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!
29 Replies to “A New Direction”
Andrew this is a pretty interesting change of direction and one I think you’ll excel at given your story. I don’t know you that well outside your Instagram feed but from what you’ve written here I think there is a real need for this kind of service/mentorship.
Much success in your new direction, I’ll be following a long for sire
Shaun. Thank you for that encouragement. I love Instagram. I am still amazed at how good people can connect on that platform. I agree, there is a huge need for this type of info and mentorship. Hopefully I can offer some helpful stuff from our 5 years working on this. Cheers! -andrew
I did not know you were from the Dallas area! I live in Dallas and have been to Pinecove on different occasions. Getting a glimpse into your story is too cool. I have followed you for a while now and have bought/won several products. I love your thoughts and designs! Best of luck to on this new journey! I can’t wait for what’s to come.
Hi Lauren. I am actually originally from Houston, and lived in Tyler for about 10 years (06-15). That is awesome that you have been to Pine Cove! I really appreciate those kid words. Thank you! -andrew
Andrew, this is fantastic. Been following FTD for a couple years and have loved watching it grow and enjoyed picking up some of the lessons that comes through in how you communicate and what you write. I like where you’re going. This is an inspiring next step and I look forward to continuing to follow along and learn from you. We seem to have some similar passions in developing people/using our hands/instilling in the next generation in ministry/etc. Excited for you and what’s ahead!
Peter, Thank you so much for the comment! Glad to have had you follow along for such a long time. Would love to hear more about your passions and what areas I might can help you moving forward. -andrew
Wow – I had no idea! I bought 3 of your clocks for my new home build after hearing about you from my friends at Hemlock & Heather. I had NO idea you were involved with Pine Cove! I grew up going there. Now in Central Texas, we’re looking forward to taking advocate go the Colombus location with our little kids. Good for you for working through your life priorities and for sharing them with others. Good work – keep it up!
Jessica, First, thank you for buying all those clocks! And yep, I’ve been involved with Pine Cove for 15 years now. I’m glad to hear that you will be heading to camp in Columbus. You will be in great hands with all those leaders there. They are some of my closest friends and amazing folks.
Really inspiring stuff man. It will be cool to see where this leads you and how it will help others.
Thanks my brother. Would love to connect again next time I’m in Nashville. Hope you are well.
I’ve been following you for a few years now 😉 & I even have a pallet clock in my home. But aside from that I am exceedingly proud of the man, husband, father, leader, entrepreneur, friend you’ve become since I first met you in college. Thank you for sharing your heart, your passions, your talents & abilities, your family, your love for others & helping them to find their field treasure! You’re amazing my friend! Praying the Lord will continue to pour out his blessings on you & Brooke & your FAB kiddos (see what I did there?)!! Excited for you friend!!
Amber! I still have fond memories of college. Thank you for those incredibly kind words. Hope all is well up in the great white north!
Great update, thanks for sharing! Hope I get to see you next time I’m in SC!
I have also been following you for a while now, and I would say we’re on similar paths I started making stuff a year ago, and I do sometimes find myself scratching my head about all the things that have to be taken into account. I believe your experience has tremendous value, I am excited what you have installed.
Harry from the
Harry. So cool! Thank you for those kind words, too. Anything in particular you are scratching your head about? -andrew
My main thing at the moment is to gathering momentum and generate some sales, i believe in my designs. I am reasonably social on the social media outlets. And I know that it will take patience. I have a lot of other designs i wish to pursue later on as well so i have a path for that side. Thanks
Sounds like a great plan.
As it’s been said, this is an interesting direction you’re going in. I started woodworking as a hobby in the past year and your instagram was one of the many accounts I came across as a searched for wisdom, advice and inspiration (though admittedly I never realized you had a blog).
My wife and I talked with one another yesterday about what we’d like to see from ourselves in this new year (something I’ve never really done before) and one thing I wanted was to build my skills as a hobbyist woodworker so that I could start bringing in a small income through some small hand made products. So it’s pretty cool that when I finally decided to give your blog a look and look into the new direction you’re taking your business in, that I could possibly benefit from your desire to serve others by helping them with their 3rd circle. I’ll be joining your email list for sure and I look forward to what’s coming!
Hi Matt. So cool that you and your wife were just talking about this. I’m also glad that I might be of some help to you as you begin your journey. What type of woodworking are you going to be doing? -andrew
I’m looking into some smaller things that I can get really good at and continue to develop and hone my skills. Maybe some more beer totes (though different from the basic plans you can find all over), boxes for sure (jewelry, recipe, toy, or just misc.), and possibly some key or coat hangers that have some kind of landscape outlined on them as the main design feature. The boxes are the only one that I’m set on doing.
Bunga, I’m excited for you. I’ve enjoyed following your journey over the last 10.5 years. Can’t wait to see what 2017 looks like.
Dude, thank you my brother. Wow has it been that long?! I guess it has since you first came to speak. I have enjoyed your journey as well! Let’s keep it going.
This is a really cool idea considering you now have the experience and no longer have the time for products. I’m definitely in a boat right now where I feel like I could do so much with my interests and time…my “third circle”. I’ve been feeling specifically called to do something with my skills and creative talents to benefit others. I’ll definitely be keeping up with ya! And it’s so awesome to see where Pine Cove is headed. You and your fam are a great fit!
Brittany, Thank you for the comment. Glad you will be keeping up. What are your interests and talents that you want to grow in your 3rd circle? -andrew
First of all, I want to say that I have SO much respect for how you are leading your family and putting God and them first in front of everything. When sales do that well, few men will have the courage to pull back to be more present for their wife and children. I think I’m on the other side of this coin right now, though. I’ve continually pulled back from starting my side business so many times for the same reasons (my wife and children; ages 10, 8, 4, and almost 2). After reading your post, I’m wondering if I’m pulling back on the value it could add to them by not “pushing the snowball” of my third circle, so to speak. All of that to say, I think I have a few Venn diagrams of my own to draw and pray over in the coming days and weeks! Thanks for pulling back the curtain on your internal processing and sharing this with all who will listen. And I would love to get together one day and talk/hang out.
Thanks, Josh. Really appreciate the encouragement. (Sorry it took me so long to respond by the way) Good to hear that you are working through similar things. Yea, I think pressing the brakes on some areas is important. This really is a huge tension for decision making adults to decide where to press and where to back off. It is even more intense when you have a family with needs. Time because a VERY important commodity. And yes, let’s get together some day.
Andrew, this is awesome stuff. I started following FTD a little while ago on Instagram having no clue who you were and what thoughts you had behind your brand. Your 2017 posts thus far have resonated with me to no end. It’s like you’re addressing every question I’ve asked myself over the last year. I love the approach you’re taking and can’t wait to see what else you have in store. In the mean time, I’m going to start pumping out some circles to organize the chaos and creativity roaming through my mind.
Travis, very sorry on the delayed response. Really cool how you have been with me for two years and glad to hear that they latest thoughts have helped you! I also noticed you sent me and email and will be replying as soon as I can. Thanks again! andrew
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