They focused on building a business in hopes of establishing a career. At first it was humble beginnings, a big lump in their throat, and lots of faith. They rented a small metal building hidden back behind another business.
I'm sure they felt as small as they look in the photo below - dwarfed by the leap they had taken and swallowed by the responsibility but smiling with excitement at making a go of this big venture. Daily dedication and hard work have helped their business to grow. I'm often told by Bonnie that it takes the team of the two of them to make this work.
I can easily see that the two are exceptional partners - she is the perky business woman dealing with the customers day-in-and-day-out. She always wears a smile and has a chipper and cheerful outlook to greet everyone who walks through the door. Stephen is the no-nonsense fellow who keeps things organized, supervises the young fellows who do the loading and unloading, and provides the machismo needed for some of those livestock producers and farmers (not that I don't think Bonnie doesn't have that firm side when she needs it or that Stephen isn't the pleasant 'how-may-I-help-you-ma'am kind of fellow when the occasion calls for it). Yet, they truly tend to work together and balance things harmoniously and seamlessly. So, for the past several years, they have made their business work and grow.
Maybe Mother Nature was foretelling the future with this rainbow seemingly ending right at the corner of their rented building...
With all the multicolored tubs and buckets out front, there is a rainbow on both ends!
Due to their dedication to the goal, they are now taking another big step. There have been hurdles to overcome and obstacles to work around. There have been frustrations and headaches galore. Yet, like anything worth having, they have stuck it through and persevered. Then, back when the weather was just beginning to be shivery and frost was crisp in the air, the foundation for their own building was begun just a few miles down the road from their current site.
Next came the framework and things suddenly seemed to begin taking shape. That dream started looking like a reality.
At this point I remember thinking and beginning to worry that they were taking on too much. This seemed like more than a progressive step - it was more like one of those giant leaps!
At times I think we have all been alternatively giddy with excitement and shivering with fear. I know that Mike and I have also been furrowed with worry and concern - just like anyone would be for their children. Yes, I am not really as open-minded and reasonable about this new venture as some folks might be because Stephen is Mike's son. I love these two folks shamefully!
I drove by there today and this is how it is looking:
Doesn't it look fabulous? I can hardly wait to see all that stock they have stacked atop one another in that little show-room spread out in this larger building! I can hardly wait to see their smiling faces as they greet their customers and load their merchandise. Soon the billboard on the bottom will be old news and taken down and the billboard on the top will be the new home of their business!
If you are in the middle Tennessee area and have pet and livestock feeds and needs, stop by and let Bonnie and Stephen load your vehicle. Their smiling faces will make you feel at home.