Stone Soup for Five: What Brave Looks Like: Starting a business with Penny Bennett

What Brave Looks Like: Starting a business with Penny Bennett

My heart really loves seeing and encouraging others to be brave.  I love stories about people who have taken big, scary leaps of faith and been successful with starting a business... and stories of people who have tried things and failed but don't quit.  THEY ARE ALL BRAVE.

The thing about brave though, it NEVER feels brave.

It always feels like knots in your stomach, shaky hands, having a hard time breathing, and feeling ready to throw up.  Brave is never fun... at first.

Penny Bennett is one of those brave people.  You might remember her from a FUN giveaway we did a about a month ago.  She makes wonderful Bible totes and sells them at her shop on Etsy and she is now, officially, this blog's first sponsor!

But what is more amazing than that is her story and what her brave looks like.  As our newest sponsor, I wanted to let you all know about her, her totes, and how she started her business.  Because I KNOW there are lots of you out there who want to start your own business doing something, but have NO IDEA what to do, or how to even start.

Here's how Penny did it:

When I left my corporate job in New York and headed for Nashville, the first thing I wanted to do was sew!  My job had been so consuming that time for reading and sewing was rarely an option, and I missed them both.  By the time my plane had landed back in the South I had made up my mind to make a fabulous Tote for my 3 favorite things: my Bible, books and journals.  I loved my Tote so much I had to make one for all my friends and family. 

A few years later I designed my best-selling small Bible Tote and fell in love. Everything just fit perfectly.  All my favorite study tools in one place.  I started selling them locally and absolutely loved seeing them floating around my church. As my passion for the Bible grew I had this overwhelming desire to tell anyone who would listen what an awesome Book it is. I wanted to encourage women to read the Bible for themselves and really get to know the amazing God we serve.  Penny Bennett Totes became the vehicle for that message. 

I wanted to make my Bible Tote available to more women like myself who are passionate about God's Word so I decided to open up an Etsy shop.  I was scared to death! Everything about it scared me. PayPal?  What's a PayPal? LOL   It would have been so much easier to just stay in my comfortable little corner where I couldn't make mistakes, or risk being rejected. And, that is precisely why I needed to do it. 

 It's been a roller-coaster ride and there have been many days I wanted to quit. But, God has used this adventure to bolster my confidence and strengthen my faith in ways I couldn't possibly cover in this space. Over the years, I've been excited, overwhelmed, distracted, unfocused, exhilarated, terrified, insecure and absolutely beside myself with joy all at the same time!!  And by His grace, I'm still here.  And true to His Word, God has been faithful to me - and patient beyond belief - through all of it!
You have to give yourself permission to make mistakes and learn from them. 
That's been such a huge lesson for me. I can survive being wrong! What a relief. LOL  After 6 years on Etsy, my goal remains the same: to encourage women to read the Bible for themselves.  On the surface Penny Bennett Totes are simple canvas totes. But, fill them to the brim with Bibles, Journals, study guides and pens, and they become tools for empowering women!   And, knowing that makes me feel brave!

Penny is a wonderful brave woman and I'm so honored to have her be a sponsor on this blog.  Please be sure to visit her store and help support her in her mission to encourage women to dig deep into the Word!

(Prices on the video above, have been updated.  See the link below for current prices.  I LOVE my tote from Penny, I bought it over a year ago and it is 100% flawless! They are worth every penny!)

Click the photo below to go to her store

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