I never, in a million years, thought I would have the desire or urge to think about a Sewing Shed.
Before I go on, let's back track a little bit, to get you caught up!
I began sewing in 2012. I have always been a creative and loved to draw, paint, color, etc. You know, the whole artsy 9 yards. I never looked at fabric as a means of constructing and creating something out of it, until I had girls. I was a young mom, working full time and chasing two little girls around to keep up with this thing called cardio.
I thoroughly enjoyed shopping for them, because, HELLO, little girls' clothes are just so stinking cute! Once I realized that many stores offered the same things, I began looking at fabric and clothing differently.
I bought a $120 sewing machine (that is still chugging along today..YAY), some fabric that I had no idea what the names or content was, thread, and some fabric only scissors--this was a must. Man, I was a baller. I was ready to sew up some awesome, one of a kind, clothes for my girls.
Major EPIC Fail. I had no idea what I was doing. I didn't even know patterns existed.
I reached out to my Aunt Bertha, yassss. She had been sewing since she was a little girl and does upholstery for boats and restaurants. She is very skilled in what she does and I knew going to her for some starting tips would help. She taught me how to work a sewing machine, that the grainline in fabric is important, how to thread, back stitch, and most importantly read a pattern. I had the first steps on what I needed to get going.
So I ventured back home with a baby on my hip, ric rac galore and a mind ready to jump in.
Once I got the hang of it, I could not stop. I loved cutting out fabrics and seeing the finished product! I was making dresses, hairs bows, bibs and more.
At this time, I was a teacher. Though the hours were pretty regular, this little hobby of mine was taking off! Word of mouth got around and I was getting orders pretty regularly. It was getting too much for me to keep up with, while at the same time getting a good amount of sleep and spending time with my girls. So I stopped, boxed the sewing machine up and didn't think about it for a while.
Fast forward to Winter 2015. I was happily married earlier that year and we were just getting settled into our home and life together. With my two girls and his precious little man, we had a lot on our plate. Justin, my husband, was the first to bring up my past sewing venture that I had so briefly embarked on. I told him about it and showed him pictures and he was the biggest factor in encouraging me to start again.
I excitedly agreed and started researching! First order, was to be a legit business. YES, this is a huge deal. Got the license, paid the fees, figured out taxes, etc.
Next, business name! This should have been the easy part, but it was not. I wanted something catchy, beautiful and God inspired. It took weeks for me to realize that the Lord was speaking to me over this very dream. The same topic of faith kept jumping at me from every direction and finally John 15:5 keep replaying over in my head. Ok, Lord, I hear you and Faithful Branches Boutique was born!
We financed an embroidery machine, I bought supplies, dusted off my sewing machine and I was off! March 2015 was the official "Reopening" of my home-based business. I was beyond ecstatic and so thankful for my husband who believed in me this much to invest so much and cheer me on.
We agreed to give it 6 months until we revisited the decision if I should work from home full-time. After just 3 months, the Lord has blessed the business with more work than I could do in just a few hours after dinner was made and kids were in bed. I was getting less than 4 hours of sleep each night just to have orders done in a timely manner. Justin would stay up with late with me on the weeks he was home just to keep me company. I was dragging and I was exhausted.
We finally felt the Lord tell us it was time and that next day, I went to my supervisor and I put my two weeks notice in. I felt immediate relief but also an excited fear. What if this doesn't work? What if I don't make money? What if its all just a waste of our resources and my time? The enemy was ready to fill my mind with doubt.
Luckily, we had a family vacation already planned and were off to the beach for a week. I was able to relax before jumping into the business full-time. It was so needed and filled with so much laughter and sun. Our kids were excited to not have to go to summer care or after school care anymore, I mean, who can blame them!
Once we got back home, Justin was off to the rig for his 3 week rotation. Things went smoothly and I was thrilled to be home with my babies for the summer. I'll admit, I was lost and not really sure how to be my own boss, but I just knew this was exactly where I was supposed to be.
A few days later, I got a phone call that shattered my world. My husband was hurt on the oil rig and they were keeping him in a hotel to see if he would recover to be able to get back to work; because you know, he was the only one making any form of steady income at this time.
His knee was hit pretty bad. He was not able to walk or do anything normal without being in an excruciating amount of pain. He hobbled around the hotel on crutches and tried as hard he could to muster up the strength to get to work. They finally flew him back to the rig prematurely and he was not able to make it to the full 3 week shift. He was flown home, in pain. The first month of me not receiving a steady income, we didn't get his full pay either.
After some physical therapy, pain meds, sleepless nights, he was ready to go back to work. We felt certain everything was going to be OK. He had minimal pain and was able to finish his 3 week shift, but on the night he came home, he got a call and was fired. With no hint at all that this would be the plan. We were blindsided and in complete despair. What did he do to get fired? How were we going to pay bills? Why did God tell me to quit my job? How are we going to feed our kids?
We were broken. We felt lost. We weren't able to renew our lease, which was up that month. My mother so graciously opened her home up to the 5 of us and she helped us in so many ways that I will never be able to thank her enough for.
Time after time, checks came in in the exact amount we needed to pay a bill that month. Friends who had no idea what we were going through lent their hands to help in ways that meant more than they would ever know. God continued to provide during all of this. We had nothing, no money, house, permanent jobs, nothing to lean on, but Him.
Justin had previously talked about going back to school to finish his degree, but he knew it was ludacris to leave a great paying job just to attend school. Well, God answered his prayer and he went back to school. It was completely paid for due to his previous service with the Navy. He got a job in a field he enjoys and graduated just a year after he started because of credits he had already earned. God is good.
I was working out of my mom's garage while we lived with her. Business was going well and right when bills were about to be due, an abundance of orders came in right when we needed them to. God never stopped showing up.
We lived with my mom for a little over 18 months. At times, 8 of us in a home that was less than 1,300sqft. But joyful and thankful.
Only by the grace of God, were we finally able to get on our feet again. In the Spring of 2017, we had signed to build our dream home. Tears streaming down our faces. Over abundance of thanksgiving and praise. God knew all along that the roads we were going down would lead to this. We just had to trust Him, His timing and never stop having faith.
There were times I wanted to give up and go find a "real job", but Justin said no; God didn't tell us to invest in Faithful Branches Boutique for me just to quit. I questioned God, but Justin's faith never wavered. He was strong and continues to lead our family so well. I am so thankful for the ways God has taken care of us, even when I doubted he would. I sit in awe, right here in my sewing shed, cheesily holding back tears of joy because of how good He is.
We could not have done this, our marriage, quitting a job, losing a job, losing our rental, moving back in with parents, feed our family, having no money at times, arguing, making up, going back to school, surgery, recovering, falling down and getting back up again, without God. He is the only reason we can tell our story with smiles on our faces and full confidence that God is not done yet.
I cannot wait to see where He takes us.
Stay tuned for Part 2! I promise to get into the sew shed with pictures and tips on how to build/furnish your own sewing or crafting shed! I just knew you can't talking about the mountain top views without sharing what you learn in the valleys.