Thanks for checking out where I’m heading next with Field Treasure Designs! (From now on ‘Field Treasure Designs’ will be mentioned as FTD) Here is a brief recap of our story for context:
FTD Brief Timeline (reading time: 3 min)
*Throughout this timeline I am, 1) married with a growing family, 2) working full time at an organization called Pine Cove, 3) in graduate school at Dallas Theological Seminary.
November: We bought our first home and I discovered I wanted to make great items to improve the aesthetics or functions of our home. I then realized others might want the same items and actually sold them via Etsy. I needed a name for this budding business because I don’t do anything half way and FTD was born. (We have 1 child at this time. She is 7 months old.)
April: I discover a love for building a business (branding, strategy, marketing, logo, infrastructure, design, packaging to name a few). Our Reclaimed Pallet Clocks are successful on Etsy and become a staple item and revenue generator.
October: Friction develops at my full time work mainly with how much I am posting to my personal social media about items I am making in my free time. For example, I am asked frequently by my boss and work peers, “Are you going to quit and become a carpenter?” … Instead of getting angry, I decide to create (for the first time) a completely separate identity on social media for FTD. On Instagram, @fieldtreasuredesigns would end up growing to over 20,000 followers and counting.
December: I create a stand alone website (www.fieldtreasuredesigns.com) to create more legitimacy online as well as be able to customize and control my customers experience. (I have maintained Etsy do be able to appeal to different markets.) The other big reason I wanted to do this was to collect email subscribers to begin building a tribe.
Sales in 2012 tripled
We hit a really cool milestone to have shipped a product that we made to every state in the US. Things remain at a steady clip forward. I’ll give you LOTS more details on how we grew this business while holding a full time job, growing a family AND being in a difficult seminary program. (We have our second child at this time. Now we have a baby and a 2 year old.)
(Sales in 2013 nearly double.)
I start inviting younger guys over to help me build things and manage production and teaching them how to use tools and think about business. Those were fun times. We start selling other products we don’t make on our store and forming relationships with other makers and venders all over the country and the world!
(Sales in 2014 double!)
I graduate seminary and now have a masters degree. YIPPEE! But wait. What does this do for me? More on that later! … We get a huge job change within Pine Cove and am charged with leading the expansion of Pine Cove to South Carolina. We pack up everything (home and shop) and move to Greenville, SC. We live there until the end of the year and manage to keep FTD running through that time.
(Sales in 2015 increase by 50%.)
We move to where we are now in Clemson, SC. I am finally able to set up a permanent shop after 14 months of transition. We buy a house that needs a total remodel. We spend 7 months remodeling the entire house all alongside the full time job and life transition. We realize that we cannot continue growing FTD the way we currently are and begin to re-evaluate the next chapter for FTD. (We have our third child. Now we have a baby, a 3 year old and a 5 year old.)
A New Direction (Read Time: 5 min)
Most of my life I knew there was something hidden and waiting to be unlocked in my life. I had Treasure hiding in the field of my soul (not to be overly dramatic) but had no idea how to get it out.
FTD unlocked this hidden treasure in the field of my life so it made sense to call it Field Treasure Designs. (This was selling products that I made and/or curated all over the world.)
Here’s the truth: In my entire life, I had never felt the excitement and the growth of starting and running my own business. I actually went to bed excited to get up the next day! And we formed this entire side business while growing a family, working in a full time job and going to graduate school.
Here were the main positives:
- personal growth and confidence that we could actually do something and contribute to society
- learning new things and skills
- meeting new people outside of our default circles
- extra spending money (not much at first but we never had a deficit year)
- acquiring resources that benefited other areas of our life
- connection as a family
This is how it looked:
This is what I am calling the “3 Circle Life Approach”. Each circle of my life was a major aspect of my involvements. What I hadn’t realized at the time was how each circle contributed to the other circles. This is what a lot of people fail to understand. (So much more on this later.) In fact, one of the main reasons I was given a promotion in my main work in the Pine Cove circle to become an Executive Director was because of the abilities and skills I showed in the FTD Circle. Isn’t that amazing?
