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Succeed In Business By Honoring The Creation

Honor God, Find Order, and then Crush.

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Human beings by nature are attracted to symmetry. You can see this in just about every facet of life. In art, we’re often drawn to symmetrical designs and patterns. Mandalas are a great example of this. In music, we typically structure our songs in a way that is more or less symmetrical. Think the intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-outro pattern. Even in our attraction to a mate, we subconsciously are attracted to symmetry. Endless studies on the subject have shown that a noticeable lack of facial symmetry is more often than not seen as less attractive. We put a bookcase on both sides of the fireplace. We buy matching nightstands for either side of the bed. Why do we do this? Why are we both consciously and subconsciously attracted to symmetry? Because symmetry is order.

So the next logical question is, why are we attracted to order? In a world with endless possibilities, why are we constantly finding our way back to the same? I would say because this is a creation, brought into existence by One much greater than you or I. And on a fundamental level, it is ingrained in us to take care of that creation, and honor it.


Weird way to start an article Woodshop Bear. What in the world does that have to do with business?

Business, like everything else in this life, is an idea. It is entirely possible to live a life of complete self reliance. Every single one of us is fully capable of growing our own food, raising our own livestock, raising our own children, healing our own ailments, fixing our own stuff, etc. But doing all of it by yourself is incredibly time consuming, and often leads to burn out. So, humans created business as a means to lighten the load. Many hands make for light lifting. Instead of me doing 20 things with the utmost mediocrity during the day, I can now do one thing with greatness. You do a different thing with greatness. When you need the thing I make, you buy it. When I need your service, I hire you to do it. For all of its frustrations, stresses, and trying times, business in itself as an idea is wonderful. Business is literally community. Fiat currency isn’t a measure of business. People helping each other and providing for one another is. Business goes wrong, however, when we lose sight of why we’re doing what we’re doing. Bear with me, as we’re sprinting headfirst into left field with this, but we’ll bring it back home triumphantly.

Business has become a twisted, vile perversion of what it should be, because we lost the order. We lost morality. We became greedy. We became self serving. We forgot why we do what we do. But we can very easily return home. It doesn’t matter what you do for work, or what your business is. What matters is whether you’re doing what you’re doing for selfish reasons, or if you’re trying to bring order to the world and honor God’s beautiful creation. And if you’re doing the latter, you will create ripples of beauty and truth that will form into giant waves.

There are thousands of places to buy a cutting board. There are endless choices. One can do a 1 second search online and find more options than they could ever look at. So why is my business successful and growing every day? Because in every single cutting board I make, I honor the creation. I hand select every single piece of wood I use, and I have loads of fun doing it.

Lumber restocking days are my favorite days. I spend an hour at the store, picking through boards looking for the perfect grain pattern and the perfect colors. I feel excitement driving home with a load of hardwoods just thinking about all of the beautiful things I’ll be able to make. I’m not excited for myself though. I’m excited for whoever orders them. I daydream about a family cooking dinner together, using the board that I made to chop up their fresh garden vegetables. I think about a mother looking at that cutting board after 10 years of use and appreciating that it’s lasted that long, and that she was able to use the money she would have spent constantly replacing a cheap board on her children instead. I feel honored to know that the skills God gave me will, in a way, help put food into the tummies of little ones all around the country. It is a pure, genuine desire to provide for others with something they don’t have the time or skills to craft for themselves.

