How I Accidentally Start My Business

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On a cold, Louisiana winter day in 2015, I accidentally started a business.

How, you might ask? Well, on February 10th, 2015 I screenprinted my first ever t-shirt. 

I remember I was just getting into handlettering at the time - I was looking up to artists like Jessica Hische, Anna Rifle Bond, and Lauren Hom. It was something I was still very novice at, but I love being able to convey a message through letters that seemed to come alive. Letters that looked like art.

I was in college, studying Graphic Design, and at the time I was taking a screenprinting class. Our professor wanted us to learn how to print on different mediums (like apparel) because it is different then printing on paper.

So this was just a class assignment that I used to put my lettering on. I mean, how COOL would it be to have MY lettering on a t-shirt THAT I COULD WEAR?!

Well, I thought it would be pretty cool. 

So I lettered the phrase, "work hard, stay humble." Here was the first attempt:

With some feedback from my professor, I made some revisions and cleaned up the lettering. Once I had the final design, I got to it!

I remember printing this first shirt, on a cheap, men's t-shirt blank from walmart. But y'all, I felt so proud. You know those moments where you feel like you've truly accomplished something?

That's how I felt. 

Perhaps because in screenprinting, there's about 25 different steps and any of them could go wrong for a whole myriad of reasons. Nevertheless... I was SO excited about how these turned out! So I posted the below photo on Instagram, just as a little shout out of, "Hey, look what I just did." *heart eye emoji* 

Then... The next part is not what I expected. I received TONS of comments, emails, text messages and people stopping me on campus asking if they could purchase a t-shirt. 


I figured... Heck yes! I'd love to make back some of the money I spent on supplies (#poormarriedcollegekidprobs), and I didn't really think anything of it.

Then I ran out of all the shirts I printed, so I took pre-orders, and made more.

Then I printed more after that.

Then I don't remember the exact next steps - but I had a friend tell me I should think about selling t-shirts at the local craft show. So I asked my professors if I could keep printing and come out with a "spring line." They were fine with that, so I designed and printed an entire spring apparel line. 

I team with a few photographer friends, asked some girlfriends to "model" for me, and did my first ever styled shoot. It's still one of my favorite ones to date. 

Above photos by Andy Roberts Photography

Then, as they say, the rest is history. 

I was nearing graduation, and like every soon-to-be college grad, I was freaking out about what I was going to do for a career after graduation. There weren't any design firms I was particularly interested in, and I really felt like God has placed this deep calling on my life to start my own business. 

Can I be candid with y'all? Up until now, everything sounds like magic and fairy dust. But when I realized that God was calling me to do this full time... This is how the conversation went:

God: Rosalynne, I'm calling you to start your own business out of college.

Rosalynne: Wait, what?

God: Rosalynne, I'm calling you to start your own business out of college.

Rosalynne: "But God [ten minutes of every excuse in the book of why I am not qualified to start a business, own a company, etc.]."

God: "Rosalynne, beloved..."

Rosalynne: *Interrupting* "But God, I am not enough. I don't have X skill, X ability. I've never held a "real, professional" job. I don't know anything about taxes or running a business. [continues long list of excuses].

God: "Rosalynne, it's not by YOUR strength that you will do this. It is by MY strength and through my guidance, alone."

Rosalynne: *stunned silence*

I mean - you can't really argue with that, ya know? Also, this conversation is fictional, but it's kind of the imaginary conversation I had in my head based on how I felt through my prayers as I wrestled with this decision. 

I mean... I didn't think I was enough. Plain and simple. I had all the excuses in the world, all the "reasons" why I wasn't the right person for this calling, and yet God intervened and reminded me that it wasn't by MY strength. It wasn't by MY abilities.

But it was through God working in me. 

So let me just take a moment right here to say - if you're feeling a certain calling over your life, and you, like me, have all the excuses in the world... I hope this little part of my story can encourage you that there's truth in the scriptures. 

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." - Philippians 4:13

God gave us gifts and talents, and he wants us to lean into those. We're all wonderfully and uniquely made, and God did that on purpose! He gave each of us different callings, and with that, I know His desire is for us to use those callings to further His kingdom.

Anyways - like I said, after that, the rest was history. I graduated with my bachelors in graphic design, and launched my business (officially on September 1, 2015) as my full time job.

First job out of college? Entrepreneur. #whatdidithinkiwasdoing

God has done SO many amazing things over the years! Definitely hoping to share more... But y'all, I cannot stress enough how amazing it is walking in the calling that God has set for your life. Please read: I did not say easy. There's really no part of being an entrepreneur that's easy.... but there is something so beautiful and powerful when you lean into what God has called over your life.

It's not easy doing something that no one around you is doing. There was fear in being laughed and not being taken seriously. That happened. There were people who didn't (and still don't) think I have a "real business." I've been told that I'm lazy and just pretending to do stuff because I'm avoiding real responsibility... Things that are not easy to hear from people you care about, and things that really hurts to hear. But I knew that God had a plan and a purpose for this business of mine.

It didn't take long, but I started realizing part of why I was called to be an entrepreneur. I've come up with the phrase:

Rosalynne Love is a faith-based lifestyle brand & product shop, specializing in lettered products that bring joy to your life & home.

If I can bring joy to someone's life through products that I create, and point them to Christ in the process, I can't imagine a better calling. I'm thankful I can share how God is working in my life, be authentic with my audience, and sell products that encourage others. 

This is the stuff that makes it worth it, ya know?

Hearing that others have been inspired to take the leap and start the thing that sets their heart on fire. To hear how a shirt, mug, instagram post, etc. encouraged someone who was having a hard day or needing an inspiring reminder. Y'all, I cannot tell you how far my ministry has been able to reach all because God called me to run my own business!

It's been such a blessing - and I am so very thankful for people like YOU, who take the time to read my story, those who make a purchase from the shop, and follow along on this beautiful God-story and journey I'm on. 

Thanks for reading! I'd love to know, how has God worked in your life in an unexpected way?

1 comment

  • Posted on by Vanessa

    This whole story is amazing. I hope to start my own business someday as well. I just need to go for it and trust the God inside of me. Praying the Holy Spirit working in you works in me. Blessings. xo

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