In November of 2012 my husband and his employer decided to part ways, and Blake decided to start his own company. That same month we found out (unexpectedly) that I was pregnant (with Ella Kate). Blake's initial plans were with a partner (a former coworker who lives in Australia), but over the first 6 months of the company's life, the partner's wife became very ill. Needless to say, his partner couldn't focus on their company and was consumed with helping his now almost completely blind wife relearn a lot of life's tasks. He eventually decided that a business venture wasn't possible, and Blake began moving forward completely alone.
And now over a year later, Blake has developed a website, catalog, extensive quality program, sample kits, manufacturing relationships, and 50 page plus business plan. He had a little help with the website, and his father worked on the quality plan; but he did all the rest unassisted. It's really been incredible to see how varied and developed his skill set is and how willing he is to learn new things. The idea of doing what's he done makes me feel overwhelmed and exhausted, but Blake had an entrepreneurial spirit and a confidence in his ability in his industry that energizes him.
As a family it's been really weird (and sometimes very stressful) to not have income for over 18 months, but it's also been a reminder of God's goodness, grace, and provision. We've been thankful to have so much equity in a home we've only owned 3 years as well as savings to make this process possible. And now that we're reaching the end of those financial ropes and realizing that a capital investment is essential for Blake's company to succeed, Blake has been meeting with potential investors. As we discuss evaluations, equity, and other common investment terms, I frequently think of the television program Shark Tank that we have watched. The financial sacrifices we've made and the sweat equity Blake has invested in his company are routinely portrayed on Shark Tank and remind me that we're not totally crazy to make some of these (calculated) risks.
And even if the investment doesn't happen, we have been so blessed to have Blake around so much more than when he had a traditional job. He's only had to travel for work a few times in the last year and has been able to spend so much time with our children, helping neighbors/friends, and developing relationships that he wouldn't have otherwise had the time/flexibility to pursue. With that said, I'm praying and hoping that a capital investment will happen, and Blake has the opportunity to take his company to the next level. I have so much confidence in him and this venture and would love to see what happens with proper funding.
p.s. I'm thankful my husband is braver than I am!