Good day Beartarians! Wiscobear here to share a little of my story.
I don’t often sit down and think about how I ended up where I am, but when I did to write this article I couldn’t stop smiling at how obvious it is that God’s been leading this whole journey. In the moment it never really felt like it. I often fought with God and tried on multiple occasions to walk away from this path. Spoiler alert: I eventually gave up and decided to trust him. My life motto that I’ve acquired over these last few years is “I have no idea what I’m doing”. I want to brand that and slap it on business cards and t-shirts…. it’s funny because it’s true. But something I’ve come to discover is that you don’t really need to know because God’s in control anyway. My parents and I own a tea shop in a small Wisconsin college town known as Ripon. We’ve been at it for 4 years. But this story is about my journey to becoming a kombucha brewer and it starts about 2 years ago…
There’s SO MUCH that has happened that I want to share with you all, and maybe in the future I will. But I think for now I don’t need to focus on all of the details and trying to get all the stories in. Because the journey was never about all the things that happened, and all the things I went through to get where I am. It’s about how God has been growing me all along the way. It’s about overcoming self doubt, taking steps of faith, and seeing Him work amazing things.
My story is not about me at all, but about how God can use a regular, small town girl to do something kind of cool.
I started my adventure brewing kombucha as a joke. A friend brought me the supplies to try my hand at it, and I gave it a shot as something to occupy my free time. Obviously I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I quickly found out that the product I was making was wanted by my town. It became popular enough for my little hobby to grow beyond just brewing one gallon every week or so, to having two, 7 gallon batches on constant rotation. So I was blessed with success, but I didn’t know what I was supposed to do with it. Kombucha is just now starting to become popular in Wisconsin. My state has 2 major breweries and a handful of smaller ones, but more importantly there are no other handcrafted brewers close to my town. So being a business woman I saw the opportunity to get in on the ground floor and establish my brand before the inevitable health fad swept our way. If I didn’t, someone else would, and I knew if that happened I would regret not taking my chance.
Life is never that simple though. Even though the business prospect motivated and challenged me, I was wrought with self doubt and insecurity. I’m a perfectionist, especially when it comes to my work. I want to be the best at whatever it is that I’m doing at the moment, so when it came to kombucha I wanted to be the best brewer with the best product and the best business. I wanted to outshine every other brewery in existence, anything short of extraordinary would be failure to me. Now obviously that’s extremely selfish and messed up in many ways, but that’s not how I saw it. I genuinely felt that if I wasn’t doing my absolute best and sinking every last piece of myself into brewing a product that stood out from the rest, then there was no point in trying. This pursuit of perfection and struggle with self doubt led to eventual burnout.
But along the way God used every single thing that happened to grow and strengthen me.
I had people try to steal my recipe and brewing secrets – that taught me how to protect my business and showed me that I must be doing something right if people are trying to copy my ways.
I got involved in a very dysfunctional business partnership – this taught me to never compromise on my beliefs or my family, and to always trust my gut instinct. Ironically it’s also how I acquired the name “Honest & True”.
My business moved locations twice in 4 months – this was just all out tiring but showed me how God’s hand was in control of everything.
The health department shut down my operation for almost 6 months because I didn’t have paperwork I wasn’t aware I needed – this was ultimately what made me face myself and wrestle with why I was on this path. It also taught me not only how to work in, but also around, the beast system that we live in.
These are just a few of many things that led me to finding myself sitting alone in my shop, in March of this year, a day after Wisconsin announced their state wide shutdown for coronu. I had spent my time, energy, savings, and every bit of myself to invest in this business. And suddenly I was here, still shut down by the health department, sitting in a quiet storefront making $0 a day. I was done. Why had I just gone through everything I did to end up here? What’s the point of that? I looked out my windows at the eerily empty streets and asked God for guidance. I can’t explain what happened, but I suddenly understood. I just… got it. My business is, and never was mine. It’s God’s, I’m just the person that’s supposed to take care of it. I didn’t need to worry about losing it because if I did that would be okay, God has the authority to decide if it’s done. But I don’t have the right to complain or worry if I wasn’t going to do what I knew I was supposed to be doing – brewing.
I remember looking back to the windows of my brewing room and realizing how long it had been since I brewed a batch. I let the struggles and the stresses take the joy out of my craft. I saw it as a burden instead of a blessing. A fire was lit in me. That day I brewed my first batch in months, and a week later when I advertised it on social media it sold out by the end of the day. Ever since then I no longer struggle with that nagging feeling of self doubt. Because I’m not doing this to make a name for myself, I’m just here to make a good product for as long as God allows. The name “Honest & True” adorns my windows and business cards as a reminder to be just that, in all areas of life. I want people to see those words and know that they are getting a product made with integrity. And in times such as these, nothing is more valuable and cherished than that. I’m not the greatest brewer and I genuinely never really know what I’m doing. I’m not that successful, most months I don’t even know how I’ll pay rent. But somehow I always do.
