Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Knack Fab

  Ok, are you ready to be blown away?  Knack Fab is a custom, high-end furniture and decor company located in Winston-Salem, dedicated to making a difference.  I cannot say enough about Matt Jones, the owner and C.E.O. of Knack Fab.  He has a passion for helping others and sharing Jesus.  Truly, you see the heart of Jesus when you talk to Matt and even more when you see what he does with his time.  His company, Knack Fab, is a not for profit company that creates custom furniture and also gives time, money, and physical labor to end and better substandard living conditions.  Once his employees are paid, the rest of the profit in his business goes toward bettering the lives of others.

     This past year, Matt went to the Dominican Republic to build a community center and an orphanage.  He worked alongside local men and welded the roof for a multipurpose meeting space which will provide shelter from bad weather, a place for a growing church and host meals for 200 orphans regularly.  When you buy Knack Fab furniture, you are not just buying amazing pieces of art, you are partnering with the company and saying that it matters to you to reach out and better the lives of others.  Each piece of furniture bought means you are committing to help others in need.  I cannot imagine a better reason to buy furniture.


    Matt Jones was born in Mississippi and moved to North Carolina when he was nine years old.  He attended NC school of communication arts in Raleigh, where he studied computer design and digital animation.  He also attended Southeastern University in Lakeland Florida to study international missions.  I sent Matt a series of questions that are both light hearted and in depth.  I normally try to piece the answers into a summary about a person, but I feel like his answers are worth reading in his own words.  They are powerful and inspiring.

What inspired your business?
A lady named Charity Bowman. We visited her in Inverness, Scotland back in 2010 and she stretched my view and understanding of who God really is. There was this room in her house that she called the "good room". In the middle of the 10' ceiling in this room hung a beautiful circular chandelier that she had made herself from sea glass and driftwood from Loch Ness. There were multiple layers of glass hanging in a design of various lengths. She said the glass was a representation of our lives. We use to be a whole being but over the course of life you get busted, broken, and discarded. But once immersed in the Holy Spirit (represented by the water), our brokenness is smoothed out and we become his work of art.
       Charity said that God told her to make it circular and if she did, He would see it as a porthole and that he would fill it. The interesting thing is that I was very skeptical about her story behind the chandelier and actually thought she was a little bit nuts. But, once I sat in the "good room" for a bit I kind of felt like there might have been something to what she was telling us. Amber and I sat with her and had some prayer time in that room and the whole room got so thick with Gods presence I felt like I couldn't even stand up. All my cares and thought fell away and I found myself being able to fully feel Gods love and felt overwhelmingly light and happy.  He definitely filled that space and made me really want a "good room" in my own home.
   Now, I make furniture that is shipped all over the country and even twice out of the country and every single piece that leaves my shop I pray over. I ask God to anoint the piece and fill it with His presence. I don't care if the end client ever knows or even understands, but I expect my furniture to change the atmosphere in the homes they end up. That is the sole reason I make furniture, to give God a vessel to travel into homes and fill that home with his presence. Sounds kind of crazy to most people, but I have sat under a chandelier that changed my life and I expect that same life changing presence to travel around the nation with my furniture and change lives in the same manner one home at a time.

What is your favorite thing about your business?
The freedom and ability to ask God to teach me his creativity

Where have you travelled?
As far north as the Canadian border, far south as an oil rig way out in the gulf, east as Las Vegas. Out of the country: Scotland and the Dominican Republic.

Where is your most favorite place you have travelled and why?
Scotland, it's where God gave me a glimpse of the amount of love he feels for the random people of this world and the calling to help bring a drastic change to that country. It's such an amazing place filled with history and beauty. And a place that will once again find itself as the spiritual hub of the world.

Three words that describe you?
Creative, stubborn, OCD

Who is your hero?
Selby Frank McManus - most amazing man I ever had the honor of meeting.

How did you and your wife meet?
I was at a mutual friends house getting ready to watch a movie. They invited her over and I didn't know it. The doorbell rang and I was the closest to it so I opened the door and there she was in her fleece pajamas.

Ultimate last meal?
A cafe ole and a beignet from Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans.

