Friday, May 31, 2013

Minus 1 Project Then and Now

If you've been reading our family blog for some time now, you know that we have many adoption themed items that we sell at our Minus 1 Project (-1) store site,  You also may know that this site was created as a way to raise the money we needed to complete our son's adoption from Korea in 2012.  My creative husband came up with the phrase "got love? adopt." and that is how it began.

Actually it really began while traveling to bring our daughter home from China in 2007, when we met the Rices.  They were also bringing their daughter home from the same orphanage, same room as our daughter.  The Rices owned a printing business, Advertising Authorities.  Since then, they have opened a retail and on-line store by the name of Under the Carolina Moon.  While fundraising, they went above and beyond to help us.  They took some of our ideas and helped us put them onto fun, high quality merchandise that kept people coming back to our Minus 1 Project.

 I still am amazed at the response and support we received.  I spent my spare time collecting free, random boxes for our sales.

We always enjoy surprising our customers when their item(s) arrive.  Fun boxes come with no extra cost. :)

I am excited to report that this was just the beginning!

After our son came home, we excitedly decided to continue our site to aid other fundraising/adopting families.  We added some new products and our Minus 1 Project began to take over our spare closet,
our living room

and the back of our van.

We helped other adopting families by allowing them to purchase from us items to sell (at no profit), donating items (and shipping them) for adoption raffles and basically giving away the money we made along the way.  We KNOW fundraising.  We KNOW the joy that comes in the stranger's donation no matter how big or small. 

I have enjoyed almost every minute of our selling journey.  I thought the excitement might wear off after our son was home but it didn't.  I love getting to chat (via email or facebook) with other adopting moms.  I love being able to (hopefully) encourage and pass on ideas for successful fundraising.  But just as much, I have enjoyed coming up with new designs and items that help families share and celebrate adoption.  

Recently, Tim's work in the building construction field has slowed down.  Companies just aren't building at the rate they were five years ago.  We have seen our family's income hold steady (or drop) as expenses have increased.  As we began to explore and pray about other options, (a second job for Tim or something I could do from home) we both had the same sensing from the Lord.  We began to see that He had already answered our prayer.  We really believe that God began answering it BEFORE we began asking Him, way back when He set two sweet, little Chinese orphans in the same room in a large orphanage in Chongquing, China.

And so it is with great excitement and anticipation that I announce to all of our past, present and future customers and blog readers that we are on our way to establishing our family run business, Minus 1, have trademarked our logo "got love? adopt."and are moving all of our "stock and shipping products" to South Carolina underneath Advertising Authorities.  (Just to clarify:  we are not moving but will be storing and shipping our Minus 1 Project gear from Advertising Authorities' warehouse.  This will allow us to have more items in stock.)  We have grown about as large as we can out of our home but our vision continues to expand. We know that the bigger we can grow, the more we will be able to partner with adopting families and orphan care ministries, like Little Flower Projects.  We are excited about a whole new line of items aimed at celebrating adoption, gotcha, family, airplane days.  I know most of you, like our family, want to share your family's adoption stories and want your children to see the joy that accompanies their story!

We are setting out to help families do just that!  You can feel confident knowing that your decision to purchase and your money spent is going to a small (but hopefully growing in the future through adoption) family owned business.

A family that loves the Lord and each other.
A family who is committed to continuing to support, encourage and help adopting/fundraising families in every way they can.
A family who knows and has experienced the difference that adoption makes in the lives' of everyone in the family.
And a family that knows that EVERY adoption = Minus 1 Orphan!

**And as always, a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you who have supported us along our journey.  I really cannot express the joy I have received from all your kind words and encouraging comments.  I so much appreciate all the pictures that have been sent my way of your families and un-orphans wearing our shirts or holding our cups!  I know that you certainly don't have to do that and yet, many of you, as busy as you are, take the time to share with us your family's picture and stories.  That is what makes this so unbelievable to me...that the Lord would allow us to be a very small part in so many lives.  Lives that are walking with Him, listening to Him and changing lives and hearts (-1) orphan at a time!  

Thank you,
Kelly, for the whole Apisa family

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Adoption Celebration Items

A fellow adoptive mom shared with me several months ago that for her daughter's adoption day, they would buy a "Happy Birthday" card and cross off the "birth" and write in "adoption" day.  And although I found this very sweet, it bothered me.

It is also gave me a fun idea.  After much discussion and polls about what families call the day their adopted child joined their family, we decided to launch a whole line of items aimed at helping families celebrated their child(ren)'s SpEcIaL dAy!

You'll find on our Minus 1 Project site there is a new category labeled "Adoption Celebration Items".  I am so excited to share with you our first two items that have been added and are ready to order.  (We will be continuing to add items throughout the summer, as well.)


The shirts would be super cute for many occasions, not just adoption days.  If you're like me, you enjoy a multi-celebration type shirt that can be worn many times a year!

I am hoping we will have some new items up mid-June to add to our new section.  We want to help you celebrate and make your child's day as special as it can be!

I know you'll agree:  Adoption is something worth celebrating!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bags, Hats and Cuteness Galore!

There have been a lot of happenings around our home these days.
We have been wrapping up school and activities.
And just as exciting, we have been adding new items and working on new designs for our ever growing Minus 1 Project (-1) site.

I shall alternate between new items and some Apisa family cuteness.

New Item


New Item
(Available in 7 colors, for a limited time.)


New Item


New Item
(An additional front fabric panel can be ordered with last name embroidered on it.)


New Item
(An additional fabric panel can be purchased embroidered with last name.)

To see all the information on the above new items (colors available, size, etc...) please visit our
Minus 1 Project (-1) site

To see more cuteness continue to follow our blog. :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Minus 1 Project doll style

I find this very bizarre.

Lucy really enjoys the people from her Loving Family doll set.  That isn't what I find bizarre.

She likes to set them up around her while she plays.

(Above they are helping hold her cards while we play a game. I like the dad juggling two babies and his playing card! :)

She likes to set them up around her while she does her school work.

I don't find either of those bizarre but rather cute!

What I did notice today about the Loving Family, I do find bizarre.
Something I have failed to notice in the past...some of the family's clothing.

Exhibit 1:

 Above is the mom or actually, this might be, the teenage babysitter from across the street.
Below is one of our Minus 1 Project designs.

Exhibit 2:

Above is one of the daughters.
Below is one of our Minus 1 Project designs.

What's up with that?  Bizarre...

 I thought we were being original with our designs but maybe subconsciously we have been trying to outfit all adoption shirt wearing people to look like the Loving Family from Fisher Price.

We did however model our doll house family after our own...just look at the sisters.