Sunday, September 4, 2016

Oak on the Water

  “When the going gets tough, I'm not always sure what you do. I'm not saying that I know how to fix everything when the going gets tough, but I do know this: when the going goes tough, you don't quit. And you don't fold up. And you don't go in the other direction.”  ― John Madden

    It seems like since we started this business we have had trials and obstacles that we’ve had to figure out and overcome.  It’s been a constant battle of balancing finances, production times, building systems, employees, marketing, taxes, etc....  I think these are all typical of any new business.  Last summer it was a jealous,  disgruntled employee.  This summer it was a “friend” business partner that accused us of stealing and lying.  I’m still baffled by both.

Our Living Room
     I won’t go into the details now about the crazy employee even though it’s a really good story!  Maybe I’ll feel led to share more in a later blog.  I will, however tell you how we overcame the latest because what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger! 

    We had every intention of closing up shop and starting a new venture this summer.  Our plans were to dissolve our partnership and move forward in this new thing we had been working on.  We even turned our shop off (vacation mode) to keep from getting new orders and were working hard to get the last orders out. 

    Then like a scene from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, tragedy struck! “Oh man!  Can you pull that knife out of my back? Thanks!” Our business account had been wiped out, and we still had $10,000 worth of orders to complete.   We had no clue what to do.  Shift into crisis mode!

    Breathe... These were the paths laid before us:  We could have said "two tears in a bucket.." not honored our obligations,  let the whole lot of responsibility fall on the LLC and just walk away.  We could have taken legal actions which we consulted our lawyer about.   We did pray;  a lot and endlessly. 

    There was one option that actually came from our lawyer, John White (he’s amazing! Let me know if you need a business lawyer, and I’ll pass his info on).  He advised us to open back up so that we could start generating income to take care of the orders that we had to fill.  At this point we hadn’t received any income from Tiny Lions in 2 months.  Our resources were tapped! 

    We pressed on for the next 2 weeks working in the 120 degree warehouse to complete our final orders, packed up our equipment and moved back home.  Did I mention that through this entire ordeal Etsy put our shop on probation for the month of July, and we were on the verge of being shut down permanently due to late orders?  We fell behind again because we had to find jobs to make money being that we hadn’t received a paycheck from Tiny Lions in 2 months.  Can you say anxiety, stressed out?  You see why I pray?
Jeremy's Tiny Shop

    Low and behold we made it through!  Here we are, back home working out of a small shipping container and our living room.  Praise God!!  Here we are.  We didn’t quit.  We didn’t give up.  We chose to honor our obligations and are so blessed because of it.  We are caught up on orders, and we get to be home with our children again.   I’m actually actively homeschooling instead of “here’s some work-do it!”

    No matter what, never give up.  Don’t you dare give in!  Press on, harder and harder.  Yes, it’s hard.  It hurts.  You may cry.  You may get depressed.  You will come through. Pray, believe, and take action!  Be the tree planted by the water that refuses to be moved.


  1. I wondered if ya'll were extra busy or going through some problems as things had gotten quiet. Glad things are starting to look brighter ahead. I love your positivity. I still want to order one of your tables one day, so let me know before it's too late and you head off to Mexico :) Blessings!

    1. Thanks Fonnie! You'll have fair warning before we head south ;) Jeremy's got one year left to finish his degree at UNO!