This is a stark contrast to what we’re used to today, with cheaply made cookie cutter everything. The factory workers (if they haven’t been replaced by machines), couldn’t care less about any of that. They don’t care about the grain pattern of the wood. They don’t meticulously inspect every board, fill every crack, hand polish each board. They stamp them out and ship them off to whatever big box store ordered 10,000 of them for their warehouse. There is no order in that, and there is no honoring the creation. There is nothing but a pure, unadulterated desire for money. From the employees who are just there to collect a check, to the CEO who cares more about his 3rd yacht more than if his customer gets a quality product that will stand the test of time, there is no honor. On the surface, we are both providing the same service. The end result is a cutting board. You can cut your vegetables on either of our boards. But one was made with love, a need to honor God through the use of the skills he bestowed on me, and a very real desire to provide the last cutting board you will ever purchase. The other was made with no love. This might not seem important these days, as society has become very callous, but it really is. My inboxes are full of messages from customers thanking me, full of excitement, commenting on the quality and how thrilled they were when their order arrived. When was the last time you wrote the head of Walmart? People can feel when there is order, and it brings them joy because it’s truth.

Remember the ripple I talked about earlier? It goes both ways. Every day I step out onto my shop, and I create with honor. Every single order I receive puts food in my daughter’s mouth, so there is no option to provide a bad product. If I do, that’s a lost customer. A lost customer is a lost meal. A lost meal is a failure on my part to provide for my family. Failure to provide for the blessings that God gave me is a failure to God. It is not an option for me. If I mess up a knife handle, I eat the cost and make a new one. I spend my entire day trying to be honest, and build my integrity with my customers via what I’m providing for their very hard earned money. This affects every other area of my life.

Since starting this business, I’ve found that this attitude has expanded into all areas of life. I have become far less selfish, far more aware of what my words and actions do, and desire to honor the creation more than ever. What started as making sure I alternate the grain curves in a cutting board so it doesn’t crack years down the road has lead to a revelatory shift in how I view the world, and where I fit in to it.

On the flip side, the same happens in business when it’s conducted from a place of greed, laziness, and apathy. Those paycheck getters, who couldn’t care less about the job they’re doing, will find it exponentially more difficult to find meaning in their lives outside of work. If you’re used to running a machine that stamps out 1,000 cutting boards a day every day, you stop thinking about the mother who will be using one of them. If you see a crack in a board but say “whatever, it’s just one board”, that same apathy and laziness will ripple into your own life 100% of the time. That one crack will turn into just one cigarette after you quit, or one drink, or one affair. You detach from honor. When you are not honoring, you will never find order. Order is found through honor. What guides us in this life is where we want to go.

If you want nothing more than to be wrapped in God’s love in the afterlife, it will show in everything that you do, and will ripple outwards to everyone you interact with. You’ll make the best cutting board you can. You won’t try to rake the single mother for extra money when she comes in to get her car fixed, knowing that she doesn’t know the first thing about fixing cars and she’s relying on you so she’ll for sure pay extra for the blinker fluid. You’ll do everything you can to be of service to others. And in return more people will want to do business with you, because they will be able to feel that you truly care and you’re not just in it for yourself.

As proof of this, a quick story. Today, the Bear who offered me this editor position expressed interest in getting a knife from me. I immediately told him I’d make him one for free. My thank you for all of the opportunities him bringing me on board has brought. He immediately said he wanted to pay for it.

That, my friends, is the ripple. He knows I make good products, he knows my character, my integrity, and my desire to honor God. That made him want to help me feed my children. You will never find that in a giant factory. There is no community in a factory. You’d be hard pressed to find honor in a factory. But that doesn’t mean you can’t.

What matters in business is not what you’re doing. It’s why you’re doing it. Do it to help others. Even if you don’t own a business and you’re just grinding every day trying to break those Babylonian chains. Do it with honor, and do it with gratitude. If you’re flipping burgers, be thankful that you get the chance to feed someone. If you’re a janitor, be thankful that you can provide clean floors for children to walk on. Be thankful that you, in your own way, can help bring order into this world, and in doing so honor the creation that He left us to watch over.

Until next time Bears, Onward!

-Woodshop Bear

IG: @littlebearwoodshop
FB: Little Bear Woodshop
www.littlebearwoodshop.com

Business

New Product Announcement From Ferrell Custom Wood Designs

We have combined our passion for music with my Dad’s passion for woodworking to bring you our exciting new product, Wooden Cell Phone Amplifiers, that require no power!

