I honestly thought that maybe 50 or 60 people would buy bracelets-- but THEN.. so many people said they would wear it and that they wanted to purchase one. I saw the demand for people that need fun daily reminders of their decision.. but I still didn't think anything of it. Until I created www.heatherlove.bigcartel.com which is my online store. I put a few bracelets up.. and to date.. there's been somewhere around 10,000 plus orders in JUST a couple months! (It was birthed January 26th 2012.)I was shocked! I'm like, LORD! Where did all these people come from?! Then, I decided to name the line Pinky Promise. It's a promise or a vow to honor God with your life and your body-- whether single or married. Ya'll know what I mean married folks-- the attacks don't stop after you get married. After I sent out thousands and thousands of bracelets, I went to the Lord to discuss ways to keep the movement going. He showed me how important it was to get people involved. If you can get people involved-- they will have accountability to KEEP their promises & vows to God! So, I started small groups and now we have over 1500 members and over 120 small groups ALL over the world! They meet twice a month (at least) and I teach once a month. During their meetings-- they go over a study that I prepare based on what we're studying that month. In May, we studied Salvation and in June we'll be studying Discontentment and how it affects our life. Each month we have a different study.. (emotions, health, purpose, etc)
If you want to join a group in your local area or to start one-- you can go to www.pinkypromisemovement.com and be sure to watch the Orientation. Since it's birth, we've started a journal challenge, started selling journals, No Randoms & Pinky Promise tees & so much more! We are also having a Pinky Promise conference (www.pinkypromiseconference.com) in January of 2013 (Jan 24-27) and we invite you join us!
Pinky Promise has been such a blessing to me!! It's been such a fun way outwardly to express the decision we made in our heart. We're going in stores soon, working with youth groups, public schools and so much more-- spreading the word that YOU are worth the WAIT and that you don't have to entertain unhealthy relationships! Now, I have tens of thousands of new sisters in Christ that have experienced what I've gone through & are pressing into Christ! HOW amazing!?! We ALL have ONE goal-- that is to HONOR GOD WITH OUR LIFE, for real.
So, I say all of this to say.. How do you start you own business?
1. Don't do it for money. We chase God-- not stuff. Please believe you'll be using ALOT of your OWN money so it betta be a "God-idea" so HE can fund it.
2. Do what you're passionate about! Not what you mom wants you to be passionate about.
3. Do your research! Find out what others are doing in your market
4. Time management is important! Pinky Promise is a FULL time job so I have been learning to balance everything which is a huge task at times. Pinky Promise has been added to my already full plate!
5. Spend crazy time with God daily. Remember that this is HIS business, you're just managing it. If your business is really God-- He will lead you.
6. Hang in there when things look rough .. as long as you know you have a GOD idea & not a "good" idea, hang in there. Sometimes, God allows dry seasons just to develop you & show you that HE is the only One that matters, not all this fluff.
7. Have purpose in your business. Everything at Pinky Promise has a PURPOSE.
8. Don't compare your portion to ANYBODY elses! Period. Yeah, they may be doing what you're doing but GOD told YOU to do it. So stay in your lane.
9. Customer service is important. Make sure you respond quickly to folks. Imagine having over 10,000 orders.. and dealing with changed addresses, lost orders, etc!
10. Don't get discouraged. Be prepared to front some of your OWN money at times to take care of your business. You will have long hours with no what seems like benefit. Just hang in there. Stay close to God. He leads & guides you.
11. YOU HAVE TO BE ORGANIZED. Pull on accountants or people that can help you keep the numbers right. You'll need a EIN (Employee Identification Number) -- you can just go to any bank and open up a business account and they will give you one.
12. Figure out what type of business you have-- Non-Profit? LLC? Do your reasearch and plan to spend money. Can be upwards to $1,000 plus depending on what you plan to start.
13. Get your stuff TRADEMARKED. I compared & contrasted between a ton of attorneys and I went with Legalzoom.com as it was recommended by a TON of attorneys. They filed for me & it worked out perfectly. Plan to spend about $1,000+ to get your trademark. You don't want someone to come in & steal your idea or logo.
14. If you're a non-profit-- get some grant writers to give you GRANTS to do what you're doing.
15. File your taxes. Get a 1099 & file!! Don't try to get around it because you may end up in jail. If you sold some stuff or made a profit, you gotta pay taxes on it. Period. They somehow will find you.
In lieu of this blog, I wanted to share one of my favorite bracelets.. the "Linda Cross Bracelet" that is named after my mother. If you place your order within the next week (until June 1st)-- you will receive 20% off the Linda Cross Bracelet. Just type in: LINDACROSS1 for the discount on www.heatherlove.bigcartel.com
Company: Hope Ballenger Photography
Hope was working at AT&T and was a bit frustrated with how she spent her days working for someone else. One day, she went into Best Buy & somehow ended up with a professional camera. The light went OFF! SHE fell in love with Photography! I had no idea that my friend, Hope did photography-- she kind of just sprang it on me & I saw some of her work! I was blown away. So, I had to book a photoshoot with her! I was blown away by how easy it was to work with her & her beautiful ideas. She's officially the Pinky Promise Photographer so she'll be at the Conference in January! HOPE has such a beautiful GIFT. Honored to work with her.
Hope Ballenger Photography
Contact number 864-650-7375
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Company: Designer/Stylist of Thierry Couture
I have known Terry Ann for a few years now from my days in New York City! I had NO clue that deep within her was this amazing eye for style & designing! When Terry first told me that she wanted to make a dress for me, I have to be honest-- I was nervous! I didn't even tell her what I wanted-- I just told her to go at it! I really wanted to see her talent! So I gave her my measurements (over the phone!) and she went to work! Two days before my trip to go out of town.. arrives this dress. I was SHOCKED! IT WAS BEAUTIFUL! I put the dress on and the material was SO high END I was blown away! It was like.. the dress was mad perfectly for my BODY. Every detail was handcrafted.. I was in love! This dress was so slimming and I would HIRE TerryAnn to make ANY special occasion dress! Seriously! She also made this amazing yellow feather piece below that I wore in San Juan, PR last month. Again, FIT like a glove and a one-of-a-kind piece. Kudos to you Terry. You're amazing & God has gifted you!
Email address: Thierryann.email@example.com
Last but not least...
Company: Sweet Expectations Certified Baby Planner
As you know, I don't have any babies yet (thank God-- that in due season, He will grace me with babies & TIME to take care of them with my work schedule!) but my PR company told me about this-- and I just had to look into it! You know how you have.. an event planner, wedding planner.. all that good stuff? What happens if you have a baby for the first time & you don't have a CLUE where to start?! That's where Ali comes in! She is a BABY planner! I think it's such a smart idea! She's totally knowledgeable about all those things you don't even think of! I would "like" her page on facebook and check out her site! She also started this business to help women that were considering abortion.. as a way to say, "I'm here to help you, you aren't alone." AMAZING!!!!!!www.sweetexpectationsbabyplanner.com
I hope these ideas have inspired you to be & do EVERYTHING that God you to do. Remember that there's a TIME for everything under the sun. At times, we can step out and do things that God told us wasn't the right "time" for us to start. So be patient if you have an idea in your heart. God will bring those things to pass in DUE time. WHEN you're living for GOD-- HE will organize it, network it, introduce you to the right people by setting you up.. over & over again. You don't have to do stupid things for success.. SUCCESS is FOUND in obeying God. Period.
God loves you like crazy,