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Practical Skills Towards Self Reliance

They aren’t there yet but the Washington family is working towards a full time home-based family business culture through leather and wood.

Note: This article is part of a series highlighting Catholic families in various stages of building a business. 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.

Not long after Rachel and Vernon Washington were married in 2014, they started producing small batch leather and wood goods. Other than a seasonal Etsy shop, business is ”1000% word of mouth”. Now with their three young children, they are looking forward to someday turning their nights and weekends into a full time gig. Rachel works as a virtual assistant using skills she picked up working for a major corporation in their Human Resources department. She loves putting her organizational skills to work, primarily for Catholic businesses, contributing something to their important ministries. For the Washington family, it is not about making an abundance of money, but rather having enough to serve God and to serve others. In addition to dreaming of being home full time together and keeping a few chickens (a point the couple is still negotiating), Rachel also dreams of someday being in a place to have a dedicated space to keep their work separate from their bedroom and having the space for the technology that would allow them to run the business more efficiently. Rachel’s advice to other families? It’s hard work but its worth it. Start small. Use word of mouth networking and just offer to help people. Let them know what you do. Get used to talking to people. Work on communication and technical skills before worrying about sales.


You can follow Rachel on Instagram and Facebook @washingtonhomestead. A huge thank you to Rachel and all of the business owners who have spoken with me the last two weeks! This has been a blast for me and such an honor to share in your stories. I am inspired to try more than a few new things and have an even stronger sense than before that small family based businesses have an incredible potential to substantially impact our communities, parishes, and the world. Keep up all of the great work!

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