Starting A Business – My Story

by | Jun 13, 2010 | Miscellaneus, my business story, Running a Business | 96 comments

When I put up my “Ask Miss Mustard Seed” post a few weeks ago, I received tons of questions about starting and running your own business.  The time has come for me to answer those questions, share my own experience, give some practical advice, and highlight some resources.  Welcome to my new Workshop Series, Starting and Running Your Own Business, brought to you by Mustard Seed Creations and Funky Junk Interiors.
I will post this series as I can, so there is not a set schedule.  Just keep checking your readers and e-mails, so you don’t miss a post!  First of all, I thought it would be appropriate for me to share my own experience in starting my business.

If someone had told me that I would be a business owner a few years ago, I would’ve laughed. I am not a business minded person.  I have always dreamed of selling antiques, decorating for clients, and working for myself, but I was certain I would mess up my taxes and finances. I was certain I would fail. Necessity (and my mom) pushed me to start this business, not any grand vision or confidence in my own abilities.

My husband is a youth pastor and ministry is not a career field you go in to if you want to make a ton of money. I left my job as a recruiting manager to work with my husband and later became a stay-at-home mom to our two precious boys. We could manage on one income and, although things were tight, we could support our family. Then…the school loan came due. We had to start making payments and had no way to make them. We also had a string of mishaps that left me feeling down and in tears most days.

One day, in my sad state, my mom told me to stop crying and start using my talents to make money. “But what about insurance…what about supplies…what about costs…what about taxes…where will I get clients…what if I fall off a ladder into a can of paint?” My mom said she and my dad would be my investors and I should “just do it.” Mustard Seed Creations was officially filed as a business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania the next week. My parents bought me a laptop, painting equipment and supplies, a copier/fax/printer/scanner, a Cricut, projector, Quickbooks Pro, marketing materials, a web address, training with an accountant, furniture to get me started…everything. My husband was 100% supportive and offered additional help with the kids and even put together my first advertising flier.

My first sales attempt was at a Christmas Craft Market hosted by a local elementary school.  I paid $45 to be a vendor for the day and hoped to sell the 150 hand painted Christmas ornaments I had been working on for a few weeks.  I sold a lot of ornaments, but overall, the show was a big disappointment. Especially because I was surrounded by vendors selling things that were “Made in China”, not made over their kitchen counters, like mine were.  Lesson #1: craft shows were not going to be the right venue for me and I hated painting small things like ornaments.

I needed to find a shop to sell my hand painted furniture and promote my decorative painting and mural business.  I knew this, but I was scared and nervous about asking shop owners.  I also had no idea how an arrangement like that would work.  So, I did nothing.

When my parents came to visit in December of 2008, my mom pressed the issue and drove me store to store in downtown Gettysburg to market my hand painted ornaments to sell. I stopped at about five shops and heard the expected answer, “We’ll take your card and call you if we’re interested.” The last store I went into was Accessories – Fashion, Home and Kids.  I walked up to the counter and showed them a sampling of my ornaments, expecting the same response.  This time, the owner said, “I love them.  Why don’t we price them and put them in the shop right now.”   Shock cannot express my state.  Professionalism was thrown out the window as I sat on the floor in the middle of her shop and priced my ornaments.  I was shaking with excitement and I had to ask for her name about three times, because I kept forgetting it.  I started babbling about other ideas of selling painted furniture and antiques in her shop as well.  Several months later, I asked Denise, the shop owner, why in the world she “took me in.”  She told me that she just had a gut feeling and really couldn’t explain it.  I spent over an hour in the shop that day, pricing my ornaments to sell and acting like a lunatic.  All the while, my amazing mom waited in the car with my boys (a 5 month old and a 2 year old at the time), doling out lollipops and bottles and watching Toy Story on our portable DVD.  Have I mentioned how amazing my mom is?

Fast forward a year and a half and my furniture and antique sales at the shop have become my primary source of revenue for Mustard Seed Creations.  We moved to a larger shop to accommodate our growing inventory, Denise and I have attended Antique Fairs together and opened an Etsy shop to grow our audience.

I have discovered that owning or co-owning a shop someday is a dream of mine.  I recently decided to drop the mural and decorative service aspect of my business and focus strictly on the “goods” side (refurbished furniture and antiques) and my blog/writing.  I’m also hoping to get into some sort of design/decorating services and I have a couple of e-Book ideas bouncing around in my head.