For me, FTD cannot continue to grow at the scale it is growing by making and selling products. (My other two circles are too big right now.) I am actually glad about that because it is forcing me in a new direction, one that I think is better and creates massive value for my readers and followers. Instead of focusing on products in our future, I want to focus on Content to help you find your own Field Treasure, or said another way, helping you work toward your “3 Circle Life Approach”. I want you to experience the same value and growth that I have experienced in 5 years. (gain confidence, make extra money and get promoted.) Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? It’s true! I believe everyone can have a personal life, a work life and a small business or hobby life that all benefits the other. When those 3 areas are brought together, extreme value happens!
Here’s how the transition looks like for me as I pivot FTD into something new, something better:
I am dropping “Designs” because products are no longer my main focus.
In reality though, here is how the circles really look in terms of energy spent.
What I am saying is that my main circles are currently very big and the third one, instead of dying, needs to transition and take up smaller time. Frankly, I don’t have the time to make 300 clocks this year and sell them to you. And you probably own a clock so that is no longer of any value to you. So I thought about this for 4 days: How can I give less time to FTD and more value to my community?
“Field Treasure” is now the term I call the the value for me when my areas converge, and is the container of what I will be sharing about moving forward with blogging. The little time I will spend on Field Treasure will now be focused on blogging and a social media presence that highlights my ideas, designs, explorations and attempts to build a great community around the topic of Life, Work and Small Business/Hobby. I will focus on exploring the “3 Circle Life Approach,” especially where these areas converge in my life and how my interests weave in and out of that. For me, “Field Treasure” is now a wonderful convergence of the three main areas of my life. My goal is to share this with you both as it relates to the past 5 years with our FTD story and how it is working out currently. There is no need for compartmentalizing as I share my stories, experiments and new information with you.
Field Treasure is still a brand of sorts whether it be blog material, information or physical products that I make or curate. Here is how I will prioritize Field Treasure “products” moving forward:
Priority 1 – Content! This is to help you with your “3rd Circle”, your Small Business or your Hobby, and help you with the 3 Circle Life Approach that has blessed us so profoundly. Plain and simple.
Priority 2 – Curated. This is either me pointing you to another person who has succeeded or cool products, life hacks or anything outside of my that can benefit you.
Priority 3 – Creation. Things that I make from time to time that you might want to buy or copy. I will post single or low quantities of anything I make in the future for sale. There might also be some branded works like our leather mug for sale from time to time as well.
The new “Field Treasure” is for anyone who wants to learn what I have learned, and are searching for your own “3rd Circle” to create value or “Field Treasure”, per say. I want to help you find and learn how to dig it up. I have worked with thousands of young adults at Pine Cove and through FTD and I believe that everyone has Treasure in their Field. What I mean is that most people have a feeling that they could do something more, or something else alongside what they are already doing but have no idea where it is or how to dig it up. The beauty of what I am telling you is that you can dig it up and you don’t have to leave your family or your job to find it! You can have the 3 Circle Life and add awesome value to your life.
In 2011, my wife and I dug out our “Field Treasure” through starting our “3rd Circle” brand and business that focused on selling unique goods across the country and the world. It allowed my wife and I to unlock what we didn’t know was there and gain massive value in our lives. It’s cool and a little crazy that we ended up naming the business “Field Treasure Designs” in 2011.
Chances are that you have a similar issue but don’t know how to get there. Here is what I mean:
I want to encourage you that forming your third circle will bring you crazy value “Field Treasure”, especially when not isolated from the other areas of your life. What you might not realize is that you already have the skills and ability through your personal/family circle and your full time work circle that can easily add value to your 3rd Circle (small business or hobby) idea and vice a versa!
Moving forward, Field Treasure will consist of myself (Andrew Bacon) exploring the “Field Treasure” value within the “3 Circle Life Approach” through this general content:
- teaching my kids about money
- life hacks
- my experiences
- the stairs I built for my kids trampoline
- why I can’t stop wearing “this” hat!
- products I use and love
- the Field Treasure Designs Story and details
- my biggest failure with FTD
- check out this sweet tool I still own
- start-up advice
- how i remodeled house in 7 months without dying
- social media
To clarify: Moving forward, the focus of my website and social media is no longer making and selling products. Will I still offer things for sale from time to time? Sure. However, the focus of my limited time and resources is on how to help YOU accomplish what I have accomplished over these past 5 years through content, curating, creating and building an awesome community around exploring the 3 Circle Life.
P.S. Please see my FAQ page to understand more if you still have questions.
P.S.S. Please let me know your thoughts in the comment section. I’d love to know them and see how I can help you in the future!