“Finding Fire” podcast recap Part 1
The start of a new beginning for me, was when I chose to quit what had been my dream job, when I realized it wasn’t a good fit for me anymore. The feeling I had when I realized I was no longer where I needed to be, was that of devastation. I had really thought my position as a worship leader at our church at the time was going to be what I was supposed to do for the rest of my life. If the certainty of the realization that chapter was closing had not been so clearly apparent, I would have never stepped out to pursue this amazing opportunity of our business, to support local artists, dream big, and make an impact in our community. It felt devastating in that beginning moment, but looking back I am so grateful.
At the age of 38, I walked away from the job I had for almost 6 years. I knew I didn’t want to go back to working as a teacher, which is what I went to school for. So, after contemplating what I was going to do for the rest of my life, I woke up one night and it became very clear to me: I was supposed to do what I love to do, and I needed to pour my whole self into it. I make a lot of my decisions off of faith, and I knew that this was a divine intervention to redirect my life. I knew that I was supposed to be intentional about it, and to share the experiences of my journey with others. I knew that social media was a great tool for entrepreneurs, and would be an important platform for me to share my journey, and be authentic along the way. I knew I didn’t have to have it all together. I just needed to be real.
As I began to take steps to walk out, in faith, this new declaration for my life, I started writing a blog. I also wrote a lot of music, and started performing around town. And I also loved building things, so I began building a lot of furniture out in our garage. The furniture turned into a lot of scrap wood, and the scrap wood turned into mosaics, and the mosaics turned into the Bailey Builds of Duluth, MN.
Nathanael also had a great job of 15 years at a local Auto Body Shop. He loved working there, and it was a great way to support our family, as I was mostly at home, raising our kids. His job allowed me to start my own business, without needing to worry about the income for our family. Starting out, I was making maybe $5 an hour with all the time I put into my work. Even though it was a small amount of income coming in, it all helped, being I was putting quite a lot of hours in working out of our garage, between caring for the kids and home.
When things really started kicking into gear, and the business started growing, I looked at Nathanael and playfully proposed to him his two options. -That I either find a strong, young, fit guy to help me in the garage… OR he could join me! … And, of course he joined me! And that’s when Nathanael decided to join me full time, in the summer of 2016. It was a real leap of faith for him, because his job was integral to supporting our family. Yet, we knew it was the right time to start working together as a team, and build on what I had begun with the business; and we haven’t looked back! The two of us together are way better than working on my own.
We actually thought in the beginning that we would continue working out of our garage, which was a 25’X25’ work space. Yet, we simultaneously had all of our family stuff in there, along with tools, and bikes, etc. It didn’t take long for us to realize that continuing to build our business out of the garage was not going to work out. We also realized quickly that we had different work habits. I work best in chaos, and Nathanael likes things neat and orderly. We both agreed that we needed space to spread out and do things our own way. This is when the real growth of our business began, when we purchased our first building as our workshop, which has now become our Duluth Makers Loft, Store, and Gallery.
Come back for Part 2, as we talk about our dream, why we do what we do, and our understanding of entrepreneurship. And, if you’d like to listen to our podcast with “Finding Fire” in their episode titled: Faith, Passion and Entrepreneurship With Bailey Builds,” which aired on April 12, 2021.