The bottom line is that this business has not only become a financial help to our family, but it has given me a creative outlet that I couldn’t have imagined. I love thrifting, decorating, and DIY and now it’s my business. I “have” to go to yard sales and thrift stores and auctions. I often tell my husband as I’m going out the door at 7:00 am on a Saturday or rubber-necking as we drive by a yard sale that, “It’s my job.” I also get to own and use top-of-the-line equipment like my paint sprayer and projector.  The entire experience has been terrifying and rewarding all at the same time.

I learned a lot along the way and will spill every detail, misstep, resource and bit of wisdom that I have to share.   If you’re thinking about starting your own business or you’re even curious about the process, you won’t want to miss this Workshop Series!

96 Comments

  1. Donna @ The House on the Corner

    I think I held my breath the whole time I was reading your post. I have recently "retired" from a very stressful corporate job. I am in a position now that I can follow something I love vs the best paying job I can find and I love antiques, shopping, crafting, etc. I've been thinking about doing something along those lines as a source of income and here I find your message. I look forwarding to your upcoming messages!!!

    Reply
  2. Karen

    This sounds so amazing and exciting!! Can't wait for your next posting.
    (I appreciate reading about how supportive your parents are. It certainly helps me with my parenting.)
    Hugs,
    Karen
    Ladybug Creek

    Reply
  3. The Green Pea

    Well, you have been blessed with a wonderful Mother, Father, Husband and boys. I am happy that you are doing so well. Thank you for sharing your story. There are a lot of ladies out there that would like to start their own business. You are very encouraging. I think it is all in God's timing and plan. Great post. sandi

    Reply
  4. L.Duncan

    I came right over from twitter!

    Thank you for sharing this. I can't wait to read more! I too have thought about starting my own business. I'm not sure as to the steps I will take. I'm so glad that I started blogging because it has opened my eyes to a world of other women that are living and loving their dreams!

    BTW, you're beautiful;-)

    Reply
  5. Jeralee

    You Rock! I loved reading your story and the obstacles you have had to overcome to make it a reality. Your parents are pretty darn cool for being as supportive as they are.

    Sorry if I missed the answer to this question since I am a fairly new reader, but where did you learn to paint so well?

    Did you study fine art in school or take lessons? Or was it just a lot of experimenting and learning on your own?

    Kudos to you!

    Reply
  6. One Life Many Journeys

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey! I am embarking on my own journey to help my family with extra income via my furniture and DIY skills. You have been an inspiration and it is a blessing to me. Thank you!

    Reply
  7. Sandy

    Your beginning business sounded a bit like mine.. I had a large scale catering business.. I walked around the neighborhoods with flyers into mail boxes trying to sell my "cakes".. well Mr. Postman sent me a letter saying I could be arrested for using the US Mail boxes.. then after many business cards being passed to anyone who would take it.. some stroke of luck hit me.. I ended up, the first year, with 40 employees catering to the University of Illinois faculty center.. it got so big.. scarey but wonderful! My thoughts are just like yours.. "Have an idea, stick with it.. it will all fall into place with lots of hard work"! Never doubt yourself.. just do it!
    I sold the business and now live in a nice townhouse in Florida.. enjoying the fruits of my work!
    Love this series your doing!
    Sandy

    Reply
  8. Cindy Broaddus

    Thank you for sharing your story. It was very encouraging to me. I am a SAHM, but my dream (for over 20 years) has always been interior design, and to have a shop of my own. I have even gone so far as to make a blog with my business name, but have not published it or registered my business. Like you said, I have many questions and fears, too, but I feel God calling me to do this. So, I am grateful that you have been successful and there is hope for me. I look forward to your next post. 😉

    Reply
  9. 1 Funky Woman

    Wow, I'm so impressed and I love your Mom! My mother and I were going to open a shop someday but she passed in 2002 before we could really put our ideas together. How wonderful that your Mom knew this is what your calling was and is and pushed you. I cannot wait to read more about this. My heart was beating faster and faster as I was reading, because its so exciting to here of someone's dreams coming true!

    Reply
  10. Linda (Nina's Nest)

    I love your blog, I appreciate all the talents and gifts you share with us, and I am thankful that this is going well. How wonderful to have such a loving, supportive family! Linda

    Reply
  11. Missy Luukkonen

    Thank you for posting this! I will be following the series for sure, I dream of owning my own business someday too, but right now, it is just not feasable. I have a good job with excellent bennies, and since we still have small children, I can't give that up just yet. Someday though!!!!

