Live joyfully. Be courageous. Work of Heart. Do small things with love.
These are just some of the teachings a new locally owned Liberty shop wants to make part of its customers’ lives.
EtchLife (Everything for a Christ-centered Heart) is based on Proverbs 7:3 (The Message version): “My teaching is as precious as your eyesight — guard it! Write it out on the back of your hands; etch it on the chambers of your heart,” the owners said.
The four women — ranging in age from 20s to 50s — separately saw a gap in the Christian marketplace. So the Liberty-area residents came together to make and sell products that would put Scriptures on home and office decor, in car displays and on T-shirts, trucker hats and onesies — all in modern designs that would be appealing to millennials.
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Kelsey Adams, Carrie Flener, Terri Soper and Kimberly Reid formed EtchLife as equal partners in mid-2015, financing the business themselves. They’ve all been small business owners with backgrounds in graphic design, marketing, sales and interior design.
They started selling their line and other brands at pop-up shops, holiday marts and specialty boutiques. Now, national retailers such as LifeWay Christian are picking up some products. Hallmark is testing sales of the products in 78 of its Gold Crown Stores nationwide.
After holding business meetings in their homes and coffee shops, they rented a second floor space at 5 E. Kansas St., Suite 200, above La Costa Mexicana restaurant, for a new studio and showroom that opened in late September.
The showroom sells Christian-inspired apparel, jewelry, home decor, drinkware, journals, note cards, Scripture cards and more.
But the women are slowly phasing out some other brands as they expand their own lines, including the new Go! Collection based on Exodus 4:12: “Go. I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
Showroom hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and by appointment.
“Selling things to others is not our priority as much as encouraging, equipping and elevating others to walk with Christ,” Adams said.
Growing up in Mississippi, Racheal Burnett watched her speech therapist mother make jewelry as a side business.
That was the seed for her entrepreneurial dream, but it took her mom slipping her $300 seed money in 2011 to give her the push she needed.
She teamed up with friend Erin Talley on a home-based business, Wild Juniper. Burnett had been making headbands and bows for her infant daughter, Nora, so she expanded on that with adult versions. Talley took up jewelry design, first with earrings and then expanding into tassel necklaces.
In July 2015 they opened a studio at 9 S. Main St. in downtown Liberty, within walking distance of their homes. They sold their products online, at pop-up events and area boutiques, and promoted them on social media sites such as Instagram. In September they turned part of the studio into a retail shop, drawing followers of their brand and new customers.
Talley also is now mom to Nora, 5, and Eli, 2. Talley has Everett, 5, Courtland, 3, and Isla, 8 months.
“It’s been a slow simmer, having little kids,” Burnett said. “But we feel like the square is up-and-coming with lots going in. We didn’t want to miss it.”
Nickel & Suede
Liberty jeweler Nickel & Suede opened its first storefront at 111 N. Water St. in mid-June. Owners Soren and Kilee Nickels make leather earrings, bracelets and chokers that also are sold through their website, at specialty stores in the metro and in shops in about a dozen other states.