From March 2014:
I “lost” two jobs in 4 months. First time in my life. And really, it wasn’t THAT big of a deal. The first one crushed me. The second one I feel, now looking back, I only cried because of pregnancy hormones. When I left that last day from my job, I called my mom and in the back ground my dad said, “Don’t worry, God’s got something better out there for ya!” To which I’m pretty sure I hung up and rolled my eyes. But he was right. God did have something better.
I’m a big prayer. BIG. A constant prayer of mine is that what ever I do in life, I live my life in accordance with the Lord’s will. I don’t pray this alone either. My husband and I pray this together. It’s something that over the last five years or so we have leaned on tremendously. It’s what we know has led us to today.
When I lost my opportunity for employment, I began to pray for a new job or some kind of employment or work. With NO idea what that would LOOK like for someone in my pregnant condition and low expectations, I held on to the fact that they said they would call me back by Easter.
As it was, when the time came to accept the job I could not due to complications from my pregnancy. Simply put, I would not have been able to do this new job they offered.
So I continued to pray and I found comfort in the verse Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
A little over a year ago I was cleaning out my Willow House office cabinet, and found this old folder. It was a folder I used to hold all my clippings. You know, OLD SCHOOL from-real-paper magazines. 😉 For years I have kept things that inspire me, for crafts, canning, cooking, baking, you name it. I hadn’t used it in a while because I had started to use Pinterest.
As I purged I started to notice a trend in my inspiration file. Pages and Pages of business owners. Small business owners. Some men, some women. Young. Old. Married. Single. Husband and wife businesses, best friend businesses, but all small, local business run by people with passion for their craft. Inspirational.
I had always wanted to run my own business. I had the floor plan in my head and I knew what I items I would sell. I knew the classes I wanted to hold and even the hours I wanted my store to be open. I even had the employees pictured with hot pink hats on their heads.
Feeling all nostalgic and wishful, I picked up two books I had read recently, The Accidental Bee Keeper and The Dirty Life, BOTH of these books are similar in concept, and then it struck me.
NO wonder these people are so successful. Nearly ALL of them have really nothing to lose. Nearly ALL of them had some epiphany while at their job, their job that paid insanely well, that they just “needed” to quit and follow their heart.
Crap. Well, that’s CLEARLY not me.
I still felt like I wanted to try and I REALLY had nothing to lose. Nothing.
I prayed. I talked to my husband about some ideas for me to do for work and about starting a business and being the best husband that he is said, “I don’t care what you do, as long as we don’t lose money!”
Don’t lose money. I can do that. I pinch pennies so hard they are starting to become nickels. Check!
I didn’t leave a six figure job. But it was a job. I traded that in to rely on my talent and passion. I had a loom I bought with my birthday money, and my mom’s sewing machine. I had twenty bucks in my wallet, my husband’s permission, and I started a business at 4.5 months pregnant.
I started with my soap. I began with a simple melt and pour base recipe I had found in an old Martha Stewart Living magazine article I had saved and re-found in that folder. I reintroduced the world to a bar of soap I had made a few years back. I sold every single one of those bars before I bought more supplies. I continued this way: investing most of what I had sold back into my business and selling more. Preparing for my first holiday selling season, I did six craft shows and made more in those six weeks than I did the entire time I worked for that last job that let me go. I was able to do it on my time, around my family, and it felt good. And man, when our computer crashed, and my car battery died, it was nice to say, “Hilltop helped pay for that!”
Now, one year later I have sold hundreds of bars of soap. Nearly 40 rugs. I’ve expanded to BALMS and quilts and I have an INTERN! Me! Hilltop! Crazy.
Turns out my parents were right. God did have something better. I thank God. All the time. I have NO idea what Hilltop will look like a year from now. I have ideas that are mine, and but they may not be the direction of the Lord. In the mean time. I enjoy his blessings. I bask in his goodness.
Living according and in step with Him,
(Huge thanks to Denise from Life with Four Boys Coffee Please for helping me edit this. Thankful that she is able to see in seconds what I never would )