    Reply
  12. Christina

    Our stories are so similar, My husband is a youth pastor too. And I stay home with our 4 girls. I have such a strong desire to start a design business but am so confused as to where to begin. Thanks for sharing. It helps reading about what other women have successfully done!

    Reply
  13. The Tidy Brown Wren

    What a wonderful example you are for your own children. When they are older, I can just see you being the "wind beneath their wings" as your own mother has been to you. Best wishes to you and your family.

    Reply
  14. Rebecca@This Present Life

    Thank you for sharing your story. Like so many others, I would love to contribute to our family income by selling painted furniture/antiques/rehabbed items. And like so many others, I don't know where to start. It's nice to hear the story of someone who is actually living the dream! Can't wait to read more from this series. And your mom sounds awesome!

    Reply
  15. Restyled Vintage

    fantastic, I can't wait for the next instalment!
    xx Karen

    Reply
  16. One Cheap B*tch

    What a great story! One I can relate to well.

    As a fellow small business owner, I just want to say how important it is to have a cheering section. For me, I got pregnant a month after quitting my full time job to start what I thought would be a career as a freelancer. Talk about being scared (with a baby on the way!)

    My husband was my BIGGEST source of support and still is to this day. My "freelance" career blossomed into a full time business that employs three people and two interns. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it was possible but my husband always knew and made me feel like I could do anything.

    Moral of the story: support from family and friends means more than a small business loan, 10,000 clients, etc.

    Jeanine

    Reply
  17. Shaunna

    Loved reading your story. I'm a huge admirer of your work, so I loved hearing how it all got started. I, too, run my own business and it's priceless, right?? Thanks for sharing your story with me! -shaunna 🙂

    Reply
  18. Suzanne@Meridian Road

    I so look forward to reading your series! Your story is inspiring, and I'm sure you have a tone of good advice~thanks for being willing to share!

    Reply
  19. Traci

    I can't tell you how many times I have wondered, "How did that person get started?" And I had wondered that about you as well. I enjoyed reading about your start and look forward to reading your next installment.
    Traci

    Reply
  20. judi

    oh my…i so related to your story…thank you for writing it. it was SUCH an encouragement…you have no idea HOW much!
    i look forward to more and more and more.
    judi 😉
    the1829farmhouse.blogspot.com

    Reply
  21. Mikal

    You're inspiring many… can't wait to read all about the journey!

    Mikal

    Reply
  22. Anna See

    oh my goodness! I loved reading this. what honesty. you are inspiring!

    Reply
  23. Elizabeth

    I am so glad you are sharing all this with me. Last year I left a career I hated but did for 20 years. With my husbands support we decided that I could start a business! I have some of the very same fears that you've mentioned and yet I feel it in my heart and soul that I'm heading in the right direction. I look forward to this series of posts and can't tell you enough how much you've inspired me so far. Our paths have crossed for a reason. Thank you for paying "It" forward.

    Reply
  24. Dayka (Life +Style)

    what a blessing your parents have been! there is nothing like the feeling of having supportive people behind you as you embark on a scary endeavor. i'm happy you're posting this and am excited to read about writing about your experiences (you know i love to pick your brain!) throughout the series!

    Reply
  25. All That Glitters

    Loved reading your story and can't wait to hear more!!! I'm looking at buildings for rent right now!

    Reply
  26. Erika

    Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. I love the fact that your Mom recognized your talents and that it could be a solution to what you were going through at the time.

    Reply
  27. Kerri

    I had goose bumps reading your story – some of your thoughts echoed mine exactly! I think the hardest part is getting out there and marketing yourself – it takes guts and a thick skin at times, and when so much of your blood, sweat and tears have gone into producing your work, rejection is scary. But you've proven that determination (and an absolutely amazing mum!) can be enough to get your ideas off the ground. Thanks so much for your generosity, it's wonderful of you to share so much with us. Can't wait for the next instalment! K xx

    Reply
  28. Cherished Treasures

    First let me say…I'm so proud of you for listening to your momma! I'm a mom of a daughter your age and sometimes moms know best 🙂 Also, I want to thank you and your husband for serving the Lord and His teenagers! I know ministry is a huge sacrifice financially BUT great are your rewards. I will hold you and your dear family in prayer that our Lord will meet your every need and hearts desire. I love your site and have learned so much. God has given you a gift…keep using it!
    Many Blessings,
    Mari-Jan

    Reply
  29. Katie @ On the Banks of Squaw Creek

    Ah! Talk about courage, but I think it must be paying off! Besides the money you make, you are an inspiration for so many!!! Definitely successful!

