Local Business Creates Warmth and Comfort from Old to New
When I think of keeping the home and making it a place of comfort, sustenance, and beauty, my mind immediately goes to the virtuous wife of Proverbs 31. She was an amazing woman who could not only meet the immediate needs of her household, but somehow (in her spare time) was somewhat of a business woman.
“She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.”
This is also a description of an amazing woman that I am blessed to call my friend. She is the real deal when it comes to multi-tasking and doing it extremely well. Her family rises up to call her blessed and so do her friends. I was honored to interview Tonya Strong about her business. I think you will find her responses both interesting and insightful.
Why did you choose the name “Nest Feathers” for your business?
I chose the name of my business, Nest Feathers, based on my love of the concept of feathering our nests for and with our families. Many years ago, during a difficult time of loss, I read a book about appreciating your children and the feathers (tangible and intangible memories) that they leave behind in your nest. That stuck with me and so when picking a name, there was no question.
Where is Nest Feathers located?
I have two booths, located upstairs, in Vintage Rose Antiques. The store is located in the historic District of Cookeville, Tennessee at 221 West Broad, formerly known as Putnam House.
What does your business specialize in?
I specialize in antique to mid-century modern painted, repurposed, up-cycled and/or reclaimed furniture and accessories.
Why did you start Nest Feathers?
I began trying my hand at painted furniture with a dear friend a few years ago. While the concept took off quickly, being homeschool moms, we could never find adequate time to keep up with the demands of finding pieces, painting them, marketing them and developing the business. Since then however, I have been overwhelmingly encouraged and generously supported by the new owners of Vintage Rose Antiques, who are also dear friends, to try again and rent booth space. I needed a way to supplement income for our upcoming life events and I am always seeking a creative outlet, so after much prayer, I decided to give it another try.
What are the pros and cons of being a small business owner?
Supplemental income, creative outlet, travel, my husband and kids have gotten involved.
Creates very chaotic times that sometimes take me away from my family, travel, never ending dust and disorder
What is your goal for Nest Feathers?
My goal is to develop it and enjoy it until I don’t anymore and never let it separate me from God or family!
What advice would you give someone considering starting a small business?
If you are a Christian wife and mother considering going in to business, I suggest that you heavily weigh the pros and cons of time spent away from family. I have spent countless regretful hours miserable and working in the garage, while my family was together in the living room. Once you make commitments to others, you must fulfill them. Keep in mind that like Nest Feathers, most part time industry is ultimately a producer of vain products (lusts of the eyes).The proverbs 31 woman, who bought, sold and worked with her hands to create profitable merchandise, was certainly glorified for it, but at the same time, her family and household were preserved. Enjoy what you aim to do and use it to help your family but never let it come between you and God or your family.
What else would you like us to know?
I wish that people would understand that you can buy wonderful, sturdy old pieces of furniture that were made in the USA, by skilled craftsman, that will retain their value and have much character and history at a fraction of the price of today’s new cookie cutter furniture, shipped from china, with poor craftsmanship and that loses most of its value as soon as it passes your doorway. At the same time you are supporting local people like me who are trying to pay for a wedding, put their children through school, buy soccer shoes, make a house payment and not for a conglomerate CEO’s 5th vacation home. Shop local!
As many of you can very well relate, “home wasn’t built in a day.”A home is a work in progress that needs layers of love added over time just like the mama bird feathers her nest one feather at a time. Nest Feathers, and other businesses that have unique, one of a kind items, help make feathering our own nests much easier, and allow us to support our brothers and sisters in Christ at the same time. After all , there is no place like home, especially one that is “feathered” in love!
Tonya Strong is the wife of Ronald Strong and the mother of Brettianee and Hannah. She homeschooled her daughters from Kindergarten to Senior year. Not only has she started a business, she also is a cofounder and board member of PAJCH, a homeschool group that supports and caters to members of the church. She and her family worship at the Center Grove church of Christ where her husband is an associate minister and deacon.
Article Written by Team Member: Shanna Mathis Anderson