What would you do if you were a stay-at-home mother who suddenly became a single parent of three children under four years of age? When Carrie Pagenstecher was faced with this situation, she started a business.
Three years later, SIGNature Parties by Carrie, where guests create custom designed signs in a home party atmosphere, is supplying her family’s financial needs while allowing Carrie the opportunity to spend her days with her children.
While starting a business in the best of times is challenging, doing it in a time of crisis takes faith and a lot of courage.
“After my husband left, I was scared, and I didn’t know what I was going to do. I was praying a lot because I didn’t know how I was going to provide for my family since I wasn’t receiving child support. Making signs was my hobby, so I kind of, out of desperation, was going to use it to fill in the gap. Then it just turned into a business. It was such a God thing. I don’t know how to explain it.”
When asked how she was able to practically build a business with three small children, Carrie talks of the support of her parents and her church family. “My parents made themselves available to watch the kids when I had a party. One friend helped me build my website. Another friend had a trial run party for me. I didn’t feel confident in myself at first. My friends and family made me feel capable.”
Carrie talks about her increasing faith in God since beginning her business. “I see how creatively He cares for me and my needs in many facets. I have a creative outlet, I get to have some adult time, and I have financial provision. It stretches my faith constantly because I have to trust that He will provide. This has been one of the challenges for me but also one of the blessings. I will sometimes have no money and a bill will be due in days. The day it’s due, the exact dollar amount shows up. Seeing Him come through has been huge for me.”
When asked how she shares her faith through her parties, Carrie says “I use it as my platform. I get to meet tons of women. Some of them are believers and some are not. It is fun to celebrate how God is so good because everyone asks how my business started. I get to share His love for me and how He has provided. At every party I find a way to weave it in, even if they don’t ask.”