Yes, We Are a Faith-Based Company – But Not How You Think

6107 Faith Key bulk

FAITH-BASED
[feyth-beyst]
adjective
1. affiliated with, supported by, or based on a religion or religious group:
faith-based charities.

(Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.)

Contemporary definitions for faith-based

adjective
pertaining to a connection with a religion, faith, or belief system

Examples
Faith-based books are selling well.

Dictionary.com’s 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014 Dictionary.com, LLC

Recently we received an email from a customer that started out “I assume you are a faith-based company…”   She went on to explain that she was looking for a particular word on a stone that she thought we carried since we appeared to trend towards Christian items.   I don’t know why, but I was taken aback by this assumption.  We do sell a large amount of ‘faith-based’ items, particularly Christian scripture, and we have a large Christian bookstore and church clientele.   But rather than pinpoint our business to one belief system, I’ve tended towards trying to carry items with a positive message, those items that have an uplifting spirit to them and overall comforting energy.  At the same time, this is a retail business, so we have to sell what sells – in other words, as we’ve honed our craft, we just happened to have found our niche within the Christian community.

Does it matter whether we actually define ourselves as faith-based – as described in the definition above?  I don’t think so.  I think what matters is that we are a company that believes in integrity, honesty and hard work, a company that sells great items for reasonable prices and a company that you feel comfortable giving your hard earned money.  Oh, and I think it matters that we have a sense of humor.

If pressed to answer that customer about whether we are faith-based, here is what I would say.  Yes, we are a company based in faith.  We have faith that our manufacturers will continuing turning out quality products for reasonable prices.  We have faith that our employees care about their job and will work hard to ensure great service.  We have faith that our delivery handlers at UPS, FedEx, the US Postal Service and DHL will treat our packages kindly and will make sure our products get to the right people in the right amount of time.  We have faith that our landlord will continue maintaining our warehouse space so that we have a safe and efficient space to work in.  We have faith in our customers, that they will continue to want to buy our items and trust us enough to send us orders.   And most importantly, we have faith that we will be able to keep our sense of humor and good spirits through it all.

~ Brenda

Persistence

I’ve had a sign hanging in my office at work for about 10 years.  It is on the wall directly in front of my desk and serves as a constant reminder:

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.  Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.  Persistence and determination alone will bring success.  

~Calvin Coolidge

This word has made it’s way into the news as of late – the wonders of social media picking up on comments made by a male senator about a female senator during a senate confirmation debate.  ‘She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.’  These words have become a bit of a battle cry in today’s political climate, and can now be found on t-shirts, mugs, protest signs, and now…river rocks.

shepersisted

In making decisions about themes and types of things we’ll carry, one of our goals is to not be particularly trendy or flash-in-the-pan.  Too, we like to remain apolitical.  While it’s important that we continue to add freshness and newness to our lines, we like to keep a baseline of solid, meaningful, consistent and non-controversial inspirational gifts.  We’ve been selling most of our products continually for over 10 years.

But, we do offer custom designs, so it’s inevitable that we get requests from our customers for the newest catch phrase or the latest and greatest trend.  The ‘She Persisted’ rock design caught my attention a bit more so than others, because not only is it current news, it’s a theme in my personal and business life.  Even when business is down, we persist.  When we’re not feeling particularly inspired, we persist.  When we have a difficult customer, or frustrating vendor, we persist.  To be successful in business, we must persist.

I love that we can rely on our customers to bring us inspiration.  The Custom Designed River Rocks are one of my most favorite items because it’s so fun to see what customers come up with.  And, we have fun conversations trying to guess what they are using them for.

If someone were to describe me, I wouldn’t mind them using this phrase.  I hope you find inspiration in it, too.

~Brenda

Happy Customers = Happy Us

As a rule I don’t read our customer’s online reviews much.  I should – after all, how do I know we’re doing a good or bad job?  But in the day to day routine of running the business, I haven’t yet made it a habit to read what customers say.  But today I took some time to see what people think.  I’m glad I did!

‘Thank you very happy with product’

‘Very fast shipping and a beautiful product. Thank you so much’

‘What awesome, beautiful stones for my Sunday School class. I can’t wait to give them as Christmas gifts. Thanks so much. Beautiful job!’

‘all stones from this site are very professionally done… love them’

‘love it, they are really beautiful stones.’

‘They looked fabulous in the pictures and are even nicer up close! Arrived as promised.’

‘The pocket pieces were high-quality, and I loved the little bag– perfect for gifting.’

‘These are lovely! Thank you!’