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Hobbit Bear here from Ferrell Custom Wood Designs. We have combined our passion for music with my Dad’s passion for woodworking to bring you our exciting new product, Wooden Cell Phone Amplifiers, that require no power! They come in different selections of pine, cedar, and oak for various acoustic tone options. So you can amplify your favorite music or podcast, and custom fit any cell phone to boost your sound on the go, at family picnics, in your garden, or your work area. Just drop your cell phone in the holder, crank up the volume on your phone and enjoy your favorite music or podcast.

Please message me on The Beartaria Times App @Thehobbitbear to get yours today. It’s easy to ship and affordable at only $60, with shipping straight to the comfort of your home. Keep up with all my latest products and music on BTA page as well.

I want to thank you all for your support and, as always, onward to Beartaria!!!

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Arts and Crafts

Too Many Mittens

My mom has always loved seeing her children be creative, so she was thrilled when I showed interest in learning how to make mittens. So, in 2016, she taught me how to make wool sweater mittens.

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By: Charity (@trailerparkgirl on BTA)

My mom started making wool sweater mittens sometime around 2014. She got the idea from visiting a local Mennonite-owned store. She found patterns online and started out just making them for the family. We’re a family of ten, so there are plenty of us to make mittens for.

In 2015, at eighteen, I became her right-hand businesswoman and began photographing her mittens and selling them on Etsy. My younger sister, Madeline, drew the mitten in the shop logo.

My mom called her shop “Too Many Mittens.” She may or may not have gotten the idea for the name from the 1958 children’s book “Too Many Mittens.”

It’s one of a few books she remembers from her childhood. My mom grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and the story takes place in Michigan. 

My mom has always loved seeing her children be creative, so she was thrilled when I showed interest in learning how to make mittens. So, in 2016, she taught me how to make wool sweater mittens. I found them to be pretty simple to make. Very fun, too. I already had some experience with sewing, so it didn’t take long to get the hang of mitten-making. The excitement of pairing different wool sweater fabrics together and adding cool buttons to the cuffs was enough to get me hooked.

We make the mittens out of wool sweaters from thrift shops. And we line the mittens with fleece. My mom and I have had a blast sifting through thrift shop clothes racks in search of funky wool sweaters. We’ve gone through hundreds of wool sweaters in the past several years. Sometimes I see a sweater that I love so much that I’m tempted to keep it for myself to wear. But then I think, “Nah, that’ll make some really cool mittens.”

A few years ago, I invested in an embroidery sewing machine and lots of machine-embroidery thread. It’s been lots of fun to play around with different designs on mittens. They really give mittens extra character. The machine was definitely worth it. And it was fairly affordable. I use a Brother SE625. 

Now, in 2022, my mom is far too busy for making mittens. She’s focused on helping raise some of her grandchildren. So, my mom decided to let me take over Too Many Mittens. I’m planning on adding other handcrafted goods to our shop in the future, like cold-process soap. I’ve been playing around with soap-making since 2018. I’m currently working on perfecting recipes. My goal is to have soap available by Spring 2023. I’m even trying to get my younger sister to design the labels for the soap. After all, it is tradition. 

One day, I hope my mom will have some extra time on her hands so that she can get back into making mittens. She really enjoyed it, just like I do. Together, we have sold over 350 pairs of mittens. I’m grateful for the time we’ve been able to bond because of our mutual love of mitten-making. If I ever have a daughter of my own, I plan to teach her how to make wool sweater mittens and so many other wonderful things.

Visit my Etsy shop, Too Many Mittens, Here!

Bears get 15% off with the code: TRAILERPARKGIRL

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Business

What Time is it? SLIME TIME!

“I want to start my own business. I want to start a slime shop. I’ve wanted to do that for years!”