    Reply
  30. Tonia

    Thanks so much for this post. You must believe in yourself and step out on faith because if you don't who will. I'm so inspired.

    Reply
  31. Belinda

    Wow. As others have mentioned, you were so blessed to have so much support. Most creative types have a lot of insecurity in the beginning and how wonderful it was that you had not only your parents, but your husband as well. There are those of us, with the same insecurity, that didn't have a support system like that, and wound up giving up on our dream. So I say BRAVO! to you girl. To God be the Glory!

    Reply
  32. The Pennington Point

    Great post….very encouraging. I am a bit behind you in establishing my business. It is great to read your story. Thanks! Lisa~

    Reply
  33. Amy @MaisonDecor

    I started my interior desing business 20 years ago. Back then I was a stay at home mom taking in a few kids in a family daycare. But I loved decorating and making window treatments..I started making them for my daycare kids parents and decided to take a risk and start my own custom window treatment business. It paid off! Eventually I branched out and offered full services after getting more education. I love my job, and i think it teaches my sons how to be independent and rely on oneself. A strong mom is a good mom!
    Thanks for sharing, I can relate!
    Amy

    Reply
  34. Trish @TheOldPostRoad

    Thanks so much for sharing that! Do you have any photos of your original ornaments you pedaled? Would love to see them!

    Reply
  35. jodi@Pleasant-Home

    Fantastic! Can't wait to follow along. A really good thing you are doing. Many blessings…ooxx`jodi

    Reply
  36. Flick,

    I absolutely loved reading your story. You are such an amazingly real person, and rediculously inspiring! Your Mum sounds like an absolute angel…. I feel like I am always learing something from you, so thank you for giving so much of yourself!
    🙂 Flick

    Reply
  37. Kacey

    What an amazing family you have! It's so scary starting your own business – but exciting just the same. So glad you decided to go for it. Thanks for inspiring us!

    Kacey

    Reply
  38. Funky Junk Interiors

    I indeed will be reading this series front seat and center. I'm so glad you decided to put your God given talent to work. And I'm glad He sent your Mom to push you in the right direction. We all need that encouraging angel on the side. 🙂

    It was meant to be!

    Donna

    Reply
  39. Heidi

    You are so talented, and I'm so happy for your business. What a great support system you have.

    Reply
  40. manon 21

    Tu fais un beau travail.

    Bonne semaine

    manon

    Reply
  41. SueAnn

    This is going to be a great series! I can't wait to see/hear it unfold!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

    Reply
  42. Little Lizard King

    Great post! This one made me tear up a bit. Your parents are amazing. Of course, so are you!

    Reply
  43. Willow Decor

    What a great story! Thanks so much for sharing it and inspiring others! Your Mom and Dad sound so terrific. I know great things will happen for you!! Thank you for opening up and letting us share your journey.
    xx-Gina

    Reply
  44. Angela

    What a GREAT start to your story. I for one, keep getting that queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think about "going it alone". I know that this is really the catalyst that is telling me everything will be alright.

    Thanks and I can't wait to read more.

    Reply
  45. janet

    So inspiring!!!!! Thanks so much for sharing with us.

    Reply
  46. Ticking and Toile

    What an inspiring story & your mom is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing.

    xo,
    Shellagh

    Reply
  47. Teresa

    Thank you for sharing! It is great that your family is so supportive. I am blessed in that way too.

    If you have a chance would you mind sharing what type of sprayer you reccomend.

    Thank you again!

    Reply
  48. Us Four & No More

    As a young pastors wife I can TOTALLY relate to small salary, tears, school loans and living on a budget.

    I love working with my hands and have been praying about an open door, wisdom and timing in the next step of my journey. I desire to help support my family but want to do so within the bounds of "home".

    I am thrilled to read your story and felt a comraderie whilst I read about your journey. You are awesome and very blessed.
    Janelle

    Reply
  49. Ellen

    Good for you! smiles.

    Reply
  50. Christine

    Thanks for this post…I am looking forward to more.

    Reply
  51. Van

    A heartfelt thank you for sharing your story and secrets with us. Many of us have the dream to live according to our passions and you've achieved it. Of course, we're anxious to hear the rest of the story. I've shared this post with my Twitter followers and might do so on my blog as well. So inspirational!

