Handmade Signs with Purpose: Signs with a Porpoise

Be Strong and Courageous
Bryan and Kristen from Signs With A Porpoise

Bryan and Kristen from Signs With A Porpoise

Today I welcome Kristen from Signs With A Porpoise. Kristen and her husband Bryan have an Etsy shop with really beautiful handmade signs for indoor and outdoor use. I especially love their Biblical creations and Christian song lyric signs. Check out their shop, your heart will be moved with their creative typography and artistic vision.

Tell me a bit about you and your handmade signs business

Bryan and I are best friends and husband and wife of 14 years. We have worked together for over 18 years, first at the dinner show where we met, then as owners/operators of a decorative concrete business, and now as creative partners/makers for Signs With A Porpoise.

The most important aspect of our life is our relationship with the Lord, each other, our children, our loved ones, and anyone with whom He has us meet, including the special folks He has us meet through Signs With A Porpoise.

We have a passion for God’s Word and creation, and a heart for those who cannot speak for or defend themselves. We also share an affection for a wide range of worship music, coffee, fishing, and the beach.
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus from Signs With A Porpoise

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus from Signs With A Porpoise

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

Jesus is my biggest inspiration;  yesterday, today, and forever.

What do you love the most about your business?

That question lends to a multi-faceted answer for us.  We love that this little business is truly owned and operated by God Himself. We just do our best by His strength to listen, be His hands and feet, and follow His lead. I pray our actions, words, and work bring Him the honor and glory;  it all belongs to Him.
It brings me great joy to meet folks the Lord brings our way through Signs With A Porpoise. It is a privilege to create pieces for people He’s chosen, and to talk with people whom we probably wouldn’t otherwise meet.
Relationships with others are paramount, which brings me to the next thing I love. I also love the way He directs us creatively. He directs our steps regarding the messages and designs we create on signs. Through these aspects, I think He allows us the opportunity to create special pieces for people who are looking to display His truth as encouragement and reminders of what an awesome God we serve and just how much we are loved by Him.

How did you pick your shop name?

Our shop name came to life through a conversation one night with our best friend, Katrina.  Bryan and I had been tossing ideas around and just hadn’t landed on one. Katrina was over to visit and we explained to her that we were looking for a name that would have a meaning for both types of work seen in our shop.  Bryan loves to create our sea life pieces and I have a love for creating typography style pieces featuring messages with purpose.  Our sweet friend started to mention ocean-themed names that tied related to our primary purpose of putting God’s Word and messages of Him on signs.  The moment “Signs With A Porpoise,” left her lips, We knew that was the one!
I love when names or written phrases/stories have more than one meaning.  This is something that shows in the design work the Lord has me do.
Signs with a Porpoise

Signs with a Porpoise

How does your family support your business goals?

Our two youngest children are still at home and play such an important part through their support. They are eleven and twelve now and actively participate in the daily activities of the home.  They help with preparing meals, chores around the house, and are two of our BIGGEST cheerleaders. I often go to them for opinions on color matching and feedback on design work, and they pitch in wherever they can with packaging and shipping items. They are invested in our work with the clients the Lord brings to us and even join us in praying for them. That is precious to me.
They both have a great sense of humor and are great company.  I also happen to love how they almost seem to have a radar to alert them to me taking pictures;  they have an uncanny ability to pop up in shots when I’m taking pictures of signs for the shop!

Where can we find out more about you and your work?

You can find us on Instagram @SignsWithAPorpoise.  You can also find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SignsWithAPorpoise
And of course, you can find us at our shop on Etsy: SignsWithAPorpoise.etsy.com

Signs with a purpose

From Signs With A Porpoise

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Personalized Story Books for your Children

We HIVE
My Book Of Prayers

My Book Of Prayers

Today I would like to introduce you to Susan, a team mate of mine on Etsy. Susan runs We HIVE Personalized Story Books. I am so impressed with her lovely books and wanted to know more about her motivation and background. Here is the interview we did:

Susan, what motivated you to start your business?

Well, as many Mothers can relate, I desperately wanted to be home with my family, and I understood that it would definitely be a financial sacrifice. I didn’t know if it was possible but I wanted to try to make it work, so to help out financially I started We HIVE in 2007.

Tell us the reasoning behind your personalized story books business

I have learned to love reading but it was not always that way. I struggled to learn when I was young. I didn’t understand the connection between letters, sounds and words. After struggling for some time, I was given a book that someone, I can’t remember who, thought would help me. (They will never understand what a gift they had given me.) The book title and story had my name in it: “Susan’s Secret Garden”. I will never forget it. It was explained to me that the story was about me and that it actually had my name printed in it. I was so excited. I knew what my name looked like in print and went through all the pages looking for it. The story was so much fun as I could imagine myself in the story. I had the book read to me over and over and over! Soon, I was looking through the book by myself after having heard it so often and memorizing most of it. After that I was starting to put things together myself as far as reading went. It took some time but finally I wanted to read and was excited about it rather than afraid. I am so grateful for that book. I still have it after 38 years and will treasure it forever!

Tell us a bit about Personalized Stories and Personalized Companion Journals

Each story is personalized with a child’s full name, up to three friends can be involved in the story and also a child’s hometown. A dedication on the front page will remind the recipient of the person, occasion and date they received this wonderful gift. Depending on the story more information can be included in the story as well. Also, in each of the stories you will find a learning experience or wonderful memories. We have sport themes that deal with sportsmanship, safety, counting and rhyming, memory books and Christian books such as:

My Book of Prayers

Book of Prayers

Book of Prayers

Here are some entries from the book: __________ would be filled in with personalized information.

Sometimes, _________, you may wonder about the words to say to God. You want to thank Him for all He does for you throughout your day. This special book was written to help you talk to God.

You can pray anytime, _________, no matter what you are doing. God is always ready to listen to you. You can even make up your own prayers. Say anything and everything you want to God.

_________, it must make you very happy to know you are surrounded by people who love you so much.

Book of Prayers

Book of Prayers

Dear God, thank you for my family and friends. Please help me to say only kind works to _________, _________ and _________.
Dear God, please let me play in a loving, sharing way with __________, __________and _________today. Amen.

I do not write the stories but I do personalize, print and bind each one with love and care. My Personalized journals include your personal message to the recipient from the gift giver and can be lined or blank. I call them companion journal’s because you can choose from any of our stories and have a journal made with the same cover. So as with the story above you may choose to order a companion journal of the same cover or different for the recipient to journal their prayers in.

What do the people who buy your books say?

  • Wow! Can’t say enough. First of all the order process was quick and easy. They worked with me to create a personalized book that turned out to be the highlight of our family Christmas! Shipping was very fast and the book exceeded our expectations.
  • I bought this for my friend’s son who I have not been able to meet yet. She called me in tears when she received it. It’s such a great idea!
  • My son LOVED this book & wants us to read it again & again. So perfect for a hockey loving 5 year old boy. Very clever concept, well done!
  • This is really the coolest gift ever. This is so, so well done. My girlfriend cried when her daughter opened this. She said she could not have imagined a better gift.

Where to find We HIVE and Susan

I hope you’ll stop by for a visit. We have many themes to choose from for any occasion. Imagine your child growing up and reading a story about themselves to their own children. Your grandchildren! What a wonderful experience to look forward too.
Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/wehive
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pages/We-HIVE-Personalized-Gifts-Fundraising/358554087506297
Etsy facebook shop: wehive.etsythemeshop.com/

Blessings, Susan

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