After a two and a half year sabbatical, we have decided it is time to reopen the doors of Nations Outfitters! Our team is so excited and grateful for this opportunity. It is hard to believe it has been that long since I had to make the difficult decision to close those doors. Nations Outfitters began as an expression of my love for Jesus and a desire to share that love with others. I really had no idea back in 2009 how to start a clothing company from scratch. Yet, somehow, we managed to do just that. Hundreds of people from all walks of life helped us get Nations up and running, and run it did! After four years, we had customers in 42 states, and Nations Outfitters was in a great place as a business. From an outsider looking in, one would have thought it crazy to close our doors, but I knew in my heart things were not as they should be.
Many of you might not even know me, and the only connection with Nations was ordering our amazingly cute clothes (thank you very much!) from our website. As I mentioned before, Nations began as an expression of my love for Jesus, and I knew without a doubt, that God had called me to start it. (Click here if interested, about the genesis of Nations). Creating a business from its foundation is exciting, but it is incredibly time-consuming and challenging. There were weeks when I was working probably 50 hours or more. I love being creative, interacting with people and learning new things. I am an extreme multi-tasker, but I had finally met my match. Somehow along the way, I let my business turn into an all-consuming idol. And, consequently, I became utterly exhausted: physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Not only was I affected, but my husband and four children were beginning to suffer, too. This led me to a time of prayer and soul searching. I couldn’t understand why God would have me begin Nations Outfitters and take it as far as it was, only to have me just end it. For me to put this down was going to take a lot of trust, which at the time, I just could not see. To be honest, I mourned the closing of Nations like one might the loss of a child, which is a sad statement, because it was, after all, a business. But for me, it was more than a business and something very special and close to my heart because it was my way of sharing God’s Word and reminding others that it’s “what we do in our clothes that makes us beautiful.”
I share this story with you now because I can so clearly see how incredibly gracious and merciful God was being to me. What seemed so painful at the time has turned out to be the best thing that could have ever happened to me as far as Nations is concerned. During my two year sabbatical, I learned a lot about my Savior, my wonderful husband and children, and what God wanted to teach me. He was calling me to trust Him more, and that’s just what this time has done. I had been so busy running Nations that I didn’t have the peace that comes when we spend time alone with God and His Word. Because I wasn’t spending time with God, there was little peace.
So, here we go again, starting the second chapter of Nations Outfitters. Taking what we learned from 2008-2012 and what the last two years have taught, we hope to bring you more and more of what God wants Nations Outfitters to be. I still believe that Nations can impact others for His glory. I still believe we need to be reminded on a daily basis “we are made in His image, fearfully and wonderfully made.” Now more than ever, I want to continue to share God’s word with others and remind others it’s “what we do in our clothes that makes us beautiful.”
What does this look like for Nations Outfitters now? We will still have fun, fashionable clothes that you will want to wear every single day with a special message tucked inside. We have an amazing Nations creative team that will be selecting the most current dresses, tops and pants out there, and we will bring them to you in a creative and unique way through our fashion blog. We will, also, be sharing with our customers about people of passion through our blog. Each season we will highlight a special ministry/charity that is impacting the Nations! I am very excited to feature these organizations and hope it will inspire you to get involved with them or start your own way of helping others.
One last thought…you know, the funny thing is that in the last two years of my setting Nations aside, I have had so many people ask me about it. Hardly a week has gone by when I have met a total stranger or acquaintance that might say something like, “Hey, aren’t you that Nations Outfitters lady” or “Sure wish you would start Nations back up. We sure need it in this crazy culture!” As I was sitting having coffee one day with my friend, Sally May, she kindly asked me if I was at peace with Nations being over at which time a lady walked in with a vintage Nations dress on! How weird and wonderful is that! I have stored all these individual events and comments in my heart and pondered their meaning. I feel like they have been God’s little messages, reminding me that “He who has called you is faithful; He will surely do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24). Thank you, family, friends, and customers for your support and prayers. Nations Outfitters is back with a renewed desire to be used for His Glory, His way!