‘Was so happy to find these. Exactly what I was looking for. Right price and great service! Will surely shop here again.’

‘Nice little coins to carry in your pocket. They are well made and perfect for a gift. Thank you!’

We love that you love our products!  We believe in them and apparently so do you!

 

An Angel For Your Pocket

protectme

For the past 6 years, Bob has been calling me about once a month to order pocket angels.  He is a kind and likable gentleman from out west and we have built a rapport throughout our many phone calls.  He always says, “I need some more of those angels for your pocket” and then asks, “do you have a minute for a story?”

Bob buys and gives away our pocket angels as he crisscrosses the United States as a long-distance truck driver.  He tells me he never knows exactly what makes him give a certain person an angel but many times they have told him how much it means to them when he does.

He gave one away in Illinois to a cashier at a truck stop.  He happened to be back in that same stop 3 months later and she said, “Thank you for that angel you gave me” (he hadn’t remembered giving her one but she obviously remembered him).  She said, “I have been sober 3 years and the day you came in I had decided I needed a drink again, that angel stopped me from taking it.”

Others have told Bob of wayward teenagers needing some guidance, parents who were buried with the angel token, or many just pleased with the comfort of having it in their own pocket.

Bob lost his two children years ago to a drunk driver.  That is why the angels are important to him.  He lost his wife years later.  If I say to him, “Have a good day” his response is “That’s the only kind to have, I’ve only had two bad days in my life.”  And if I say, “Hey Bob, how are you?” as I greet him on the phone, his response is always “I’m better.”   I think I’d like to try and be a little more like Bob.

~Suzi

Navy Town

gonavybeatarmy

As we ate lunch at the office today, we were treated to the (loud) sounds of the Blue Angels flying overhead.  Today is practice for the big show tomorrow, which is a standard part of commissioning week here in Annapolis.  Friday is the United States Naval Academy graduation for the class of 2017, and the week leading up to the big day is always filled with special events.

For us locals, this means traffic, tourists, traffic, road closures, traffic, tourists and more traffic.  This also means that restaurants will have longer waits, shops will be busy and downtown parking will be extra tight.

But mostly what this means is that traditions will continue, parents and family will be proud and 932 men and 274 women will officially embark on their naval careers.

We’re lucky to live in a city with such a rich history.  The academy grounds are stunning and they are surrounded by a quaint and beautiful waterfront town.  When I am traveling, and someone asks me where I’m from, the reaction I hear most often is “oh, Annapolis is beautiful!”

Indeed it is.  And a few extra cars, a few extra people and a longer restaurant wait is a small price to pay for all the rewards.

Congrats to the United States Naval Academy Class of 2017!  Go Navy Beat Army!

 

 

 

Persistence

I’ve had a sign hanging in my office at work for about 10 years.  It is on the wall directly in front of my desk and serves as a constant reminder:

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.  Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.  Persistence and determination alone will bring success.  

~Calvin Coolidge

This word has made it’s way into the news as of late – the wonders of social media picking up on comments made by a male senator about a female senator during a senate confirmation debate.  ‘She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.’  These words have become a bit of a battle cry in today’s political climate, and can now be found on t-shirts, mugs, protest signs, and now…river rocks.

shepersisted

In making decisions about themes and types of things we’ll carry, one of our goals is to not be particularly trendy or flash-in-the-pan.  Too, we like to remain apolitical.  While it’s important that we continue to add freshness and newness to our lines, we like to keep a baseline of solid, meaningful, consistent and non-controversial inspirational gifts.  We’ve been selling most of our products continually for over 10 years.

But, we do offer custom designs, so it’s inevitable that we get requests from our customers for the newest catch phrase or the latest and greatest trend.  The ‘She Persisted’ rock design caught my attention a bit more so than others, because not only is it current news, it’s a theme in my personal and business life.  Even when business is down, we persist.  When we’re not feeling particularly inspired, we persist.  When we have a difficult customer, or frustrating vendor, we persist.  To be successful in business, we must persist.

I love that we can rely on our customers to bring us inspiration.  The Custom Designed River Rocks are one of my most favorite items because it’s so fun to see what customers come up with.  And, we have fun conversations trying to guess what they are using them for.

If someone were to describe me, I wouldn’t mind them using this phrase.  I hope you find inspiration in it, too.

~Brenda

Back in stock! Inspiration Stones

8900

Ask Believe Receive

Count your Blessings

Follow your Dreams

God Rocks

Hope Anchors the Soul

I Am

Let Go and Let God

Live with Purpose

Prayer Changes Things

This Too Shall Pass

Inspiration Stones – $2.95/each