Never in my wildest dreams…
Never would I have thought that starting my jewelry business again would be be of the most freeing, rewarding and exhilarating seasons of my life. I started designing handmade, one of a kind creations back in 2006 with the inspiration from my incredible grandparents. They taught me so many things about design, structure and the minute I laid my hands on my very own tools, I never looked back. At that time I was living in California and working part time at a local restaurant. I spent my first weekend designing over 125 earrings and thought HECK, why not take them to work and see if any of the girls would want to buy them… Over $100 later, and many new clients, I thought to myself “HUH… that was way too easy!
One thing led to another and I was featured in a local Health Food/Grocery store. Word got out in our Church community and I began to host In-Home Jewelry Parties. My heart was alive with creativity and I spent the next two years building my very own business and seeing the Lord bless it in abundance. I have always been an artist, dabbling in different media forms, but jewelry was something that gave my heart passion and a brightness in my spirit. I loved the look on a woman’s face when they found the perfect piece of jewelry and I knew in that moment, it made them feel so special and beautiful. That’s when I knew that making hand made creations was a gift and so much more than some fun, trendy bling, but it was about making daughters of God feel special… treasured… beautiful.
I moved to Kansas City Missouri in 2008 to attend the International House of Prayer University, I had been featured in 6 stores throughout the Sacramento region and doing QUITE WELL with the business aspect of life. By the time my first semester was finished with school, I felt the Lord leading me to lay the jewelry business aside, and get a part time waitress job to help pay the bills as I was in school. I felt heartsick, because I loved what I did SO MUCH, but knew it was the right choice and the right season to focus 100% on school. As I look hindsight at His leadership, it was so perfect, and I am so grateful that I held onto ALL of my bead stock for all those years! (And multiple house moves lol)
Fast forward 4 years and I found myself engaged to my best friend and LOVE of my life, about to graduate from IHOPU, get married and move to Atlanta to work full time with the House of Prayer there. I would have thoughts prick my heart from time to time about starting to design jewelry again but I felt timid and afraid to dive back in. To me, (and many artists of all kinds would understand), jewelry was not just a way to make money, but a deep and loving expression of my heart. It was vulnerable, sensitive, passionate; an expression of art, touching women’s own hearts.
But a few months after getting settled here in Atlanta I got sick… really sick, for over 4 months, and was stuck at home for days at a time. I was at rock bottom, unable to function through a normal day, and fighting the demon of depression constantly knocking at my door. I felt so helpless, occasionally hopeless and like I had nothing to offer. I couldn’t even fulfill my commitments at the prayer room and needed a breakthrough. Justin has started working full time, and we were finally catching up on our bills, but had a mountain of debt from his student loans staring at us every month. We know, without a shadow of a doubt, in the deepest parts of our heart that we are BOTH supposed to be full time Intercessory Missionaries in the House of Prayer, but he felt strongly to get a full time job to start tackling the debt aggressively. Our long term vision is to focus on building up a partnership team for ministry, but with only his income coming in, we were barely making it paycheck to paycheck… Let alone hitting the debt hard like we wanted to. I was on the phone with my sister, who just completed FPU with her husband and she told me she was going to send me a book. Not just ANY book though… THE book for debt reduction and life transformation
DAVE RAMSEY’S “TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER“!!!
I remember the day it came in the mail. I felt such HOPE and VISION for our future. And we hadn’t even started reading it yet! It was a new chapter for us as a family and we started reading a chapter each morning as we drove him to work, and watching some of Dave’s podcast in the evening. I was EXCITED, switched to a CASH ONLY system (yikes!!) and started REALLY sticking to a budget. Yet even with all of that, we were still living paycheck to paycheck. We had a few financial supporters that partnered with what we are doing here at IHOP Atlanta, but even then, it wasn’t enough to start waging war on our debt, and we were NO LONGER making peace with that which held us bound.
My adoring sister Lauren has been our unofficial “coach” as we are getting started, and asked me if I thought of any ideas of getting a part time job to increase our cash flow. I told her that I had thought about it, but to keep our bills as low as possible while being a ONE CAR family AND for me to maintain my full time status in the House Of Prayer, it was nearly impossible. She understood and encouraged me to start asking the Lord for creative ideas to bring in some more income.
A week went by, and Justin and I had been praying through some ideas we had about side jobs we could do, and I knew it was time to start the jewelry business again. BUT I WAS SCARED. I didn’t even know where to start! 2 weeks passed by until a life changing phone call with my grandparents on Friday April 12th!
As we were catching up, my Papa asked me if I was going to start making jewelry again, and I told him I was thinking about it. Then he said a phrase that probably meant little to him, but was the inspiration I needed to dive right in… He said “Well, you know girl, the day you start designing again, I will send you a big care package of beads that we have in stock here”
THAT. WAS. ALL. I. NEEDED.
You see, my grandparents have been designing for YEARS and have a HUGE assortment of beautiful, stunning beads!!! I was excited, and pulled out a few boxes I had in the office and thought to myself oh I will just make a few pairs for myself! “A few pairs” turned into about 40 beautiful earrings, and as I posted pictures on Facebook, there was a huge response! Jewelry business here I come!
A darling friend of mine, Colleen, messaged me and asked if I had any head shots for the business or photos of the individual jewelry pieces and I sheepishly said NO! We began talking and one thing led to another and her and her husband drove down from NC to spend the entire day Saturday helping me get photos taken, website designed and branded, head shots finished and a logo designed. I wasnt just doing a little part time business but a full blown, professional exciting adventure! We went live with rachaeldee.com at about 8:45 Saturday night and by the next day Sunday we had WELL OVER 120 LIKES on my Fb fanpage Rachael Dee! Sunday night is when we went live with over 250 handmade pieces of jewelry and sales broke $475 within the first 24 hours of business! I was shocked! Stunned! But most of all, incredibly grateful to the Lord for His abundant leadership. He writes the most intricate of stories and puts the most incredible people in our lives to help us walk out our dreams and passions. I cant wait to see ALL that He does in the weeks and months to come!
So this is a bit of my story, and this is just the beginning.
This blog is a place for me to share the deep heart cries as well as life’s adventures and journeys! I will jump from my desire to live a clean/healthy/paleo eating lifestyle, to messages from preachers that inspire me, day to day living I get to experience with my adoring husband and crafty projects. Its a way for me to connect with women who are reaching to love God with all their hearts, mind, soul and strength and to love others the way God loves them. Come along the journey we call life and jump into the adventure with me!
Thank you all for your love and support as I journey forward in walking out the gift God has given me!