Building A Family Business- One Yes At A Time
From a conversation tossed around on a road trip to sold out socks and a company with 26 employees, Scott and Elisabeth Williams are building their business and family one yes at a time.
Note: This article is part of a series highlighting Catholic families in various stages of building a businesses. It is designed to inspire all families to start the wheels turning and be creative when it comes to finding a way to provide for themselves outside of traditional means. For more family based business content, follow Euphrosyne Corner on Instagram.
Building a business, brand, or company that supports your family doesn’t happen overnight. In 2017, this couple was working two full time careers in different fields. Now they work together running Catholic Concepts, which includes the well known Sock Religious brand as well as a clothing line, a printing house, and more!
When the couple brought their first two boxes of socks to a National Catholic Youth Conference, the unique and innovative concept of fun saint socks proved successful almost immediately. At one point they were working on their side project on nights, weekends, and lunch breaks. On Friday nights they would ramp up shipping and fulfillment, head out to conferences, and then pack it all up for their full time jobs on Monday. Less than two years after their first event, Scott left his full time ministry work and later Elisabeth was able to join him. She now works part time while at home with their kids on the other days. Elisabeth notes that since coming to work alongside her husband they are able to understand each other’s struggles in a new way because they are intimately aware of what is happening with the company during the day. She also notes that the joys are bigger, more fun, and fuller! Scott shared about learning to evaluate situations and accept that it’s ok for God to ask them to take risks. He has learned to trust that God is going to take care of their family even if the business doesn't follow the anticipated plans. One of the challenges in their explosive growth is that they spend a lot more time now on the human resources God has entrusted to them. With a large number of full and part time employees, they understand that families other than their own are relying on the ecosystem of people that are part of the company. It was abundantly clear to me in speaking with them that this is a stewardship that they take extremely seriously. The thing that stands out in the Catholic Concepts story for me is that they have been willing to take it one God sized step at a time. Even though Tim and I are working in a completely different industry our story has tracked in many of the same ways. From fun money to working full time together, we have let God decide what steps to make when and have trusted that he would provide for what we needed next. It’s not so much the what, but the how. It takes passion, persistence, patience, and a whole load of trust in Providence.
Scott and Elisabeth’s advice to couples considering taking a risk in business? Try it. Be vulnerable. Put all God’s gifts into it at the moment.
I am very grateful to Scott and Elisabeth for taking the time to chat with me. As a family business owner, it is delightful to be encouraged by others along the same journey. I know I say it all the time, but family economies are the way of the future! The idea that work has to happen over here and family over there needs to be set aside for the health of our families, communities, and societies.
Please consider supporting the families who have given their time to make this series possible by following their Instagram accounts and visiting their websites- it is not too early for Christmas shopping! You can find Sock Religious on Instagram, here.