    Reply
  52. Jeni

    Oh thank you, thank you for posting this! I so look forward to more! I am 7 months in to my own small business and was terrified to ask a small shop in our town for the opportunity to sell in her store. I was so thrilled when people started puchasing my products! Can't wait to read more of your story & wisdom. Have a wonderful day!

    Reply
  53. Jennifer @ Studio JRU

    Great story! I loved hearing how you started your business. What a blessing to have a mother like you do! Thank you for sharing your inspiring story… can't wait to hear more! 🙂

    Reply
  54. Heather

    Thank you for sharing this! It was a joy to read.
    What wonderful, supportive parents you have. I also am blessed with supportive parents, without them my crafting business wouldn't be where it is today.

    Reply
  55. Leslie

    Great testimony! Take some time to focus on making that ebook; email me if you need any help with this!
    Leslie

    Reply
  56. Room to Inspire

    I just loved reading your story! Very inspiring and I can't wait for your new series!

    Chelsea

    Reply
  57. pogonip

    This series is perfect timing for me–I know I need to make a change and work at something that fulfills my creative side. I'll be reading avidly and thanks for your insights in advance 🙂

    Reply
  58. Cara @ Whimsy Smitten

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. I am in the early stages of trying my hand at getting serious about doing what I love, and have had a few small disappointments, much like your craft show story, that were worth the time and effort solely because of the learning experience they turned out to be. I know that I will find my groove, but reading that designers that I admire and people that "have it" can start off the same way is a huge reminder to me to keep finding ways to do what I love, knowing that in whatever way they are meant to, things will come together.

    Congrats on sticking through the rocky start and getting to where you are. You are an inspiration!

    Reply
  59. Heather at Happy Chippy Junk

    I am so impressed by you and the things you have done and the way you have over come fear! I love your Meg Ryan "do" too1!

    Reply
  60. Josiah's Mom

    Miss Mustard Seed,

    Thank you so much for sharing. I am just getting going on my own business (www.snugasabugbaby.com) I am amazed at the initial investment (time and money). And even though the idea makes me really excited, it makes me even more scared. I see many parts of my story in yours…we are currently scraping by on my husband's income, but have school loan payments looming (30,000 for a Master's I probably won't use for any sort of career). I pray that someday I will have an inspirational success story to share…and am excited to continue following yours.

    -Alisha

    Reply
  61. Amber

    It was so encouraging to read your story! I am in a corporate position right now and I want OUT! I need something I love and enjoy, but have been scared. I know sometimes that God wants us to take that step of faith (even when it's out of our comfort zone) to see how He wants to bless us. Thank you for sharing!!

    Reply
    • Pam

      My new motto is, “If you don’t take the risk, you forfeit the miracle.”

      Reply
    • Mila Wright

      Same here. I feel like I’m in prison working for my corporate job. I’m working hard on my own business and have been for a number of years. But it’s not generating enough income for me to quit just yet so I just keep on plugging away at it hoping it works before I can’t take the corporate job anymore and become the next bag lady. 🙂

      Reply
  62. Robin Norgren

    A timely read for me-thank you so much sharing.

    Reply
  63. Pamela Holderman

    Just found your blog and I will be following. thanks!

    Reply
  64. *Linda Pinda*

    Wow…
    I love your mom 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your story. It's so encouraging for others.

    My husband is a music minister in our church, so I totally understand that the perks to that job are spiritual and not financial… LOL. I wouldn't want it any other way, but it sure does present it's challenges to our family of 8!

    I do feel blessed to have a supportive husband. We are in the process of merging our family room into what was a more formal living room. And the family room will be my studio where I can close the door and actually get work done. I love having my children around me, but without that seperate space to work in, I am always invading family space, and they are always "helping" (translation: I can't get a thing done!!!)

    I appreciate your candor, and the beautiful witness you are to being a devoted wife and mother as well as a talented business woman and artist.

