Aug 20

I Opened a Business

It has been a week since my last post.  I’ve heard from some readers with the question, “Why aren’t you blogging?”  And I have just one answer for you: a cool idea combined with an inspiration and a bit of mania had taken over for a full week. By Thursday, I was the proud owner of an e-commerce t-shirt business to support a cool ministry “movement.”

That clears it up, doesn’t it?

Let me take you on a timeline trip…

The huz and I spent a week of rest at Village Creek Bible Camp during the first week of August.  On the last day of camp, I noticed that quite a few of the staff members were wearing shirts that said Pray! on them.  One thing led to another, and I found myself  – along with two of the staff members – planning a grand movement called Pray! Shirt Fridays.  You can read the background information by clicking here.

Friday night, Aug 10

I could hardly sleep as I thought and prayed about what needed to be done.  A Facebook page (click here to see it) and a blog can start something, but where would we get the shirts?  It came to me…I need to start a business and sell the shirts.  We will give some of the money to Village Creek, and it will be a fun venture for me and the kids.  I prayed and asked God that He would make it clear if this is how I should proceed.

Saturday, Aug 11

I drove home with a van filled with boys and prayed that the huz – who had left two days before me – would either support this crazy idea or put a stop to it.  When he and I spoke about it, he said we could move forward.  We told the kids about it.  The family brainstormed about our business name (Encouragement-Ink.com).

encouragementinklongweb

The boy created the logos.

prayshirtfridaylogo

Monday, Aug 13

  • I applied for federal and state ID numbers.
  • I opened a business checking account.
  • I acquired our shirt vendor (Youth Enterprise).
  • I started researching websites.
  • I checked into our shipping options

Tuesday, Aug 14

  • I made several mistakes with the website.
  • I thought it would be fun to have a daily “prayer” quote on the Facebook page.
  • I researched the merchant services (credit card stuff) side of things.
  • I started thinking about our business cards.
  • Another post went up on the P!SF blog.

Wednesday, Aug 15

  • I chose PayPal as our credit card vendor.
  • Our shirt vendor supplied us with mock-ups of the t-shirts in our 5 colors.
  • I worked on the website and gave a few people access to check it out.
  • We nearly doubled our “likes” on the Facebook page.

Thursday, Aug 16

  • We launched the website!
  • I signed us up for Twitter (@prayshirtfriday).
  • We received our first order!

Friday, Aug 17

  • We received our second order!

Saturday, Aug 18

  • My entire family worked to create space for 500 t-shirts that start to arrive in our home this week (2 colors=200 today; 3 more colors=300 more on Friday).

We are super excited about this concept, the role that we can play in encouraging others to pray, and how God will use this to encourage us as well as others.  I am thankful that God gave me the manic energy to get this done last week.  I still worked my normal work week and then did this in the evenings and in the wee hours of the morning and the night. The week was also a week where I was not feeling well, so I am thankful for all of the strength God provided to get this all finished and ready to go.

How can you get involved?

  1. Buy a Pray! shirt

  2. Wear the shirt on Fridays

  3. Encourage others to do the same

  4. Spread the word!

I have this crazy vision of people wearing these shirts on Fridays during the Minnesota State Fair.  Wouldn’t that be cool?

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