This month’s Maker Spotlight is Whitney Vaughn, the creative force behind Saved by Grace Company. She is a female owned and operated small business based in Roanoke, Virginia. Specifically, she specializes in graphic design, merchandise and apparel.
For years, Whitney’s vision has been to create a brand that uplifts and empowers women to be their most authentic selves, while pursuing faith above all else. Pushing aside fear and doubt, she has crafted a career that is thoroughly her own. Describing her business as a calling, she ministers the beauty, trials and triumph of living with the faith of a mustard seed. Over time, this seed of faith has grown into something more sustainable than she ever could have imagined for herself and her daughter.
Today, Whitney opens up about the journey of embracing an imperfect process.
Susie: Did you ever think you could see God in everyday places?
Whitney: Sometimes, it’s hard & I feel so far from Him on given days where things just don’t seem to go as planned. In those moments, I encourage myself to be still and pray for God to surround me so that I can stay obedient to His word. In those moments we least expect or in places we never thought we would see Him, the Saved by Grace Co. shop is here to change that. From faith apparel, to home decor – it’s my goal to help you to see God in all things.
Susie: How did you start?
Whitney: Saved by Grace Co. began in the fall of 2016. After years of dreaming of running my own creative business, I took the plunge. So, I quit a successful corporate career in pursuit of my entrepreneurial dream. As a single mom, I was keenly aware of the risks. Despite having no sales experience, I decided to wholeheartedly trust that God was in control. He called me to go forward and embrace the unknown.
Susie: Can you talk about your spiritual journey through all of this?
Whitney: By self admission, the journey has not always been an easy one for myself. Growing up in a Christian home, I frequented church with my family. Through the lens of imperfection, I learned to see the value of grace in my main roles as a mother, friend and shop owner. One thing that I am sure of is that I feel called. Not just a small whisper or little signs here and there, but a longing, a supernatural feeling. Like the ‘no sleeping from waking up,’ from hearing God nudge me, ‘can’t stop thinking about it’ type of calling.
It even isn’t that God has given me gifts that magically appeared. What He did give me is the heart to try. The heart to trust Him and the heart to learn. The mind to know that things would never come easy and that in order to run His business the way it was intended, I would need to trust Him always. That no matter how discouraged I ever felt, that God said ‘Whitney, there’s room for you, too.’
Susie: How’s it going with the business now?
Whitney: Through doubts and fears, with faith and grit, I have built a thriving business that has surpassed all of my expectations. Never in one million, billion years did I ever think I could sell one thing. Much less create one thing that anyone would want, or make a living working for God. People always say you just need faith as small as a mustard seed. And that has proven true, but perhaps seasoned with a little bit of grace.
Three years ago, I ran into Whitney at a market in Virginia. Instantly, we became friends. Recently, we collaborated on apparel to promote small business and makers. Shop the collection with Whitney at From: Susie, here, including t-shirts, hats and tote bags. Remember, when you shop at From: Susie, you are supporting small business, artists, makers, craftsmen, and ‘Made in America.’