    Reply
  65. Christy @ SparklesAndSpinach

    I'm a new follower (read about you on The Lettered Cottage) and am just so inspired by your story. What an amazing and supportive family you have. It's so wonderful that you got to chase your dream and even more wonderful that you have become such a success. Wishing you tons more!!! Btw, I'm a HUGE fan of "Guess How Much I Love You?" and that mural in the photo is just so beautiful. =)

    Reply
  66. wig4usc

    I'm new to your blog and came across this entry, about how you got started. Can I tell you how much I appreciate your candor? This is something I've always hoped I'd fall into, I have the same fears you describe, and a friend who's the one pushing me to get things going. We just haven't jumped in the car to go store to store, and with a full time job outside the home, a kid, dog, hubby, etc, I'm struggling to find the time to build up some inventory. But thank you for the inspiration, I know I need to make my opportunity happen!

    Reply
  67. Good Time Charlie

    I have spent the better part of my afternoon glued to your blog! Wow, what an inspiration. I love that you shared your story. Yes, God does answer our prayers, how wonderful you had the courage to listen to your calling. You have inspired so many people, and given so much by all your advice. I am so grateful the business that has come my way out here in California, but I am SO inspired by your blog, your story, your tastes, WOW! How amazing that you can do this and still be full time mommy to your sweet little boys. I am just full of good feelings after spending all this time in your blog land. Have a wonderful weekend. -Karen

    Reply
  68. northwesthospitality.org

    Wow. My hair is standing on end reading this. We are so much a like and your writing tugs at the heart strings. I too have two little boys. I started a blog last week asking, "God where is this taking me?" My answer was clear. Have a point "A" and point "B", but don't worry yourself how you'll get there. If I want to walk on water, I have to get out of the boat! I desire a life of creativity and blogging. God will get me there! Tears. Thank you so much for your hard work blogging. I will be posting more of my refinished antiques on my blog in days to come. Thanks for touching lives! Mostly now, photos of my "Nantucket Cottage" in Oregon. xox Sarah@NorthwestHospitality.org

    Reply
  69. freckled laundry

    This post reminds me of our similarities. I needed to read this. I am definitely in fear & self doubt mode at the moment, especially as I applied for my EIN tonight, etc. I was overwhelmed with nervousness that I'm going to screw the financials up or fail. Then, I remembered you doing a business series & came back to scour your blog. Taking a break from the projects tonight, and I'm online looking for a good accounting software right now. I just keep saying to myself, "Believe in yourself, Jami Lynn." Comforting to know that this is how you once felt too. Thank you for believing in me. 🙂

    Reply
  70. Gracefully Vintage

    Im so Happy for you.. and I too took the same leap of faith-startng at a co-op(tiny space) growing to more- then able to quit my part time job to just focus on the space – TO grown to a semi partnr at another shop-then to my Very own shoppe.. If you love it -believe in it, it can happen..
    LOVe your Story..
    Karryann

    Reply
  71. Blessed Mommy of 2

    Beautiful story! Love that God is blessing you so greatly :o) Thanks to your mom for seeing your talent and supporting you!

    Reply
  72. Mrs BC

    What an amazing & inspirational story, thank you for sharing! Your Mum sounds Amazing with a capital A; would she like to adopt me?
    Best wishes for your success.
    Mrs BC
    xx

    Reply
  73. Barefoot Apron

    Thank you for sharing your story. I'm on my way out the door to get some supplies to make my own labels. I am so glad I found blogging! I was going to go back to school but couldn't financially afford to take time off of work or out of my pocket. I have read and re-read wonderful stories here and will continue to do so.
    I researched everything online and learned with other peoples direction and mistakes.

    The day I can tell my boss I quit because I how have my own, will be the best day of my life.

    If someone else can do it, so can I !

    Reply
  74. The Passionate Home

    I also own my own small business so I can totally relate to your story and I think others will love to read about your journey. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to your next post. C

    Reply
  75. moonindy

    Thanks for sharing your story. Your blog is such an inspiration to me.

    Reply
  76. Dare2Dream

    Your story was so touching, and so touched home that it made me cry; how great for you to take such a chance and have such wonderful family support.I am entering my first week out of the workforce(family circumstances have created the need for me to be home more), where I have currently been a visual merchandiser for a large furniture company. As I have thought time and time again while dressing up shop…"I could make that!", I have never tried, just planned:( Now with three closets of fabric, and tons of "just needs a little love" objects-your story has inspired me. That is a truly wonderful talent you have, not only to create, but to inspire! Thanks

