Back while I was still on maternity leave, which seems like ages ago, I went to a product demonstration with my mom at a local gift shop, The Perfect Gift in Clarence Center, NY (shameless plug). After attending the event, I felt a pull to see if they used any form of social media marketing. After looking at their Facebook page and website, I decided to send a message to the owner asking if she would ever be interested in hiring someone on a freelance basis to manage and optimize their accounts. (Anyone who knows me knows that this forward-ness is completely out of character for me, but I just had a feeling like I was supposed to reach out to her.)
I got a quick reply back from Deb, the owner, who said that she hadn't ever really considered it, but that she would love to meet with me – because "Sometimes God knows what the shop needs before [she does]."
I was excited about the thought of possibly being able to help the store through social media, but figured that it would just be a few hours a week in addition to my 9-5 job at Quinlan. I returned to work with the gift shop in the back of my mind, and went through my days in the office missing my little girl terribly, all the while praying that something would fall into place for me to be able to be home with her more often.
A few weeks ago, I met with Deb at a local coffee shop and presented her with my "dream job" of becoming a part time work at home mommy. We discussed potential opportunities, and I left the meeting with the hopes that I would at least be able to help the shop with some e-mail marketing, maybe 1-2 hours a week as a freelancer.
Last week, Deb sent me a text message asking to meet with her, her sister (marketing manager), and her mom (business manager) to discuss some opportunities that had come up. I was excited for the meeting, but tried my best to be cautiously optimistic about everything. So last Friday, I went to the shop to meet with them for an interview and short discussion about a possible future with The Perfect Gift.
The interview went as well as possible. Despite a few tears from me (I tend to get really emotional talking about my baby girl!) and tears from Deb and her family as they talked about the future of their shop, we ended the hour-long meeting with a prayer. It was the most inspiring and unconventional interview I have ever been a part of, and I left feeling so anxious to see the plans God had in store for me.
Upon returning home that night, Luke and I sat down with our Excel sheet budget (his pride and joy), and crunched the numbers. We decreased our budget for simple things like miscellaneous, and fast food expenses, while making sure to keep things that we wanted – date night budgets like restaurants and entertainment, and of course the big ticket items like car payments, health insurance, life insurance, and retirement funding.
After hours of budgeting, we came up with an end number of where we would be at if I accepted a position in the shop. It was a little less than our comfort zone, but after a lot of prayer, we felt it in our hearts that God would find a way to provide for us.
This past Wednesday night, I had a call with Deb and we talked about the future of the shop with me as a part of it. We talked numbers, a little bit of job description, and both agreed that this was definitely a "God thing" to bring our lives and our talents together.
So... to make a long story not-quite-so-long, I have accepted a position as a part-time work at home mommy and part-time retail associate at The Perfect Gift. I will be doing the store's marketing for 6-9 hours per week from home, and working a few days a week in the store helping with displays, helping customers, etc.
I am so extremely grateful for this opportunity, and thankful for answered prayers to be able to spend more time at home with my Marleigh as she grows. You truly cannot put a price on time, and I am so excited to be able to be home with her 4 days a week!
Also... a big, huge, enormous thank you goes out to my wonderful husband for making this happen. I literally could not have done this without you, nor would I have the courage to make this decision on my own. I am so blessed to have you as my biggest supporter and best friend. You being behind me in this is so important, and I am excited to see where this new season of our lives takes us together!
I am going to miss my co-workers at Quinlan, but I know that this is the best decision that I could have made for my family, and I am so excited to get started with The Perfect Gift!