This month we will be celebrating our 10-year anniversary at A Child’s Eyes. I am so thankful for each of the many, many people who have supported the “vision.” Truly, we are grateful for all the wonderful people we have been able to serve as well as the many doctors that have directed patients to us. In such an competitive economy, where many businesses open only to close a short time later, we know how blessed and fortunate we are to still be here.
Ten years ago God instilled in my heart a desire. This desire was to have an optical shop dedicated especially to the vision needs of children, a place where patients could come from any doctor's office, where families could come and not only get expertly-fitted glasses, but also where children could see, touch and play with everything around them. I wanted an environment that parents would be able to ask as many questions as they needed and where families would be able to encourage one another with their own experiences.
But having a desire and seeing it come to pass are two very different things. As my husband and I made a business plan and sought out help from banks and small business associations, we only found dead ends. A few accountant's professional advice was simply to forget about doing it. We even considered adding a partner to the business. Many of you probably already know this, but no one wants to give you money unless you already have money. We were a young family with three young children, 10, 8 and 5. Money was something we definitely didn’t have. However, we knew God’s plan and that was something we did have!
Eric and I had a little bit of money in an IRA and some equity in our home. It was a good bit less than half of what our business plan said we needed. We prayed and took on God as our only partner. I can’t explain the peace I felt, but defying all the world's wisdom and trusting God’s infinite wisdom brought me to this place of “crazy” trust, trust in Him!
As we marched forward, things started to come into place. Those battles we tried to fight on our own just melted in the face of God’s plan. I was able to negotiate contracts with vendors that were unprecedented. Some vendors gave me as much as 18 months to pay for the frames that would fill our displays. Most vendors demand full payment in 30 days! Many sales representatives that I had worked with over the years took personal responsibility for the merchandise that I purchased. The displays themselves were custom-made by an expert friend who opened his cabinet shop to us for a small hourly amount, saving us 75% off the retail price. What a blessing it was to have that kind of support!
I can tell you that, although we are far from “rich” in the world’s standards, I have never missed a payment on what we owed. We struggled as my husband worked at the office during the day, and on third shift and weekends to make up for the loss of my paycheck and, of course, to supply health care for the family. It has been in no way easy, but in all ways directed!
Ten years later and our children are now 20, 18, and 15 years old! Jax, my oldest child, has received her Optician certification and I am blessed to able to employ her. She is such a tremendous and loving person. She has always been our Pied Piper, attracting children (and stray animals) where ever we go. She has added so much to A Child’s Eyes! Jax embodies the standards that I have always tried to work by, to make every person feel loved and welcome right from the moment they enter the door and to always remember Who it is that we serve!
Max is my second-oldest child. He has also started working in the business just last year. Although he's not overly fond of small children, he excels at being the behind-the-scenes person. He has maintained all of my websites for years already and also uses his gift for doing precise work to craft the eyewear in my lab. I am so thankful that he has decided to be a part of the business too!
Carson is my youngest and still in school. He certainly does a lot of work around the office though. All three kids have done “chores” around the office from the very first day, helping us move in, even though they could hardly carry boxes that were as big as they were. I’m excited to see the plan God has for Carson! He is a great young man, and very tall… Ha ha ha!
It’s been sweet to take a rest and look back over the past 10 years to see all that has happened. I certainly can not overlook the support of my wonderful husband. He has sacrificed right along with the rest of us in support of the desire of my heart and more importantly God’s plan for us as a family! He is my partner for life!
I thank you all for not only for your support of A Child’s Eyes, but also for the many ways you have enriched our lives. I’m thankful for each one of you and thankful to God for these past ten years. Who knows where things will be in the next ten years, but I will strive for it to be as God desires. I hope that sharing our journey has encouraged you to trust God for all your needs! When things look easy, look to God…when things look hard, look to God…when things look unattainable, look to God!
With sincere thanks and gratitude,