how to be successful in small {handmade} business! part one.


So, May marked SEVEN years of Little Bit Funky being in business.  I feel like that's a pretty successful statement in itself but add to that a few things.  For example, for seven years, Little Bit Funky has been a profitable, DEBT FREE business.  For seven years now I've been able to have a decent job AND take care of my children at home.  For seven years I've been able to cater to my husbands schedule because my work schedule was completely flexible.  For seven years I've been able to buy clothes and food.  To pay for vacations and private school.  For seven years, my hard work has directly impacted my output.  For seven years, I have owned and operated a successful handmade business. I'm pretty proud of that.  And for the last three years (at least), I've made more of an income than I ever could with my college degree, with better hours to boot.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I know that every moment of my success is due to God. I know this because I have never wanted a small business, I was never pre-equipped for one.  I had no idea what I was doing, but more than once I heard God say, do the work and the blessings will come.  I had no plan or business model.  I didn't have investors or someone telling me what to do.  I didn't know how to SEW!  I feel like my situation is both unique and doable by anyone with patience, a good work ethic and a willingness to trust God when He tells you to do so.

I've been asked for years now to tell the story of Little Bit Funky, all in one place, for others to read and now I feel like that time as come.  I hope, in several parts, to share my story, to inspire you on your own, to give the advice that worked for me (and some of what didn't) and to show that where there is a will, there is a way.  I also hope to have some guest speakers along the way, other successful handmade business owners who made it work for them.  And I hope God will allow me to inspire others to chase their dreams of small business...or stay at home business or feed your crafty self business.

And like every good story, mine starts at a beginning.

January 2006.  Doug and I got married.  Without OUR planning to do so, we got pregnant on our honeymoon.  Now if you go back a little further still...on our first or second date I informed Doug that "I do NOT want to be a career woman.  I know I am supposed to be a stay at home mom so if that doesn't work for you, this will be our last date".  Surprisingly, he asked me out again, we dated, were married, were pregnant.

At the time, I was working as a social worker for a community services agency in my area, using my college degree.  I made approximately $22,000 a year (which I am sharing on purpose here, hang on), had excellent benefits (because my agency was part government and part private) and was at the beginning of what could have been a nice climb up the ladder.

Doug, was still working at Target at the time.  He was waiting on a promised (though not yet delivered) promotion at the time and was making about $11,000 a year and not much in the way of benefits.

From the moment I got pregnant, we knew I was going to quit my job upon Moses' birth.  A decision that made no sense to anyone besides us, but we KNEW that was what God wanted us to do.

To the world, I was giving up 2/3 of our income, our great benefits, security, a career, and who knows what.  Doug and I would both tell you, it was an EASY choice.  We knew that we knew that we knew,  that it was what God was telling us to do.   

So there we were, pregnant, newly married, starting careers, about to give up our income...and God in the background working out a plan that would forever change our lives....

stay tuned for part two....
 

And don't forget to hop on over and leave your comment for a chance to win $100 from Curel!

8 comments:

Alison Creamer said...

Looking forward to reading the rest of your story.

Angela Davis said...

Thank you for sharing this! I've often wondered your secret to success,(besides you being so talented) I can't wait to read the rest!

Megan Linares said...

I love that you are sharing your story about how Little Bit Funky got started. Already it is so faith building for me to hear that you and your husband followed God's prompting for you to stay at home with your kids, even though it didn't make sense on paper or to other people. I want to be a stay at home mom when my husband and I have kids, and I have faith that God will work it out so that it is the best possible situation for that to happen, even if we may not see that now.

Renee Reyes said...

Beautiful story can't wait to read the rest.

Susan Jeffries said...

I can't wait to read the rest of your story!! Susan

Amy said...

I struggled so much when my children were little. I wanted to be home but I didn't have any idea how to do it since my income was greater than my husband's. I wish I had had the faith that God would provide back then & just taken the leap. On the bright side though, I've been working from home for 7 years and my children don't remember me not being home. We also homeschool.

Amy said...

I struggled so much when my children were little. I wanted to be home but I didn't have any idea how to do it since my income was greater than my husband's. I wish I had had the faith that God would provide back then & just taken the leap. On the bright side though, I've been working from home for 7 years and my children don't remember me not being home. We also homeschool.

Amy said...

I struggled so much when my children were little. I wanted to be home but I didn't have any idea how to do it since my income was greater than my husband's. I wish I had had the faith that God would provide back then & just taken the leap. On the bright side though, I've been working from home for 7 years and my children don't remember me not being home. We also homeschool.

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