I get asked these questions often, so I thought I would share them here! Don't see one you've wanted to ask? Leave it in the comments below, and I might add it!
What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
This is SUCH a hard question (and I think the last time I answered it, I had a different answer), but I attended a retreat, and this just really spoke to my heart. It wasn't a Christian retreat, but out of 18 attendees, 3 of them spoke the same verse into my life at 3 different times. "The Lord will fight for you - be still." And I've really been meditating and praying over that verse. Since this business is so personal to me, when someone attacks it, it's like they're attacking my heart...and me. And it's very hard for me to get past that sometimes. So I'm working on clinging to that verse when I'm discouraged.
How do you know the business you want to start is aligned with God's plan for you?
I think sometimes, we are tempted to think that we have to start a Christian company or something to be in God's plan for us. (It happens to be in my plan!) But I think the most important thing is doing whatever you're doing for His glory - whether it's teaching, answering phones, or anything else!
Take Chick-Fil-A, for example. A restaurant serving chicken. They go out of their way to be so kind to each customer, and when I'm in there, I see Jesus shining through. As far as me personally, I really prayed about it, and I started so small. I started in a spare bedroom and then moved into my unfinished basement. I designed things I would wear (and that's how I still do it!). I'm such an introvert that I knew something in person wouldn't be something I could do - and so online was the perfect fit! And it's so important to me that everyone feels the love of Jesus, not only through our items, but through our packaging, little extras, and thank you notes.
How long does it take you to create a design before it goes live for purchase?
It depends on the design! Sometimes, I come up with something really quickly. I've had some designs take me several months, and some designs have to be redone a few times.
How do you start a small business?
Two main streams:
- Trial, error, and experimenting
- Podcasts and research
I was so miserable at my old job and one morning during my hour commute, it just clicked. I could spend that time feeling sorry to myself, or I could spend that time listening to podcasts and audiobooks about topics I was interested in. So instead of thinking 'ugh, I have to be in the car for two hours a day...this is TERRIBLE,' I decided to change my mindset to 'wow, I get to listen to two hours of education and interesting topics.'
Why are plus sizes limited in terms of style and color?
A few reasons - there aren't a lot of options for us to purchase, being reason number one. The stock can be really spotty, and they can be very expensive to get, so we don't order very many compared to other items. Right now, we are actually able to offer curvy plus tees with scoop neck and v-neck, unisex tees, crew longsleeves, longsleeve v-necks, terry hoodies, and tunics in plus sizes!
What is your favorite thing about EllyandGrace?
From the "business side," I love designing, and I love interacting with our community on social media. But my FAVORITE thing is when I see reviews or emails about how one of the things I created has made someone's day or encouraged someone. I love hearing about the conversations that your shirts lead to. The mission of EllyandGrace when I started - to uplift, inspire, and point others to Jesus. And it's still at the center of my heart.
What motivates you, and how did you move past risk taking in order to begin your business?
I'm motivated by helping women feel cozy and also giving them a chance to share their faith without saying a word (especially my fellow introverts)! As far as risks, I'm typically risk averse naturally. But, my husband has been involved in the business from the beginning, and he is very good at making those types of decisions. We make a great team.