in - not far behind.
To quote a designer determined to harness that power and use it to make a difference in the world, 'When I created the first OM, it didn't matter who I showed it to, they all fell in love. People from all walks of life were drawn to their cute, charismatic presence and I realized that, through this little OM, we are all connected. OMs are peaceful little creatures with big dreams and even bigger hearts. OMs are the products of wishes . . . . we share many of the same wishes [and] at one time or another almost everyone will wish for love, for peace [and] for happiness. These are known as Universal Wishes. When a person makes one of these special wishes, an OM is born . . . . an OM's life's purpose is to nurture that wish and to make it come true'.
Since that first special OM was created in 2009, several hundred others have followed and have found homes the Earth over . . . .
In the process, OMs have shared their strong message of hope, brought people together and forged countless connections.
They've come to symbolize the qualities and beliefs that drive Miquette and her growing team - things like love, kindness and compassion - and are helping people all over the planet to make their wishes come true.
They've also led Miquette to think hard about her own dreams.
In order to realize them - and to make her wishes come true - Miquette is going to require a little assistance. With that in mind, Miquette and the team at OM HQ are preparing to launch an ambitious Kickstarter project.
This is, in a nutshell, a process that, it is hoped, will help us to raise the funds required to take our efforts to the next level . . . .
To go global and to make the impact on the planet we crave; to touch more and more lives; to increase our connections; to reach millions . . . .
If we are to succeed, we're going to need to raise $25,000 - an ambition that would have seemed unimaginable in 2009, when Miquette put her troubles to one side for a moment and set about putting her imagination to the test.
This is our greatest challenge yet, but with your help, we're sure we can make it.
You can learn more about our Kickstarter project by visiting our News & Events blog, where the film that will form the centerpiece of our campaign is now playing.
In due course, we will use this blog to announce how you can get involved and play your part when our project goes live.
It's our hope that this will inspire you to lend us a hand, to help us reach our target and to realize our dreams because together, we can change the world.
If nothing else, we hope we've demonstrated what can be achieved with a little imagination and a lot of hard work, with big dreams and even bigger hearts.
From darkness there can be light . . . .
Because even though we are all individual souls . . . .