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By: Winki Bear

Ever since our daughter was two years old, she has always had the desire to please people. She wanted to start a home restaurant where she could create her own menu. When people would get their bill, she wanted it to say “FREE .”Through the years of her childhood, we have taught her the value and importance of hospitality and giving and how that can meld together with the value of her time and skills. Teaching her what costs and benefits mean through her weekly allowance for doing her chores and coaching her through the spending and saving process was an important step for her to realize that her hard work of cleaning the house every week will end up as a good or service of her choice if she desires it. Once that concept sank in, she was ready for the next step. 

Since the beginning of her educational path, Norah has always been homeschooled. However, when we moved to Missouri in December of 2021, we were now out of the city, away from family and away from tons of distractions. As we got settled, since we don’t live on a farm or have a huge plot of land to work yet, like many bears here in Missouri do, my husband and I realized she had a lot more time on her hands. So, we decided one day to sit down with her and have a loving conversation.

“Ok, Love, we have some options for you to think about. You have a lot more time available outside of your schooling now, and we want you to choose how you are going to fill that time. You can either pick a school subject, an extra-curricular activity you would like to expand upon, or start your own business.” 

It did not take her long to choose. “I want to start my own business. I want to start a slime shop. I’ve wanted to do that for years!” “Perfect!” We were excited to start this adventure with her but wanted to do it in the right way so she would get the best education out of this experience and have a lot of fun. 

The first thing we did was discuss with her what her brand wanted to be and what her shop was going to be called. “Products are so fun to make, but the brand and image of your shop are what sells your product.” This took time and a lot of rough drafts. We had her draw out a few logos and play with quite a few names. She finally settled on Boba Bear Slimes. She chose that because she loves boba tea, she is a bear, and the last part is obvious. We sent her rough draft logo to Bytesize Bear, who is a master at digital art, and she created what is now Norah’s logo for Boba Bear Slimes. The next thing was for her to start a slime journal. She needed to create an outline for her business. What products would she need? Where would she find these products, and how much will they cost? What will her packaging and shipping of the products look like, and what would she need for that? How is she going to label her products? Being supportive through this process was key, as she was only nine years old when she started this adventure. We incorporated all of these tasks with her homeschooling curriculum, so it wasn’t overwhelming. Once she had this outlined, she then moved on to writing down the slimes she wanted to create. Norah keeps a log of every slime with the name, the type of texture it is, the scent, the color, and the add-in that comes with it. Then comes the fun part, making the slime. 

It didn’t take too long to acquire all the essentials for creating her little individual masterpieces of art. Once she had everything, she started bringing her hard-outlined work into reality. Mixing glue, dye, scents, glitter, and the like in big batches was just the beginning. Putting the semi-sticky and wet textured slime into jars and giving them name labels, scent information, and in some cases, price tags along with the most important, the Boba Bear Slime logo, is just as long of a process as making the gloppy toy itself.    It takes Norah about three days to create a batch of 24 slime jars. She also attaches a complimentary bag of ‘Activator’ with instructions just in case the slime gets too sticky, which happens over time. With every slime she sells, she also gives a sweet treat which is her way of saying “Thank You” for supporting her shop.  

Boba Bear Slimes was first created in July of 2021 and was first introduced to the realm at The First National Beartaria Times Festival right here in Missouri. Since then, she now sells her products in a local downtown boutique here in Lebanon, Missouri, called Crazy Daisy Boutique. She has her own Etsy shop and has attended two craft fairs which she has almost sold out of her slimes every time. Norah has learned the value of hard work and organization and how much it pays to stay focused and persistent, and consistent. Her advice to anyone who wants to start their own business: “It’s not as easy as you would think. Do a lot of research. Don’t just jump right into it. It’s not going to be as easy as watching a YouTube video. They had to plan things and make rough drafts and create logos and figure out financial details. If you follow your passion, it will always lead to success.” 

You can find her products on Etsy, the Beartaria Times app by contacting Norah @Bright Light Bear, or locally in the Crazy Daisy Boutique in Lebanon, Missouri. 

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