There we were…
Our family business had outgrown the building we had purchased in 2005 and the demand for our services was continuing to grow. After to trying various things to make the current location a better for our needs we realized a move was inevitable. We had spent 10 years in Ohio investing countless hours learning how to process natural fibers into products people would love. When our family first made the move down to Andrews, North Carolina from Apple Creek, Ohio in 2015 we were poised to grow our custom processing business and provide new services that we hadn’t yet been able to offer. We were excited about the opportunities that were ahead of us.
After a couple of years of considering the transition of moving our mill down south into the foothills of Appalachia, we finally loaded up the mill and made the move. All things considered it was a good move, the right move and all the research that we had done was confirmed when we arrived. There area was rich in textile history. There were lots of small farms raising a wide variety of fiber animals. The scenery was the perfect daily inspiration that an artist needs. And the people were welcoming and eager to join in the work.
But all of the sudden…
JC Christensen (the owner) developed a nagging hip injury that continued to become more intense and rendered him unable to continue in the day to day operations of custom processing after just a few short years of being here. As things progressed it was obvious that an exit strategy from our current business was pending. Something he personally was not looking forward to doing.
It’s hard to give up something you love, even when it’s causing you pain.
It’s hard to give up something you love, even when it’s causing you pain. Can you relate? It’s a common experience with many others I’m sure. But God was using that nagging hip to show me something that I had not been paying attention to. When I finally woke up to it, I wondered why I had been asleep for so long.
There was way more work than any one mill could do in the custom processing industry, and there was a great need for high value to be created from the raw fleeces that were being grown in the country, but there was no one focused on consulting, training and coaching for those who were involved in the day to day operations of running their mill business. When I first realized it (back in 2008) I started a Facebook group called “Mini Mill Summit/Network” and set out to rally mills around the cause of learning and growing our craft together. That group has served all of us well, but there was still a nagging reality that inhibited us all. We needed someone readily available to shepherd, teach, instruct, mentor, coach and encourage us in support of this emerging “local” movement that had now expanded into the fiber world.
That’s when it hit me! That nagging reality that was inhibiting all of us, contained all the things that I loved to do. Had God been using my nagging hip to awaken me to see how I could better serve others in my industry all along?
We felt called to leverage the opportunity to dynamically connect mills to farmers and end users for the continued and further success of the industry that we all loved! And so my wife Marghie and I set out to establish Master Crafted – a B2B (business to business) service that would assist other business owners and employees in the development of artistry and craftsmanship in their business and dynamically connecting them to farmers and end users for the continued and further success of the industry that we love.
Like many a new business, the dreams were wild and big, glorious and wonderful but the realities of being faithful in the small things is always where it has to start. It’s not hard to have a dream, it’s a whole other world to actually execute those dreams and make them a reality. There’s no doubt in our minds that what our company has to offer will change the world forever! But there’s also the fact that no one else realizes that but my wife and I and maybe some in our family, and potentially a few close friends.
While many of our customers are sad or even frustrated that we are no longer doing custom processing, we hope that this new venture will prove to y’all that even greater things are yet to come. Maybe you’re here because you’re wondering what new thing we’re up to, we’re glad you’ve continued to stay connected to us. And we don’t think you’ll be disappointed with what’s to come.
As I close out this post, I want to share what’s at the heart of The Master Crafted. I hope that you’ll find it as inspirational as we have. This journey that we’re asking you to join us in starts all the way back at the beginning. It’s includes the story of how Morning Star Fiber developed its tagline of “making all things beautiful. And that story was inspired by the story of God and how we came to know Him as a Master Craftsman. We have come to realize that God is calling all of us to something so overwhelmingly powerful and transforming, and yet it’s so simple! And it’s the story of The Master Crafted…
To keep an already long post as short as possible, I’ll write it out in an outline:
God is a Master Craftsman, and we are his workmanship
He created us by design so that glorious works could be revealed
Each one of us is fearfully and wonderful made to be His image bearers
The Master Craftsman revels in showing us the design and purpose He has for each of us
But the rebellion of rejecting his design and forging our own purpose has led to hardship and death and our souls fell asleep
The Master Craftsman has remained faithful to His work even in our rebellion
He has provided everything we need to come awake and learn how to perfectly bear His image, even redeeming out of our rebellion into abundant life
The posture and path of this redemption is in becoming an apprentice of the Master Craftsman
This practice by design allows for our joy, purpose, and work to be revealed
The result… a humbled, yet glorious desire to continuously join in what God’s doing
Each new day the Master Craftsman awakens us to discover how He is restoring us and making all things beautiful
Even in the midst of the deepest darkness, His light comes to us, letting us know He has crafted us for this journey
It truly is the ultimate Master Class