As the owners of a small family business, there is no end to the list of things we could improve upon. We could always post more to our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages, improve our pictures, our website, our designs, products, and so on. Really, we could spend hours every day trying to improve our business. What is greatly satisfying to us, is that for the hours we have put in, and the small improvements we have implemented, we have seen our hard work bring about results. For those of you who have followed us from the beginning, you will know that our website has changed dramatically over the last two years, our product line has increased by double, we gain more and more followers every day, and our brand is, little by little, getting “out there.”
Little did we realize when we started White Field Apparel that there was a lot more to owning a business than just putting up a website, getting some shirts printed, and boom. Work done. We assumed that if we built it, “they will come.” But this is far from true. Having a website and having a website seen are two completely different ball games. I won’t go into the list of ins and outs of online store ownership, but let me just say this: if you want to be successful, you have to put in the work.
This week, as I rebuilt our website (again), aiming to achieve greater simplicity and usability, I realized that work is a fact of life. God said to Adam, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return into the ground,” (Genesis 3:19). Life is about work, about improving, and most of all, improving ourselves. And I believe that the thing that improves us the most is work itself! I think back over the last two years and cannot believe the things Jake and I have learned and accomplished.
First and foremost, I learned how to build a website. With help from tutorials, our hosting company A Small Orange, good, old-fashioned research, and Heaven, I built this website with no knowledge of how the Internet even works! It’s a miracle! We taught ourselves how to use Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and other software programs. We put together reports of all kinds for our accountant, figured out how to buy, print, and ship our products in the most efficient way. The list could go on and on. But my point is that, after all of this work, we are expanding our knowledge, pushing ourselves to learn new things that are sometimes intimidating, and in general, improving ourselves.
This, in itself, is quite satisfying as a human. But what gives us the greatest joy in our work with White Field Apparel is when people tell us they love what we are doing, when we receive orders for shirts from all over the world, and when we see someone post a picture of themselves on Facebook or Instagram wearing one of our shirts. We see the impact our products are having in the lives of all of these young missionaries and soon-to-be missionaries, and it is absolutely thrilling.
Our work doesn’t end here, though. We have more shirt ideas, more improvements to make, more campaigns to plan and people to reach. I have more personal obstacles to overcome and lessons to learn. After all, there is always more to improve.