  Matt very generously donated three pieces of furniture to our auction.  The pictures are below.  Please go to our auction link and bid on some of his amazing furniture.  You will be taking part in a bigger cause and get a beautiful piece of furniture as a daily reminder.  Thank you Matt and the Knack Fab family!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Fundraising Auction

 Our adoption fundraising auction is up and running! Check out the great items that friends and family donated!!  It runs from noon 12/1-noon 12/8!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


  It is time, again, for another spot light on a generous donor for our adoption auction!  I could not be more excited to introduce to you one of the founders of Remnant, Jen Griffin.  She and her husband, Hal, began Remnant in Wilmington, North Carolina.  I am so excited that "the lined leather tote" will be available to bid on via our auction website,, December 1-8!

Here is a little background taken directly from their website:

Remnant is a husband and wife collaboration established in Wilmington, North Carolina that was born from a desire to be mindfully creative turning discarded materials into useful and lasting pieces.

All of our carry goods, accessories and furnishings are meticulously handcrafted using high quality salvaged and new materials.

  I dare you to go to their website and not fall in love with all of Jen's designs!  She has a variety of bags and accessories that are an eye-catching combination of new and old.  One of my favorite parts of her store is her KIN leather wrap bracelet.  All of the profits from the sales of this bracelet go to fund adoptions, both theirs and others.  I love their mentality and generosity.

  Jen's dad was in the Army, so she grew up in quite a few places but claims to be from Honolulu, Hawaii because that was where she was born.  She studied Spanish Literature at the University of Georgia and Georgia State.  Three words that best describe her are: optimistic, sensitive and determined.  Here are some more questions that Jen answered to give us a glimpse into the lives of Jen and Hal.  Enjoy!

Q: What inspired you to start your business?
A:  I was given an old sewing machine, & once I learned how to use it, it opened the floodgates to creativity & my love for making things by hand. This began my love for being mindfully creative, turning discarded into useful, all while making carry goods that are both beautiful & very functional.

Q:  What is your product?
A:  I make all sorts of carry goods from fabric & all leather bags to smaller pieces such as wallets, clutches, & leather key lanyards.

Q:  Where have you travelled?
A:  Korea, Hawaii, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Nicaragua, & I love exploring our states right here at home...

Q:  Which place is your favorite?
A:  Nicaragua might have to be my favorite place I've traveled to.

Q:  What do you like most about where you live now?
A:  I love living near the ocean & the slow pace of life that the culture of a smaller coastal town offers.

Q:  How did you meet your husband?
A:  I met my husband in a Patagonia store. He was an employee & I was a customer, & it was love at first sight.

Q: What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome?
A: Hal & I walked thru a very difficult stripping season in our lives that involved unemployment & lots of uncertainty for  a little over a year. During that time we lost our home & learned the true meaning of simplifying,  & enjoying the little things. It was incredible to experience God's miraculous provision during that time, to see our marriage of almost 10 years grow stronger than ever, & to see that season of our life being used now to help encourage & bring hope to others.

Q:  What is your ultimate last meal?
A:  My last meal would have to be Vietnamese Pho, my favorite soup in the whole world.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Landrie Lane Designs

  Meet Tiffany Rushing from Landrie Lane Designs!

  Tiffany is from Belmont, NC and studied Biology at North Carolina State University and then completed her master's in nutrition at Western Carolina University.  She is easily described as persistent and creative.  I met Tiffany at Western Carolina University in the nutrition program and was always impressed with her genuine heart and knack for fashion.  She started her own etsy store, named "Landrie Lane Designs," after creating a wreath as a house warming gift.  Her shop is named after her two daughters.

  When you visit Tiffany's shop, her creativity really shows in her wreaths and it doesn't hurt that there is an awesome tarheel wreath as well! She accommodates most requests and can change a design to fit your need if you like what you see and want to add your own twist.  Here is a shot of one of my favorites!

   Now, Tiffany does more than wreaths and ornaments!  Here are some fun questions Tiffany answered to let us know a little more about herself.  Make sure you head over to etsy to check out her store!

Q: If you could do anything or go anywhere right now, what would it be? 
A:Would love to take a 2nd honeymoon with just my husband!

Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A: Spare time?  What's that?!  Between working full time as an RD, being a full time mommy and part time crafter, I have very little "spare time".  My absolute favorite is walking around target by myself with a Starbucks treat.  Isn't that sad?!

