Todays Work-At-Home Momma is Rachel. Rachel has three children and lives in Austin, Texas. She recently started a jewelry company called Put on Love Co. and makes earrings. Rachel donates 10% of each purchase to CarePortal, a ministry providing for families and children in crisis. Not only is this woman beautiful, a great mom and a maker of gorgeous jewelry, she can SING like an angel! Be sure to check out her store here.
When did you start your jewelry business?
Rachel: I started my business this past summer, actually! June 11th was my launch date, though I started prior. This was just a big experiment and an idea I felt was from God in answer to our financial need.
What made you decide to make jewelry?
Rachel: One day I was shopping at Old Navy and I noticed the jewelry they had there. I was interested in some tassel earrings but I didn’t really find any that I loved. So, I thought, “Hey, I should try making some!”. I am a creative person and really like doing crafty stuff so I thought it would be fun. I made a few horrible earrings and then finally made one I loved. I started wearing them in hopes that people would like them and I could sell them. Thankfully, people DID like them so I DID start selling them!
Where did the name of your business come from?
Rachel: I’m a Christian and I just can’t help but make everything I do very, overtly Christian! It is what it is, ha! My heart is to help women live with victory and truth in their thought life. And why not have a pair of earrings that reminds them to choose their mindsets while they choose their clothes and accessories in the morning?
The name comes from Colossians 3:12-14, ” Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” I think it’s also very in line with God’s command found in Deuteronomy 6 to write reminders of God’s truths on our door frames, bind them on our foreheads, etc. The point is, use everything to remind you of truth! Earrings count =)
Were you scared to try and become a work at home momma?
Rachel: I have always been a working mom so the idea of working at home wasn’t too scary to me. I worked full-time and then part-time leading worship at my church for about 11 years. Since I was in charge of leading a ministry, I was used to bringing work home with me. However, running my own business and having the products and packaging etc all at my house and having to learn the ins and outs of everything and having everything be on me? That’s new! And yes, scary. It can be quite stressful.
Are you able to involve your children in this business at all?
Rachel: I have paid my children to organize materials for me! I have also paid them to find metal scraps on the ground after I’ve been working since I can return those to recycle and get cash! My oldest son has enjoyed giving me earring design ideas and business advice as well. I think it’s a cool learning experience for them. There are little ways to involve them, which I think is good. But mostly, I try to keep my workspace protected from my 3 rambunctious little boys (particularly the 3 yr old!).
When do you find time to do the work?
Rachel: My husband works mostly in the afternoon and evening which means I get my work done for Put on Love Co. during the morning while he watches our youngest son. I am very thankful for this arrangement! When I need to continue working after my husband has left for work I try to give my son a building toy to play with in his room. Gears, Magnatiles (those things are AMAZING), or some coloring pages. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t!
How do you balance momma life, being a wife and working?
Rachel: I’m not sure I’m nailing that in this season, but one of the things I try to do is keep a Sabbath. That’s one day a week that I’m not working and I’m only doing things that refresh me and enable me to fully connect with my family. Shortly after I started this business my oldest son asked me, “Mom, how come you work all the time? Like, even on family day?” Gulp! I felt guilty for not keeping my boundaries in place. I quickly adjusted. Part of keeping a Sabbath is trusting God with your work (or the work you think you need to be doing) while you prioritize rest. Usually, after a weekend recharging with my family I’m usually good to go on Monday. My husband and I also try to do free/cheap date nights often.
What’s your favorite part of running this business?
Rachel: I love that I get to make so many fun decisions! I love branding, creating products I’m proud of, doing photoshoots (childhood dreams come true!), researching, learning, and dreaming! It has been such an incredible experience so far!
What is one piece of advice you would give to a mom out there who is scared to step out and work?
Rachel: You can do this. Before we had kids I wondered how we’d make ends meet if we had a kid. But we trusted God and He has consistently provided with each additional child! We aren’t rolling in gold coins, but God has been faithful.
About a year before I began Put on Love Co. I stepped down from my part-time position at my church as Worship Leader. We just felt like God said it was time! It was a really hard decision to make. I enjoyed the first few months of not working, but then I started missing work! WHAT?! I mostly missed the money, ha! And we realized I needed to find something. Work is a gift and a blessing, not part of the curse.
If you need to work, or if you want to work, God will give you wisdom to know how to be a fully present mom as well as being fully present with your work. You can do it. Ask God for boundaries to set. Give your family most of your time and cut out any ‘extras’ that you can. We don’t do a lot during the weekday evenings and we try to keep Saturday as a family day. But you need to find what works for your family.
What would you say to a mom worrying about feeling guilty for working instead of focusing their time 100% on their child?
Rachel: When I had my first child I dealt with this big time. I worked full-time until he was 6 months old. That was very hard. It took me a while to learn boundaries and find my new rhythm for that season of life. I think I would just echo what I said above. Ask God to give you wisdom and set some boundaries. For me, bedtime with my kids is a big thing (it can also be a big disaster, to be honest!). My older children really want to talk and connect. ( My 3 year old just wants to get out of his bed – not a lot of deep conversation there!) That feels like a high-quality moment in the day for us. Focus on being there 100% in the high quality moments.
What do you find is your biggest obstacle as a work-at-home mom?
Rachel: Time management. I’m having to work really hard at thinking long-term and working on things that will benefit the business in the long run, like creating systems. My husband is helping me with that and I’ve also enrolled in a training program called Business Boutique which has been extremely helpful. Also, trusting God when I still have a billion things to do but I need to stop working and connect with my kids!