All I know is, when you give up control, let God lead, and stand for truth; he can lead you down some amazing paths.
So bears, for me it was kombucha. What is it for you?
*You can find Honest and True at:
Address: 211 Watson St. Ripon, Wi. 54971
Facebook: Honest & True Tea
Instagram: Business page: @honestandtruewi Kombucha page: @honestandtruekombucha
Website: currently unavailable (Looking for a bear web designer!)
A New Approach To Homeschool
What do you want from your child’s education? How do you envision them as an adult? What skills will they have? People often focus on curriculum; math, English, science, but fail to develop a vision. They remove children from public school without advancing beyond a department of education mindset.
A proper education prepares children to succeed in the real world, but what skills make that possible? The Pythagorean theorem? An 18 year-old shouldn’t only have skill, but monetary value. Teach your child basic proficiency in art, music, construction, engineering, and computer coding, and they have the capability to bring anything they imagine into physical reality. They have the skills necessary to unlock the full potential of their creative mind. I call this creative excellence. It’s not that there is one right way to do this, but that it is the ideal to strive toward. Maybe your child’s path will take them into mechanics, plumbing, or anything else, but the ability to create is an absolute necessity. Development of skills makes children resilient to outside factors that can cause them to be less essential. The old lady down the block will always need her toilet fixed, just as people will always need their cars fixed.
Skill development is the surest way of ensuring children will always be able to earn a living.
Now pair that with business experience. From the time children are little they should have experience with product/ service development, organizing, sales, marketing, and business in general. I call this talent stacks. Think about that child who can physically create anything they imagine, and pair that with a lifetime of actual business experience. Does that sound like a person who will have difficulty navigating in the world?
Classical Learner allows me to assist families in formulating a unique vision for their children, like a guidance counselor for homeschoolers. You can read more about the Classical Learner Philosophy here:
It also provides me a platform to create unique educational materials. Earlier this year Classical Learner launched the Cubs to Bears children’s book series – designed to teach morality, liberty, history, and the mechanisms institutions use to manipulate people. Children’s entertainment should mirror reality to provide children a framework to understand complex concepts. For example, in The Bear from Jekyll Island, the pigs – bankers, tempt the animals with monetary loans. The animals that give into temptation find themselves in a vulnerable position when the farm has a drought and the pigs call in their loans. Learn more here:
Pulling children out of public school is the first step in building a better future. The next is to re-think what a worthy education looks like. Parents must create a unique vision of who their child is going to be.
Public schools have one vision and parents have another, at Classical Learner we bridge the gap.
Video readings of Cubs to Bears Books:
The Beartatria Times App: Classical Learner
Instagram: Classical Learner Today
Simply Yasmine Co.
How maternal instincts started a business
By: Yasmine Zachmeyer
Hi Everyone, I’m Yasmine. I met my now husband, Jacob, when I was 16 (2013). We got married in April of 2019 and we welcomed our beautiful daughter, Journee, in May of 2020. After we found out that we were expecting, we decided to move to the country so we live in a perfect little farmhouse in Southeast Iowa. We have about 2 acres currently, but are hoping to buy some more land around us. While the rest of the world was freaking out, I spent my time planting a garden, learning how to make bread and had fun canning all of our fresh fruits and veggies!
I was born and raised for part of my life in Florida. When I was 10, I was taken away from my parents. I ended up having to move to Minnesota and Virginia with my Aunt and Uncle who were going to adopt me, but God had other plans. My grandma, who lived in Iowa, decided she wanted to take me in and raise me. She officially adopted me when I was 14. My dad (her son), turned his life around and she allowed him to move here to be with me. Flash forward a few years (2019) and my mom decided to move to Iowa as well to get on the right path. My parents were still legally married through all of this, so they just picked up where they left off. My mom was able to get sober and has been sober for almost two years now! I am so thankful to have my whole family back together again and that my daughter can be around her grandparents.
How it Started
I have always been a natural person who researched everything. When I became pregnant, that research mentality went into full over-drive. Did you know that 300+ chemicals can be used in creating one scent and companies only have to list “fragrance” as the ingredient? I started studying parabens, artificial fragrances, paraffins, phthalates, dyes and more and realized the detriment these had on my family’s health. I thought I was buying the most natural cleaning products, candles and baby supplies, only to realize most of the companies I trusted were lying and greenwashed. I knew I could do better for my family, so, I said my good-byes to my beloved products and began creating my own. A short while later, my husband encouraged me to start my own business selling said products, thus Simply Yasmine, was created.
