We’ve spent the last week in Michigan, introducing our families and friends to our sweet son. Maxwell, of course, has been the cutest butterball and has absolutely loved all the snuggles and smiles sent his way. Being back home has been such a treat for Zack and I. Multiple times we drove past a corn field and never in my life did I welcome the redundancy as I did this past week. It felt sooo good to see rows and rows and rows of green. We have greatly missed the farm fields, cotton candy sunsets and waking up at our childhood homes… this time with a baby in tow! We may be chasing our own adventure in Los Angeles, but our love for Michigan hasn’t faded one bit :) Today I want to introduce to you Jodi of Back40Life. She and her family have their own adventure-chasing tale to share, paired with a generous giveaway at the end. Gussy Sews is all about sharing life and handmade love, so this is a perfect post for today. Enjoy… xo
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Hellooooo, Gussy Sews friends! I’m Jodi of Back40Life and we’d love to tell you a little of our story. Brad + I have been married now for almost twelve years, ten of which we’ve been self-employed. We have been blessed with three precious children. We live out in the country on 9 acres which we’ve always jokingly referred to as “the back 40”.
A few years ago amidst the stress and fast fast-pace of a successful construction business we began to realize that our business was taking over our family and we were hardly enjoying life because we were working non-stop, especially my husband. We wanted to have our own business to be at home and enjoy our children, and while he was there with us a lot physically, his mind was consumed with the business. We began to seek God’s direction about our work. We started scaling back our commitments, evaluated every decision more carefully and made changes that would allow us to live a slower, more family-oriented lifestyle.
Thus began the dream of Back40Life, a slower pace that celebrates the simplicity of life and finds enjoyment in the everyday.
I have a couple tips for you, my fellow Makers: if you’re thinking of opening a shop, go for it! Owning your own business is amazing. Go into business for yourself debt-free — it’s not what the world around us preaches, but it makes such a difference! It may require you to start small, but it is so worth it! As our business has grown, we’re always on the lookout to buy used tools and equipment whenever possible — we love a good deal! Buying “used” as a rule-of-thumb then allows us to buy an item “new” when it’s important and/or not available on the used market. Don’t be afraid to grow slowly, your pocketbook & stress level will appreciate it.
Almost everything about Back40Life has been an adventure. It started out as a way for me to earn a little extra income for our family and exercise my creative juices, then with us transitioning to it supporting our family full-time, with no outside income… definitely an adventure! Staying debt-free both in our business and home life have truly helped make this business work. In 2011 and early 2012 we knew we had to make some changes. I was spending more time in the business than we wanted, and not enough time with our children. My sister and brother-in-law had recently moved to Indianapolis to be part of a church plant, and we were able to bring them in to help with our decal business. They now make and ship the majority of our decals. Not only has God been so good to allow our business to support our family, but now it is helping to support theirs too! I am so grateful for His provision!
I am constantly amazed and humbled when I talk to our customers. We hear so many personal stories of babies they’ve prayed for and then received, family and friends undergoing illness, loved ones who have been lost, young couples coming together in marriage; when we hear those stories and then are told they’re using one of our decals or signs to mark the occasion, wow! Such a blessing to us that they allow us to be a tiny part of their world.
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