    Reply
  77. Laurie Marshall

    Your story is SOOOO familiar! I painted a couple of murals for friends, I painted some furniture for my daughters, but I was never able to put enough time and invest enough money in my dream to pursue those things full time. My mother finally took the bull by the horns in 2007 and purchased the license for a company she and I were going to run. We would repurpose things found on curbs and at thrift stores… we would create things for the home and out of vintage linens. I came up with the name – Junque Rethunque. In 2008 my mom was diagnosed with brain cancer, and she passed away in 2009. My sister and I are taking up the banner of Junque Rethunque and trying to figure out what exactly we are doing. We both work full time and we have a flea market booth to start… Your story inspires me to keep working at it, and keep hoping to make it my "real" job someday. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Reply
  78. Chris Ricci

    I find the story of your business inspiring! Businesses can really be of great help to one's financial stability, and to the country's economic status as well. I wish all good luck to your business! I've shared this to my friends already, and they find it very motivating, too. Maybe they'll be getting their inspiration from you in starting theirs. 😉 Thanks!

    Reply
  79. daniele

    thank you for sharing! You give all of us moms hope in pursuing our dreams! Blessings……….

    Reply
  80. Raela Drigger

    Isn't it worth it to share your experiences to others? I think it is always the later part of success. You share your story and others enjoy the perk of hearing it. Who knows, there might be billions out there that you've already helped, just by telling your story.

    Reply
  81. ART

    Hi! Thanks for telling your story…I LOVE that your mom supported you by building your confidence and beliving in your talents and potential. It is inspiring!

    Reply
  82. Lane McNab

    I know I am late to this party but I am finding pretty much everything from your website so inspiring. I am a mom of 3 (my youngest just turned 1) and I have left a career as a soprano with the SF opera to raise my kids. In my free time I have always been interested in design and started refinishing furniture a few years ago. Then friends started asking for help and now I have a little design business and I'm starting a blog. (theurbanorchard.blogspot.com) I know I will be visiting your site so often for advice and guidance–thank you so much for sharing so generously!

    Reply
  83. How To Start A Small Business

    It's not easy to start a business, specially if the issue about funding. However, in order to beat the odds of starting one, you need to decide and that's when you started.

    Reply
  84. Jane

    I discovered your blog via pinterest when I was looking for slipcover tutorial and then read about your story. I been wanting to start a business because I too have a young child to take care while at home. Now, I felt fired up and taking that next step. Thank you.

    Reply
  85. Sarah

    I have been browsing your blog now for a couple of hours after having only just stumbled across it. I have to be honest, I am near to tears. Everything you are saying and doing is so close to my heart. I am currently a recruitment manager and after ten years I am finding that I am so unhappy at work it is affecting every part of my life. I have been praying for some guidance, some sign, some courage. I love being creative and making something old into something beautiful brings me true joy. I’ve been tossing around the idea of packing in my corporate life and focusing on my creations, but have lacked the courage to do so. I read dozens of pages of your blog and then took myself out for a walk as I needed to process all these feelings/ideas. I was praying for some clarity and took no more than two steps to be confronted with a big billboard that said “stop dreaming, start fulfilling’. Thank you.

    Reply
  86. Laura Buoni

    I love your mom! My mom and I used to do craft shows together, I enjoyed that so much. I had 6 boys and would not have been able to find time to get everything finished without my mom. Fast forward 20 years I just opened my own shop doing repainted furniture and other things I make. A couple of my boys also paint for me. I think it scared my mom at first me taking this risk but now she comes up and sits and visits and tells me she knows I was always supposed to do this. I want my kids and grandkids to know the sky is the limit. Can’t wait to read the follow-ups. Will be sharing this.

    Reply
  87. Beja {Howdy-Honey}

    I am so encouraged by your story! I finished my degree two years ago, and now that my kids are both in school, those student loans are a monkey on my back. I am blessed by your advice and the others who are posting on your site. I have my husband totally on board, and I am just going to GO FOR IT!

    Thanks so much for being so transparent and helpful! God bless you!

    Reply
  88. Won

    Excellent submit, very informative. I’m wondering why the other specialists of this sector do not notice this. You should proceed your writing. I’m sure, you have a huge readers’ base already!|What’s Going down i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It positively useful and it has aided me out loads. I am hoping to contribute & help other customers like its helped me. Good job.

    Reply
  89. Cassie

    After finishing this post, I looked up and realized you wrote it in 2010! Four years later, it resonated with me as much as it did with the ladies in your previous comments. I’m at Step One, still dreaming and scheming and trying to hide how scared to death I am. This series has been so inspirational to me right when I’ve started to have doubts. Thank you for sharing your experience and encouragement.

    Reply

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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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