1. What’s your name? Tell us a unique fact about you!
Our names are Nicole and Rayna! We first met at an after school club called Student Venture when we were in middle school and have been friends ever since!
2. How long have you owned Furthermore/when did it start?
Arguably our dream for entrepreneurship started long before Furthermore ever started but the idea was first planted when Rayna returned from her first trip to Ethiopia in October 2015. We decided we’d pray about our idea and if when the new year started we still felt called to pursue our business we would. The new year came and all systems were a go! So as of March/April 2016 we became officially the owners of Furthermore. Eekkk!
3. How did it all start? What inspired you to set up a business?
We both have a HUGE heart for missions. Nicole pursued Vacation Bible School styled outreaches and medical mission trips in Haiti. I spent time in Ethiopia educating on Human Trafficking prevention as well as sharing the gospel. We both knew this is what we wanted for the rest of our lives. To pursue all the Lord had for us both at home and abroad. We believe wherever you are you’re a missionary when you love the Lord.
A huge part of our inspiration was not only our heart for missions but also the desire to empower others to pursue all the Lord had for them. We have this saying at Furthermore that we are “and” people. We don’t believe in putting or’s in between our titles or how we describe ourselves. Instead we believe in embracing every talent, gift, opportunity, and flaw. The definition of Furthermore literally means “ in addition to”. We felt this perfectly described the “and” life and thus gave us our mission.
Our mission at Furthermore is to empower individuals to pursue with freedom the life that Christ has set before them: that they may not feel confined by a label or past shame but truly know and be encouraged that they are so much more. They are not one thing but a complex variety of “things” that make them unique and purposed.
With every purchase made from our shop, we hope to embody this mission. In doing so, each product we sell supports a variety of goals – from our goal to support short-term mission trips, to give back to organizations that we trust and hold dearly, to spotlight other Furthermore-ians, or to simply create clothes that we love to wear and wish to put on our little ones.
4. What do you love best about your job/what is the best part of owning a shop/online business?
The best part about owning your own business, especially with a life long friend, is that it’s the ultimate high for dreamers! You should see when Nicole and I have our weekly meetings it’s like dream vomit everywhere! There are no limits to what we can and can’t do. We can collaborate with whomever we want and pursue whatever goals we’ve devised for ourselves. It’s a lot of time and hard work taking nothing and creating something out of it. But it’s kinda magical when things start coming together. When you see that dream finally take shape and all your failures along the way are finally paying off!
Another total high for us is… we KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that we are pursuing what the Lord has for us. We have no idea where it’ll take us or how long our run will be. But we are so excited to see all our prayers, promises, and purpose finally align.
5. What has been the biggest challenge? How have you overcome it?
For us our biggest challenges were funding and execution. Everything we make we had to teach ourselves along the way. We had an idea and then had a moment where we’d be like, “Okay… now how much is that going to cost and how are we going to do this?” I will say every shirt I miss printed or bath bomb I destroyed was like watching money fly out the window. Major major bummer!
We are still overcoming these obstacles but one way we’ve hit these challenges head on; is by partnering with others who did it better then us. We’d collaborate with companies we adored and made exclusive designs and products just for our shop. We’re super stoked on that and owe a lot of our success to our AMAZING collaborators!
6. What has been Furthermore’s best achievement so far?
We were invited to co host an art show exhibit with Alysha Miller Photography at Do and Share Good in Downtown Fullerton. We were the subjects of her photography exhibit. That was a bit embarrassing for us (haha) but we got to share our store through Alysha’s amazing captures. Alysha at one point kept introducing me as “her model”. I had to shut that down ASAP. Hahaha. Didn’t want people to get the wrong idea. I was NO model just a partner in a business ready to share our hearts.
Along with the exhibit we also hosted a pop up shop. It was our first time ever being out there in the open for people to see; and the positive feedback we got was amazing!! Truly a highlight!
7. What surprised you most about the process of setting up a business?
The biggest surprise for us was how quickly we received positive feedback. When you start a business it’s bit like having a baby. You’re so blinded by love your not sure if your baby is actually cute. Then someone goes “Hey, we’re down for the cause!” Aka “your baby is cute! Don’t worry!” and that’s when the heavens have opened! Everyone loves and appreciates the rawest parts of you in the realest ways. It’s hard to explain but it was a surprise to us mainly because we were SO nervous in sharing our vision and heart.
8. Do you have any goals/plans for the future of your activity?
We have sooooo many goals and plans I’m not sure we can fit them all in this interview. (Nor would anyone particularly care to read that fat list. hahah.) One thing I will say is that we’re trying to take our business pursuits one step at a time. Not getting so caught up in the end goal that we forget the present. So, for now our next goal is to have a few clothing options for both women and men. So stay tuned for that!
9. What is your best selling product? What product has a special place in your heart?
Our best selling product is our “On a Mission Sugar Scrubs” and a close second is our “Dreamweaver HI Keychains”. Both these products actually have a huge place in our hearts. The scrubs were the first products we ever sold. We sold them to help fund my trips to Ethiopia and God provided in the mightiest of ways! These scrubs may seem small to an on looker but to us, it has paved the way to helping set captives free!
The Dreamweaver Keychain we are obsessed with because our good friend Erica and I designed them together. She has these magical weaving fingers that creates this macrame goodness! So, almost anything my mind creates her fingers can make happen! Also, it’s just a really amazing experience to do business with a friend you adore and admire.
10. What advice would you give to someone looking to start a business?
DO IT! Don’t be afraid to pursue what your heart desires. There WILL be challenges but what is refined through fire is refined indeed! Also, do your homework. We had to learn that the hard way. Research and marketing is your best friend. So don’t be afraid to be a nerd about every aspect of your business.
11. Any last comments?
We are SO incredibly honored to be apart of this Instagram community and want to take a second to thank all those behind Grace Belle! Seriously love on these girls they are the best! Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to us! We love connecting with our fellow dreamers and business owners!! And we aren’t afraid to give our “secrets” away. There’s room enough for all of us! xoxo
Living the “and” life,
Nicole and Rayna