I opened my Etsy Shop in October of 2020 and we have been doing great so far! I currently sell 100% all-natural wax melts, room sprays, hand sanitizers, shower melts and bath bombs. I plan to add many more products in the future. I created Simply Yasmine on a foundation of making chemical-free living affordable and easy. My products are not like anything you can buy in the store. I use USA materials and a blend of high-quality essential oils we all know and love.
All of my products are created with natural ingredients. So many products I used to love contained artificial fragrances. Simply Yasmine scents are created with high-quality essential oils. Essential oils are naturally derived from plants so keep in mind there are some scents that just can’t be mimicked. Sorry, no birthday cake or caramel plants! You can breathe easy knowing my products contain no phthalates, dyes, paraffins, parabens or artificial fragrances.
Looking Forward to the Future
My goal for the future would be to have my husband be able to work from home with me so we can be with our daughter (and future children!) all the time.
Coupon Code: BEARTARIA for 10% Off
You can find me on:
Instagram at: www.instagram.com/simply.yasmineco
Earn Money. Don’t Make It.
How changing one word can change your business
Words matter. How we use words matters. Replacing a single word in a sentence, or a thought, can result in an entirely different ending point. Today we’ll focus on what I think is the most important word in business, and how replacing it with another will change your entire outlook.
When we use the phrase “I made money”, we are lying. Unless you own a printing press specifically for creating money, use a special blend of top secret woven paper and fabric, use special inks and dyes, etc, and you literally create money, you didn’t make anything. Using this phrase can lead to subconscious shifts in how we not only conduct ourselves in our business environment, but every other area of life as well. It might seem trivial, but words matter more than we know.
When we say “I made”, we are taking full credit for a creation. Over time this can, and often does, lead to hyper inflation of the ego. The power of creation is something to covet. Desiring to create, or make, isn’t bad in itself. After all, we are here to honor God by creating. It’s what we direct that desire towards which can lead us down very bad paths. When we “make” money, we subconsciously train ourselves to believe we have the power to create wealth. We don’t. And once that pattern of thinking takes hold of you, it will expand out to the point of losing touch with nature, truth, logos, and reality itself.
The way to avoid this crucial misstep is to rephrase it, and instead say “I earned money”. Changing “made” to “earned” removes the idea that you created the money. That is important. Saying you earned money is not a lie. If you provided a service or sold a product, you did in fact earn that money. “Made” comes with the connotation that you are so powerful that you create from nothing. Only God can do that. “Earned” comes with the connotation that you worked hard to acquire, which is exactly what you did.
When we enter a job working for someone else, we don’t make our paychecks. We earn them. We enter into a contract with an employer. The employer agrees to give you an amount of money for either a job, or per hour that you work. You willingly choose to accept these terms, knowing that in order to obtain that paycheck at the end of the week you will need to work hard to earn it. Nowhere in there did you make money. This doesn’t magically change as soon as we create our own business. I don’t make money selling wood products. I earn money by making wood products. There’s a very big difference between those two, and the latter will keep you humble and focused on whatever it is you do.
A good exercise to see how important words are is to swap the words “made” and “earned” in everyday phrases, and see how ridiculous they sound. For instance, when I go into the shop, I make a cutting board. I don’t earn a cutting board. When you graduate college, you earned your degree. You didn’t make a degree. Your kids run up to you, paper in hand, exclaiming that they made you a picture. They don’t yell “DADDY I EARNED THIS FOR YOU!”.
Save the word “made” for when you’re actually creating something. Use the word “earn” when you’re working for an end goal. In business, this end goal is ultimately money. I work hard every day to earn money to feed my family and keep a roof over their heads. I do so by making things and then selling them. And at the end of the day, I have no false sense of superiority, no inflated ego, and I haven’t convinced myself that I’m King Midas. I am tired, I am sore, and I feel grateful knowing that God allowed me another day of hard work so I could earn the money which I used to put food on the table. This also keeps my creativity focused solely on my craft, rather than on the acquisition of money. Instead of thinking about how I will acquire money, I think of what product I can create with wood that people will not only like, but will serve a purpose. I focus entirely on putting my energy into creating the product itself, so that when I hear the chime of a sale notification I know that my hard work paid off. I earned that sale.
Until next time Bears! Onward!
FB: Little Bear Woodshop
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Simply Yasmine Co.
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Earn Money. Don’t Make It.
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