Carrie Flener felt something was missing. With her youngest child entering preschool, she sensed God was nudging her to do something in addition to mom duties. However, after being a stay-at-home mom for the previous 9 years and having moved several times because of her husband’s job in television news, she knew her resume would not open many career doors in the traditional way.
A self-starter, she had run an Etsy shop for a time while her kids were little, as well as an in-home bread business for a season. She enjoyed the flexibility the ventures had offered, and she entertained the notion of starting her own business, though no idea stood out to her.
“I longed for more, but wasn’t sure what that looked like,” she said.
In the last move her family had made, to a Kansas City suburb – a move Carrie describes as “hard” – God had planted her in the middle of three other women whom He would use to show Carrie the path He had laid out for her. Terri, Kimberly, Kelsey and Carrie were all drawn to each other, both because of their fervent love for Jesus and because of a vision God had begun to unveil to all of them: to design and sell products with meaning.
(Read: Giving My Specific Dream to God)
The name of the company in their vison came from Proverbs 7:2-3
Do what I say and you’ll live well. My teaching is as precious as your eyesight – guard it! Write it out on the back of your hands; etch it on the chambers of your heart. (Proverbs 7:2-3 MSG)
“One day the four of us gathered around a table and dreamed about what this would look like – for the four of us to start ETCH,” Carrie said. Before long, the plan began to unfold.
In 2015, the four new friends launched ETCH.
The heart behind ETCH “is to design and create beautiful products that functionally integrate Scripture and Christ’s teachings into our everyday lives.”
The products, geared toward women, give busy moms a practical way to etch God’s Word into their hearts and their families’.
ETCH’s products include décor, accessories, apparel and more. The work has been more fulfilling for Carrie than she could have thought.
“God has grown it and molded it outside of what we originally dreamed it to be,” Carrie said.
Although they have experienced their share of roadblocks and challenges, Carrie says God shows up every time.
“ETCH is His, not ours,” she said. “ETCH is His gift to us. It’s a way for us to use our gifts and passions to minister to others.”
(Read: Is My Dream Selfish Ambition?)
Carrie’s husband and children also get involved in helping run the business. Her kids pitch in with shipping and working in the shop.
“They get to see me chase the dream God has given me, using the talents and passions that He gifted me with,” Carrie said. The very fact she is using her God-given talents is blessing in and of itself.
“Now that God gave me ETCH, my passions and gifts make sense,” Carrie said. “God is using me – the way He created me to be – for His glory.”
Looking back, she does wonder if the “hard” move back to Missouri was for the sole purpose of ETCH’s inception.
“It’s crazy to think about decisions we make in our lives…and how God uses that to do big things.”
This article is part of a summer series spotlighting the stories of my fellow dream chasers. Come back next week for the final story in this inspiring series. If you want even more encouragement to find the courage to pursue you dream, order a copy of my new book Uncage My Brave: Pray Brave, Fly Free.
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