The switch has been thrown and the lights are now shining through the "windows" of our own, autonomous website—Simple Truths Designs!
It all started over a year ago when Marsha and I learned that one of the original owners of the Simple Truths Designs Etsy page wanted to sell the business. Knowing that we were both in the last year of our respective careers in education, we prayed about whether we should take the plunge and purchase Simple Truths Designs. Marsha felt that God was leading us to buy the site; we loved the message of ALL of life's simple truths we could share on the t-shirts. In January, we took over as co-owners of the Etsy site and all of the materials that had been used in the business.
We felt we needed to work on the production process, so we purchased a screen printing station and a flash dryer to cure shirts. We then tried to create a unified packaging look for our orders with teal envelopes—matching one of the two Simple Truths colors—labels for the envelope and a Dymo 4XL printer for shipping labels.
By late spring, however, we were starting to notice some disturbing trends with Etsy itself and decided we needed to look toward other avenues for our business. It was at that time I was hit by a car while riding my road bike, putting me on a three month journey to recovery and leaving Marsha to maintain orders from the Etsy site.
I was recovered by September when we decided it was time to launch our own website, which we decided to do through Shopify, especially since the Etsy forums were mirroring our own feelings that the changes on Etsy were causing a decrease in sales! I had started working on the site when our two year long plans to go on a retirement trip came to fruition, and, immediately upon returning home, we were launched into four consecutive weeks of festivals. We enjoyed meeting people and watching their excitement upon seeing our new designs; using 28 years of newspaper and yearbook design experience, I have enjoyed making so many of our new ones, which are all Simple Truths Designs originals. The positive feedback has reinforced our belief in what we are trying to do, leading us to the opening of simpletruthsdesigns.com.
And what exactly is that? Well, obviously, we want to sell t-shirts that mean something to our customer family, but, larger than that, we want to build a community here. As teachers, we both felt it was our responsibility to serve our students, and we want to maintain that spirit of service here by not only producing shirts that resonate with our new extended t-shirt family, but a place where we can all come together in our belief in acknowledging the simple truths of life, whether they be inspired by God, nature, human strength, and, well, the list is near infinite!
Marsha and I hope you will agree to be part of this family as well. We ask for your feedback on the site and its products as well as ideas of where we can go on the road ahead. We have a world of ideas, but nothing meaningful happens in the blink of an eye. Hopefully, it will be a long, enriching adventure; as Robert Frost once wrote, "way leads on to way," and this adventure will continuously redefine itself. Let's find out what awaits beyond the bend in the road together!