Q: What is your greatest accomplishment?
A: My greatest accomplishment to date would be completing my masters this past year while managing a full time job and a young family at home.  Hands down one of the hardest things I've ever done.  I also feel quite "accomplished" when I take both kids out in public and they don't completely humiliate me :)

Q: What is the quirkiest thing that you do?
A: Quirkiest thing I do?  Hmmm.  I use a good bit of dry shampoo.  Call it a mom trick but it saves me time and my hair still smells good.

Q: What is the most important lesson that you have learned?
A: Most important lesson I've learned.  I can not do it all alone!  In the past I've tried to do many things at once and I learned that you just can't be the best at everything all at once!  Moms feel so much pressure to be so "perfect" and I've learned those are not God's expectations of me.  I put my trust in Him first and he works it out for me.  

Q: Who is your biggest fan?
A: Biggest fans-My husband has always been my number 1 supporter!  He is behind me 100% with every crazy idea I come up.  My 2 little girls are also pretty big fans of their mom. 

Q: Who is your biggest role model?
A: My biggest role model- The Duck Dynasty wives!  What awesome modern day role models we have in that family who puts God first.  I feel like they are using their fame and attention for God's glory and I can't imagine wanting to do anymore than that!

Q: Who is your favorite band/singer?
A: Dave Matthews Band

Fundraising Online Auction

  I cannot even begin to tell you how blessed I have been in this journey so far.  Really.  I have awesome friends and my friends know some awesome people too!  I put out feelers for who might want to donate to our online auction and I was stunned by the response.  People that I had not talked to for years were so generous and supportive.  I am very excited to host a fundraising auction online through  I paid a small fee to get the basic package and then the "Hicks Family Adoption" page was up and running!  I am slowly adding the items but it will all go live and run from noon December 1- noon, December 8.  I will be highlighting the donors who have businesses so that you can get to know them a little more.  So keep your eyes peeled, there are some creative people to find out about and great shops to explore!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Why adoption?

So, there were about a million different ways that I wanted to start this blog.  I have written this post several times in my head, only to feel frustrated and start over because it is impossible to convey all of the "whys" and feelings in a post.  Adoption is personal and so out there all at the same time.  It is beautiful and messy.  It forces you to your knees and lifts your eyes to God.  I can feel encouraged, scared, excited, at peace, and truly saddened to my core all at the same time.  I feel like I am holding on for dear life while being mercifully sheltered.

Technically, Ben and I started this process way back in high school before we even started dating.  I have always been passionate about caring for children and felt God calling me to adopt when I was on a mission trip in Jamaica working at an orphanage called New Hope.  I was a rising sophomore in high school.  Well, Ben and I started talking while scraping paint off a wall in Jamaica two years later and began our friendship.  I spent hours IMing (what we did before texting :) back and forth with Ben about life.  He was my best friend.  Somewhere in there, he ended up asking me out.  It took a few times and several months for me to say yes, but before I did, I had a few deal breakers to discuss.  One of them was adoption.  I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt this was part of how God would form my family and I did not see any value in dating someone who couldn't at least see it as an option.  Ben saw it as more than an option.  He put words to some of the deepest feelings I had about it and felt that adoption was part of the plan for him as well.

Over the years we have come to God to ask about His timing for adoption.  Each time we were stretched a little more with our walk with God and with each other.  Each time we were given more clarity about what direction we were to go.  Each time we also heard "not yet."

This year, it was different.  This year our hearts could not settle in the waiting.  For weeks I willed myself to be patient and to look at things logically on paper.  Well that is just it.  I do not serve a God who does things based on lists and bank accounts.  Ben and I finally put our thoughts into words and realized peace once we decided to move forward with adoption.  We took a learning community class at church on adoption.  We have had some hard discussions and decisions already.  I feel a little crazy when I look at the finances required to adopt and have to remember that God is who He says He is and He has never been confined by what the world sees.

As far as the specifics? Well, we are planning a domestic infant adoption and we are currently raising money to fund our home study. We are at the very beginning.  It feels daunting and exciting.  We have been blessed by a church community filled with adoptive families.  God is in the details and He is the God of chocolate cake too.  I am challenged and encouraged. Please lift us up in prayer, it is the most valuable gift you could give us.