Aside from homeschooling and being full-time at home, two major tasks occupy my day. One is Inspirited Mom, my platform for sharing our journey as a family, as a homeschooling mom and a follower of Christ. The other one is Pickings, our small family business, which my husband and I started in 2012.
Since we are a homeschooling family, we are together most of the time, even when we do our business. When we started with Pickings, we made sure our kids were involved. Though I never let them prepare the orders for hygienic purposes, but they see, hear, smell and taste what I do. They go with us when we purchase ingredients. They see us talk with our suppliers. I even ask their opinion when I designed our labels.
Jianne helps out by scraping the leftover cookie dough from the mixing bowl, which she fondly calls “cream”. Not healthy right? I know! She also sticks the labels on the jars. One time when I had a huge order to fill, I asked her to count and total the cookies. I had to prepare 300 of them and I was losing count. She was able to count the cookies per batch and added them in a column as what we learned in Math.
Jacob on the other hand, though not really involved in the kitchen, is our marketing apprentice. Just last week I sent him a small bag of cookies for school. I told him to share the cookies to his study mates. When I fetched him that afternoon, his teacher placed an order for our Oatmeal Choco Cookies. Teacher Marissa mentioned that Jacob was great at promoting not only the cookies, but our spreads and jams also.
This was not the first time he did this though. He was also able to share our products with his Sunday school teacher two years ago and since that time, Teacher Margot would be our regular client. We never really trained him on how to sell our products, but somehow he just did it and he did it confidently. Thank God for his enabling.
Husband and Wife
My husband, on the other hand, aside from my helping me clean up and wash the bowls also bring free samples in school. He would share them with his fellow teachers during their break. As soon as he gets the orders, he would be texting them to me. He is also in charge of computing the cost and coming up with a reasonable price for each item. He is also my delivery guy, the driver, and bodyguard ha-ha!
I, on the other hand, is in charge of purchasing ingredients, contacting suppliers, creating new recipes, and product research. I am also the one preparing the orders, cooking and baking them. I would also market them on my social media platform like Facebook and Instagram. I reply to online inquiries and arrange shipping of orders too.
After preparing, cooking, baking, labeling the jars and packing the cookies, we relax by turning on the air conditioner in the room and sleep together. That’s our simple way of rewarding ourselves for a job well done!
Aside from the actual work, we also brainstorm with the kids over dinner. They would throw in ideas and suggestions as to what other item we can add to our product list. They have envisioned our micro/home based business as a big coffee shop or restaurant someday. To be honest, that’s one of my dreams too 🙂 I would love to open a place where people can have their meetings, workshops, fellowships, bible studies or just hang out and serve them with great home cooked meals.
One quiet evening, I saw the kids busying themselves with their sketch pads. As soon as they were done, both showed me what they did. I was surprised to see sketches of what our future Resto/Coffee shop would look like 🙂 They maintained our colors: yellow, green and orange. Jacob even designed the uniforms of the servers ha-ha
What it could be
When I look back, I fondly remember this inexpensive toy my mother gave me. It was a toy clay pot, a “palayok” which she bought at the local market. If you’re a kid in the 80’s you probably have an idea what I am talking about. I would pick leaves from the potted plants and pretend to cook a meal in my handy dandy palayok. When our cousins visited, we would imagine that I own a restaurant and that they were my customers. I would set one table for them complete with plastic dinnerware and a vase with flowers. I even made my Menu and tip box.
Could it be that my childhood toy clay pot be a prophetic “palayok”? Would I really have my shop someday? I would leave too, but it’s all up to God. Today, I am content and grateful for the opportunities the Lord has given Pickings. These opportunities, together with my family’s enthusiasm and support has empowered me to dream big.
We may have big dreams for the family, but it will be the Lord, who will make it happen. Wherever the Lord leads us, I am confident that it is where He wants us to be. What matters most is that our family is together. We are one in our goal in using whatever skill/talent the Lord has given us to help provide for our needs, bless others and glorify Him in the end…because as we always say, It’s all about Him.
5 Now may the God ]who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one accord you may with one [b]voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5-6