Thursday, April 30, 2009


I haven't been blogging in quite awhile. Life has been turned upside down and I haven't really felt like blogging. Also, what I'll fill you all in on has been best kept quiet, til now. I think it's pretty safe to explain. Since I blog, typically, about our everyday lives and events I thought it'd be easier to just come on out and fill you all in all at once.

About 8 1/2 years ago my husband (Matthew) and my parents started a sign company. Matthew has been making signs of some kind since he was 18 and he has a BFA degree from Stout. He had always wanted to own his own shop. My dad also had some skills in design work and my folks thought the sign gig would be a neat thing to try. So, long story short... they did. We all worked getting the business up and running. Initially we ran the shop from my folks' house. A few years later Matthew and I acquired the entire business and moved the shop to a few different spots over the years. Matthew made excellent signs and word spread quickly. At one point we even had two shops running full time in two different towns (Hudson/River Falls). The economy allowed for us to grow. There were times in that span where we'd grow and reduce, grow and reduce. Basically we'd adjust and it wasn't a big change.

We were allowed some neat opportunities from AdCraft too. Matthew was able to literally travel the world. He made signs for places in Puerto Rico, Scotland and Greece to name a few. Our shop was featured on the Discovery Channel and our family, all four of us, were able to travel to Scotland. It was because of a sign convention in Callander that I actually got on a plane FOR THE FIRST TIME and travelled rather recklessly with my two babies across an ocean. (No, I wasn't really reckless but it felt that way at the time) Anyways, those neat opportunities were once in a lifetime deals that were made possible because of Matthew's hard work with the shop.

(If you've never seen some of Matthew's work I think the is still up and running so you should see his talent)

We met lots of neat friends too from all around the world. Isaiah and Anna know folks very well that make their home in Germany and Scotland. It was a neat deal for the kids too.

What does that have to do with moving and packing? Well, you see my mom had always done the books for AdCraft. A couple years ago Matthew saw the potential for a very poor economy and sadly, we took all necessary steps to sell the company and get out while we could. We had one taker (apparently all other business owners/potential buyers saw the possibility of poor economics as well). The guy that came in said he'd take over books and do some light production work. This was great news as it freed up my mom, who already had a full-time job besides AdCraft, and Matthew as this new guy was going to take over some of Matt's responsibilities too. Without spilling the beans too much this guy didn't work out. Last fall the economy hit us pretty hard. We let the potential buyer go and I took over the books, in hopes of saving some money. We also cut our guys' hours down to three days a week.

While I was doing the books and calling my mom non-stop regarding questions on how to do certain things I started noticing problems. Another long story shortened, this guy did not pay our taxes, balance the register and a myriad of other LARGE problems that needed to be worked through in a short amount of time. Mom helped get that mess straightened out but it had a huge financial impact. Matthew pushed through some jobs that would have been saved for our slower time in winter.

I'm sure lots of you have noticed money seems tight all around. Well, in an effort to just get to the end of the story, it's hitting us pretty hard. We have closed AdCrafts's doors. If jobs don't come in we can't keep the ship afloat. We've put all our savings and personal funds into the company in hopes of being able to hang on a bit longer. No deal. We have had no income since February. I would do payroll and pay our guys but not Matthew. We couldn't. We are surrendering our homes, our cars, tractors, etc. We realize we can't continue and are just sucking it up and moving on.

We feel very blessed to have found a home in Osceola to rent. We can stay in the country, keep our dog and Isaiah does not have to switch schools. Three bedroom rental homes are a rarity in this little town. God just dropped it into our laps. We have to send the sheep and chickens to a buddy of Matt's. At this point Matt's looking for work. As you can imagine that's not an easy task at the moment. So, there's some mighty big changes coming down the pike. At the end of the day, however, we still have what's really important. All the other stuff is just fluff. Makes for nice opportunities and experiences but it's not what's important.

So that's about it. It's been a fun ride but, rides over.... everyone out.

Honestly, Matthew and I are excited to see what the next chapter holds for us. God is still God and he knows the deal.


Anonymous said...

Katie, you and Matthew did an awesome job with AdCraft, also your attempts to save the shop were many, many, long hard hours, to say the least. Your efforts were so inspiring. So proud of you two. You are right, God, always has a plan for us, yours is in the process right now. Your new journey has just begun!
Mom & Dad

kristi noser said...

Matt and Katie,
I am so very sorry that you had to go through all of this, but I am ecstatic that you have your hearts and minds on what God has planned for you. You both know that He will never leave you.
But I'm still kinda mad at Mr. Messup--

Katie R. said...

Thank you Kristi. It's all good and the next phase of life will be an adventure, I'm sure.

In all fairness, Mr.Messup wasn't our demise. He sped up the process a bit but in the end, it's the economy. This was inevitable. Surprisingly another Hudson sign shop closed it's door about 4-6 weeks ago as well. So, it's going 'round.

God is good ALL the time. Can I get an AMEN? :)

Anonymous said...

Katie, all of you are in our thoughts and prayers. We too are sorry that you have to go through this. Your strong faith says it all, and God is there for you. So proud of you both.
Aunt Judy& Uncle Alan

Kevin J. Holmes: said...

Sorry to see the end of AdCraft. Many fine memories of the place and of the Rolli family. We will keep you in our prayers.

Birdie said...

I loved what your Mom & Dad had to say here. I'm shocked by the news, but like you said God is still God and He's not shocked by anything. Your attitude and trust and faith is a testament in and of itself. I'll keep you guys in my prayers and trust that even greater things than you can imagine, are ahead of you.

Katie R. said...

Thank you everyone for your kind words. We appreciate your prayers and support.


Jessica said...


I am so sorry that you and your family have had to go through this! I can't imagine the toll it has taken on your lives....but I so respect that it does not seem to have taken its toll on your faith. You are so right - God is STILL God of this and all situations, and He has plans bigger than anything we could ask or imagine. It's going to work out for your and your family, and you're going to be so much stronger for your struggles and holding fast to the Lord through it. Keep us posted. We'll be praying.

Love you!

zcoffeegirl said...

Wow....all I can think of is..God is really going to use your testimony through all of this. Praying for continued strength in the days ahead!

Kara Jo said...

I'm in shock as I sit here and think of what to write. Like the others, I too am sorry for AdCraft having to close, and for you losing your house, etc. but also glad that you seem bound and determined to trust and praise God through it. \

You asked for an AMEN...AMEN!!!

Kelli said...

Katie & Matthew,
I echo the sentiments of those who've posted before me and I would like to add that I will miss the pictures and the stories of the farm animals and how you interacted with them. It has been fun to be along for this part of the ride. Thank you for sharing it with me and I look forward to the next chapter. Hugs to you and your family.

Kris H said...

Katie, I'm so sorry for what you are going through, but I'm also inspired by your attitude and faith. God is still in control and has good plans for our lives.

Amanda said...

Katie... I had no idea (of course) but my heart just aches for you. You speak of moving with the calm grace that you possess... but I can only imagine what it must be like to give up your HOME and move somewhere else through no fault of your own.

PLease know that I am praying like crazy for you and your family and your happiness and health and living situation. I would offer to let you come and stay with me! but I have a feeling our little 2 bedroom home might get a bit cramped. But still. You CAN always come here if you need!

Let me know of there is ANYTHING I can do.

God bless you all-

Carla said...

Praying for you babe. :)

Cara said...

So, I hadn't been to your blog in awhile, obviously. I just read of your current situation. All I have to say is, "When God closes a door.....He ALWAYS opens a window." Praying for your family!