Etch, a Christian lifestyle brand from Liberty, reaches the entire country.
On the surface, what local lifestyle brand Etch does is pretty simple. The company designs and sells Christian-themed T-shirts, journals and other items.
But the founders have a much deeper vision: They want to help make Scripture a regular presence in their customers’ day.
“We’re more than just product,”co-founder Carrie Flener said. “We really bring God’s word into every part of their lives.” Flener’s business partners include Terri Soper, Kimberly Reid and Kelsey Adams.
It’s been one year this month since they launched Etch, which is an acronym: Every Thing for the Christ-centered Heart. Their coffee mugs, jewelry and other products are available nationally through retailers like LifeWay, Family Christian and Hallmark. Etch also sells through its website.
Even better, the majority of those items are produced by manufacturers right here in Kansas City.
Hip, Hopeful Designs
The seed of Etch started with Adams. She studied the Bible every day with her two daughters, but she didn’t want to compartmentalize their faith to a few minutes in the morning. What if she could create visual reminders that could inspire them throughout the day?
Adams started talking it over with Reid and Flener, who belonged to her Bible study group. She consulted Soper, who’d worked with her as a graphic designer for a church.
Together, they’ve produced framed art featuring Bible verses and note cards with encouraging messages on the front.
Christian apparel and décor isn’t a new market, but Etch approaches it with lighter, hipper designs. They feel less like something from your great-grandmother’s house and more like what you’d find in a young family’s home.
‘Just Do It’
Besides their faith, the Etch founders had something else in common: a perfectionist streak. They spent months and months researching their business plan and sweating over the details.
It led up to a meeting with their husbands, who listened to their pitch. It was a fantastic idea, the men agreed. Their only question: Why haven’t you already launched? “They all sat there and looked us in the eyes and said, ‘Just do it,’” Flener recalled.
Adams and Soper concentrate on the design work while Flener and Reid focus on sales and distribution.
Etch’s founders are all equal partners in the company—something that most business experts don’t recommend. “A lot of people said, ‘How are going to make that work?’” Soper said.
Luckily, each had owned a business before Etch. Plus, their friendship and common faith have kept them all on
the same page.
“That unity between the four of us helps us to make better business decisions,” Soper said.
What’s Next for Etch?
The founders plan to pursue more national retailers, Reid said. They also want to get their own physical space, and not just for office and inventory. They can see themselves hosting pop-up shops and community events, too.
Don’t expect it to stop there. “I think we were a little bit naïve that we could set a goal and we’d reach our goal and we’d be content,” Adams said.
She believes God has bigger things in mind for their business. “We’re never going to fully arrive.”