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

1 comment:

  1. Kelly~
    long time no talk! So happy for you and this new chapter in your life. I am so encouraged and excited as you follow God's calling on your family's life!

    As for me, the adopt is at a complete stop. I don't know if this is God's will or not. I can't understand it, because adoption has been on my heart for so many years, but unfortunately, my husband does not feeling the calling.

    So I am trying to be content in this season of my life loving on my grand blessings. Hayden is now 4 and Carter is 1, and we have a new one on the way. Our daughter's first babe is due in November.

    I love keeping up with you and your family thru your blog.

    Blessings to you my friend,