An Historic Undertaking

A mentor once advised me during a difficult time of unemployment to slow down and take some time to discover what it is I'm truly passionate about.

What I'm most passionate about is antiques and history. I've been collecting antiques and historic pieces for a long time and I love learning about what they are, where they've been, etc. It's as close as we'll ever be to time travel. But I was always afraid I didn't know enough to pursue it, so I never did until recently. The stories behind each item I acquire and sell are so inspiring.  They an help to connect us, in a very practical way, to history or can help to revive a special memory.  I believe that is important to preserve. It's so rewarding to be able to connect someone with a piece that brings joy, and perhaps resolve to their life. 

I've worked my way up from whatever I could get my hands on - a tea cup, a camera, an old photograph, low end china and glassware, etc. - to larger, much more interesting pieces like small furniture, statues, rare items, fine glassware and china, etc. This business started by posting an item or two a week on eBay.  It now includes booths in two different antique malls, an ebay store, a facebook page, and an average of 100 listings a month in online sales. But as my inventory gets better, the fees and expenses get steeper and the risks get higher.  My business is in a fragile state right now. While I've gotten good at managing my cash flow, and have been growing it slowly and steadily, one little hiccup (such as an online buyer not paying, or a bad month in booth sales) can reak havic out my finances and potentially set me back months.  

Unfortunately the banks won't support me with a loan until I've been in business for 18 mo. - 2 years.  When I asked how so many people start up a business, the banks told me that in the beginning, "ALMOST ALL NEW BUSINESSES ARE FUNDED BY DONATIONS OR LOANS FROM FRIENDS AND FAMILY."  That's why I'm asking for your help now.  We all have better things to do with our hard earned cash than to give it away to every guy with an idea, but a little bit can go a long way when everyone chips in.  Many have already contributed to my campaign in such blessed ways - financially, through item donations that can be sold to raise money, through prayer, and through advice and mentoring.  I was once told that income is the good that comes to you every day.  I'm hungry to learn and serious about working to help this business blosom and continue to greatly appreciate every bit of "income" that has come my way.

Friends, right now I'm at a crucial point where I have the opportunity to turn passion into a purposeful business but can really use your help to make that happen. I'm reaching out to you - my friends, family, and any one who believes in giving someone a chance to make their dreams a reality.  Help turn this passion into a thriving business.
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Chris Rankin 
Des Peres, MO
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