- What is the name of your business and what do you do?
Amish Furniture for Generations.
The name of the business implies everything that I do. We sell furniture made by Amish craftsmen that will last for generations. The Amish are noted for their quality of craftsmanship as well as their lifestyle. Not only is the craftsmanship excellent, they are using quality materials. We have a very large variety of pieces available for all areas of the house. Whether it is dining, living, bedroom, office or outdoor furniture, we carry it all. We also have the ability to offer customization on existing pieces or drawing something completely from scratch to fit the customer’s needs.
- What is the best advice you could pass onto a Christian hoping to start a business in the secular world?
The best advice that I could give a person starting up a business for themselves is to pray and have a clear understanding of what you want to do. Then lay out a plan, including monetary goals or restrictions. Never lose sight of who is really in control of the big picture. Sound Christian principles can seem like a thing of the past, but they are more important today than ever. Honesty, integrity and courtesy are traits needed to succeed.
- How do you incorporate your faith into your business?
I incorporate my faith into my business through being grounded in God’s word. Without a sure foundation in Christ, whatever you accomplish will not benefit you in eternity. Keeping that in mind, God’s Word will have the answers you need. How to deal with people, money, problems etc. I have had many challenges in the 14 years that I have owned my business. When I face things I am not knowledgeable in, I pray. I can’t count the number of times I have had help come to me: from many different directions and from countless people along the way.
- The business world can be hectic. How do you make time for your faith and family while owning and operating a business?
My business is a family business. My wife and I have been in it together since the very beginning. We have set our business hours so they accommodate the public and still allow us plenty of family time. Sunday is our day of worship and we are closed that day. At one point in my business I was working 6 days a week. I was putting in long hours and I had not taken a vacation in over 5 years. Suddenly I had a God moment. One of my customers, an elderly man, had inquired about my family. When he heard that I had not taken any time off in 5 years, he gave me a good talking to. He told me that my two daughters would be grown and gone before I knew it, and that I needed to spend time with them before it was too late. It opened my eyes and helped me focus my moral compass back on family values.
- What is your favorite verse in the Bible and why?
It’s very difficult to choose a single verse out the Bible as my favorite. The Word of God is a living, breathing thing. You can read the same scripture with a different set of circumstances influencing your life, and a totally different application of the verse can come to life. If I had to boil it down to just a single verse it would be 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Paul was writing to Timothy and reminding him of who he was, and what he needed to do in order to become the man God created him to be. For Timothy, that was accomplished by studying God’s word and understand how to properly apply its knowledge and wisdom. When you have the words of the Bible in you then you have the tools to accomplish the task set before you. It teaches you all of the things you need to run a business. It teaches community and how we all interact in the bigger picture. It teaches money principles, how to save, how to work hard, and ultimately how to have a great quality of life.
- Is “giving back” important to you as a Christian business owner? What role does this play in your business?
Giving back has been a part of my business from the beginning: whether it was monetarily, through donations to various causes, or through trying to help people I have met along the way. I have always tried to make a difference. I can’t do everything but I have learned that I can do some things. I’ve found that the most rewarding time to give is when nobody’s watching. Sometimes I have been able to watch from a distance and see the results of my company’s giving. Other times, I’ve just known that it was the right thing to do.