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How Running a Debt-Free Business Is Good for Your Family and Your Customers

Posted by Danielle Stringer on

debt-free

Learning how to become debt-free has shaped the health of my business, my family, and my faith. This road has required sacrifice, but it has also led me to discover my purpose as a business owner and given me the tools to spread His Word. I hope this inspires you to take action and believe that he has a purpose for you.

The Beginning

We were living in Mississippi where my husband had a well-paying job. We had begun paying off the debt on our cars and I was staying home with my first son. However, we really missed Louisiana and we decided to move back home.

This move caused a serious pay cut for my husband, and I racked my brain to try to find a side hustle to help continue paying down our debt. I began babysitting kiddos at my home and we used this extra cash flow to continue paying off our student loans. We were using the Dave Ramsey snowball method and were seeing slow and steady progress.

One day, when one of the moms of a kiddo I was babysitting came to pick her son up, she complimented a chalkboard sign I had written a Bible verse on. She asked me to create one for a booth she was having at a local vintage market and I was happy to help her out. She was selling modest apparel for women, so I wrote the Proverbs 31:25 verse “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”

Little did I know, this little act would propel me to create Imperfect Dust

The Spark

“Danielle!”

She exclaimed as she walked into my house a few weeks later to pick up her son.

“People were trying to buy your sign at my booth. They were bringing the sign to the register to buy it! You should get a booth and sell them!”

I laughed it off, but she continued encouraging me. Soon, my mom jumped on the encouragement train. We decided that for the $50 booth, it might be worth trying it just for fun. 

That first month having a booth, I made $350! I prayed and decided that as long as I was able to cover the cost of the booth with my earnings, it was worth it. 

Imperfect Dust

After my second baby, I began focusing all of my free time on creating my signs. This is where we really began to see Dave Ramsey’s snowball effect start rolling. This is when I began finding purpose in my work and seeing how it could bring glory to His Name. 

Why Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey’s motto “Live like no else today, so you can live like no else tomorrow,” really resonated with us. His method of paying off debt and his framework and motivation has helped us stay on track and keep our focus on why we want to live debt-free.

A key step in this process was writing out all of the debt we have. Then, whenever I am paid for my Imperfect Dust products, I put that money towards those debts. We lived frugally off of my husband’s income and pretended like I didn’t have an income. Watching our debt decrease visually has been a great reminder of where we started and where we’re going. 

Business Boutique

In 2018, I actually had the opportunity to participate in a Business Boutique Dave Ramsey event. This was truly a full-circle moment where I saw how the desire to become debt-free ultimately led me to discover a gift I could use to give glory to God.

Now, we only have the mortgage on our home left. Making this much progress has given us the freedom to go on vacation and enjoy life, and keep moving towards our ultimate goal!

Freedom and Purpose

Living this way has allowed me to run a faith-based business that:

  • Proclaims the Word of God.
  • Is a debt-free business which has helped it grow in a healthy, steady way. 
  • Employ my father (he builds the frames for the signs) which is a huge blessing!

In the long-run, I would absolutely love to have the means to also employ some of the girls I teach in Sunday school. 

This creative outlet has also given me a role in ministry beyond the home which has been so fulfilling. While being a mother is always my priority, I often laugh that that is a career I have to work on :) I love using this gift of Lettering that He has given me to bring others closer to Him and remind them of His unfailing love.


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