Soooo…..I know you have all been DYING to know how Tabletop Truths came to be! 🙂 No really, we put this bio together for a podcast we did last year and thought it would be fun to share our story. Sometimes when we really stop and take the time to reflect back and see where we were and where the Lord has brought us in our different endeavors, HIS FAITHFULNESS and GOODNESS are highlighted! This is what happened when synthesized our story….It was so rewarding to write this out and in the process give HIM glory for the great things HE has done in our lives, our friendship and through Tabletop Truths! Hope you enjoy….. (BTW, Sara is not a huge fan of the word “Momtrepreneur,” which of course means that is what I’m titling this post! Love you, Sara!!)
We (Lisa & Sara) have been friends since our early newlywed days (circa 2001) where we co-founded (or attempted to) a social group/dinner club called “MASK,” Married and Still Kool….not surprisingly, the 2 of us and our husbands were the only ones that caught the vision and joined! Those other couples seriously missed out! So began our friendship solidified by nights of the 4 of us playing tennis, spades, eating DiGiorno pizzas and watching the first season of Survivor religiously from the Moffitt’s little (now shady!) apartment. We were instant friends and quickly discovered our love for Jesus, decorating, creating and all things artsy. We even bonded over 6am Tae Bo workouts…well, that was our intention, anyways!!
Our first business endeavor together was to start a (short lived) home decorating business “Inside Out Interiors” (with nifty business cards self-made on Publisher!) It really only lasted through our first 2 projects, one of which was our hairdresser’s salon (picture Steel Magnolias here) who let us do a weekend transformation of her entire salon! (This was even Pre-HG TV days!) Our husbands were troopers and painted with us all weekend! It was definitely worth it is as we were compensated with free foil jobs for a full year (definitely better than cash!) Our second (and I think final) job was for our dear friend Carolyn who gave us free reign in her kitchen re-do. Thankfully her kitchen underwent a second remodel in 2013 and was freed of the lovely “Roosters on French Chairs” border that we had so thoughtfully selected at Lowe’s! While we didn’t pick up any more clients, those two jobs provided us a space to learn to work together, appreciate each other’s strengths, tolerate each other’s weaknesses and learn to communicate well! We now see how that time was critical in forming a deeper, trusting friendship.
DO you note the pattern here though?? MASK Social Group, Short lived Tae Bo workouts, Interior Design Business…we are great at coming up with ideas and STARTING….oh but it’s the FINISHING…not so much our strength!
Sooooo….fast forward about 8 years. At this point we had 5 kids between us and a little different perspective. Caught in the daily tasks of mere survival with young kiddos our “mom-trepreneurial” spirits had been put on the backburner. Until one day while Lisa was observing her 4 year old daughter recite the Presidents from her plastic Wal-Mart placemat, she had an idea!! If my kids can learn the presidents from a placemat, surely they can learn more important SPIRITUAL things too!” We had both been struggling with fitting in meaningful conversations and more often than not “planned family devos” didn’t ever seem to go as planned!! Our kids were still young enough that they were still sitting at the kitchen table for meals, coloring or play dough a couple of times a day. We instantly saw this as an opportunity from the Lord to resurrect our creative gifts and combine them with God’s Word and our desire to teach it to our kids.
In the summer of 2010 we drug out our scrapbooking paper (note: neither of us have ever made a single scrapbook,) scissors, glue, yarn, & ribbon and got to work on our handmade placemat designs! We thought long and hard about what specific Biblical fundamentals we wanted to equip our kids with. Our original plan was to create 4 placemats: Armor of God, Creation Story, Attributes of God, and Fruit of the Spirit. But we just couldn’t stop and kept adding to the collection! Now we have over 25 different placemats that teach kids key Biblical Doctrines. Our hope and prayer is that through simple, colorful visuals kids will develop a strong foundation and ultimately a love of God’s Word. (All while helping families have quality time and conversation around the dinner table!)
Not being the “Develop a Business Plan” types we really hadn’t thought much about where the Lord would take us. We just knew we had a product that we believed in and wanted to share. We had an Aggie friend create a super simple blog and shopping site for us and we signed up for a few Jr. League Christmas shows and things took off. We were overwhelmed at the response and humbled that the Lord was blessing our efforts. We continually thank Him for his kindness to give us an opportunity to use the gifts He has given us to spread His Word in such a fun way!
While we have received much affirmation from the parents and families who have purchased and used our placemats, the Lord has also given us some unique missional opportunities: donating mats to be used in orphanages in Africa, inner city ministry, pregnancy outreach centers and various churches. Each time we visit the post office and ship out our mats we pray for the recipients and are humbled that we so literally get to SEND OUT God’s Word.
It has been 5 years and we are still in operation (It’s a miracle!) While business is steady it isn’t as booming as it could be given the facts that we now have 7 kids ages 1-14 between us, travelling husbands, and a lack of marketing and social media savvy. (We JUST got Instagram a couple of months ago!) #alittlelatetothegame 🙂 We continue to be content with the Lord’s blessings and HIS timing of growing our business. Most recently He has showed us that His plans for Tabletop Truths are even greater than ours. He has provided us with the gift of our first “employee.” She is a dear family friend (who Sara also had the privilege of teaching in the 5th and 6th grade.) Our precious Emily is 25 and has Autism. Her strengths and skills are a perfect match for our placemat making assembly line and she is delightful to spend time with! Mornings spent with the 3 of us laminating, singing Taylor Swift and drinking coffee are truly a JOY! We are excited to see if the Lord opens up future opportunities to employ/reach out to other friends with disabilities.
Our time spent building Tabletop Truths has been integral in our friendship and our walks with the Lord. We have contemplated deep spiritual questions and solved many of the world’s problems during evenings crafting new designs and in the many hours we have spent hunched over a laminator! (Sometimes we wonder if we are going to get cancer or a rare disease from inhaling melted plastic while we laminate…but hey, it’s for the Gospel, right!?!) God has showed us his faithfulness each and every step of the way. We pray that we will always take seriously the privilege and gift of sharing God’s Word with others!
Thank you for taking the time to read! We are blessed by you all as customers, supporters and friends! We’d love to hear your story too! Any other “Momtrepreneurs” want to share? 🙂