The economy can make finances extra tricky for families! But we're here to encourage you with our guest's story of stepping out in faith & tips to stretch your dollars.
ABOUT OUR GUEST
Katelyn Swiatek is the founder of SAVOUR Clothing located in Colorado Springs, CO.
She is also the author of a book addressing biblical financial stewardship, The Stewardship Movement.
Creators & Guests
What is The Connected Mom?
Form a deeper connection with God, more empathic connection with other Moms, and more intentional connection with your child.
Welcome to the Connected Mom podcast, where we have conversations about connecting more deeply with God, more empathically with our fellow moms, and more intentionally with your child. I'm your host, Becky Harley, and I have with me you today my amazing co host, Sarah Wildman. Welcome, Sarah. What are we talking about today?
Oh, man, it's so good to be here, and I'm so excited about today's topic. I think every family has something in common and that the rate of inflation is really affecting all of us. I mean, you go to the grocery store and you're like, really? Milk? Is that expensive now? Okay, so today we are going to be talking about money. Oh, money. And stewardship, entrepreneurship and motherhood, which I'm really excited to hear, um, the perspective on that. So why don't you introduce our awesome guest, Becky?
Yeah. So today our guest is Katelyn Switzek. Katelyn is the founder of saver clothing, located in Colorado Springs. In fact, she's my neighbor, which is really cool. So Saver Clothing is an online consignment business that Katelyn started in 2019. Katelyn loved being a mom and being home with her children, but she also missed working, which is a great thing. And so for three years now, the business has continued to grow. Katelyn plans to grow it on a national level within the next few years. In addition to her own business, Katelyn has a passion for female entrepreneurship. She's the author of The Stewardship Movement, which is a book discussing biblical stewardship. Katelyn is married to Steve, and they have three beautiful children. Aaron is six, ada, uh, is four, and Austin is about nine months. And they love hiking together, camping, golfing, and just having fun together as a family. Welcome, Katelyn
Hey, ladies. Thank you so much for having me this morning. I'm so happy to be here.
Well, you look very together for having a nine month old, so we're really glad you're here. I know that's an effort to be in person.
Okay. Fair enough. Thank you.
Okay, so let's just jump in. Um, Becky talked a little bit about your business, but tell us the story of what led you to start your own business.
Yeah, great question. Well, I have a confession to make. I've always been a bit of an entrepreneur. It started at a very early age, when I was 18. Um, I went to school for business, growing as a college student and studied marketing. And so just business always fascinated me. I worked for a lot of great companies, but I just always had something inside of me that wanted to really just do something on my own. So I started a bunch of little side hustles. When I was younger, I did a little marketing company. I, um, sold things on the side. I've done a lot of things. Um, but, you know, as I worked in my career and then left my career when I had children, I was kind of left in that same place again where I thought, man, I really miss working. And so I've always been an entrepreneur, but I think that that fire got relit in me when I found myself home with children. And I did not picture myself going back to work full time. I pictured myself home with my children, but I also pictured myself working and producing and creating. I've always been, um, a creative person. I love creating. And so entrepreneurship, I loved how an author put it. I read recently that work is a creative expression for some people, and entrepreneurship is that for me, it's my creative expression. So I just found that in motherhood. I loved being a mom, but I was really missing that creative expression in my life. And so that's what led me to really, uh, get back involved in entrepreneurship and what led me to start the business that I'm doing now. So here I am.
Katelyn what gave you the idea of consignment clothing? Because that's, I think, incredible.
You know what's really funny? You always know it's good when people are like, wow, such a good idea. And you're like, well, it wasn't my idea. I'm just doing it. Uh, honestly, it's such a great question, because people ask me that, and I didn't choose it. I literally prayed to God on my hands and knees, over and over again. I said, Lord, I know you've called me to be a mom. I want to be that. And I feel the world asking that of me. Maybe through the guilt thing.
But, man, I miss it. And I felt like I was talking to my sister in laws one evening, and she told me about selling online. And so I didn't really get started in online consignment. What happened was I started sourcing all the clothing myself, reselling it online. And then through that process, friends and people I knew started hearing about what I did. And now I'm to the point where 99% of my clothing is consignment. So it's kind of that awesome thing that God does where he says, plant the seed, water it, and I'll grow it. It's truly one of those situations for me. It was never my idea, becky, I would love to say it was, but no part of this has been my idea. I've seen God do amazing things, and there's been something so powerful about doing something that you're initially unsure of and.
Stepping into that's faith.
Yeah. Stepping into it in faith and then seeing God bless it. I mean, there's there's no greater.
So one of the questions I was going to ask you, actually, Katelyn, is so okay, let's say we have some moms out there listening right now, and they're thinking, oh, I have a business idea. How do they know if it's even going to work?
Yeah. You know, it's that thing called faith. Right? But let me say something that I believe is the truth. That God blesses faith, but I also believe that God blesses risk and he blesses business.
And there's nothing wrong with a woman with her. I believe her husband's blessing is very important to step out in faith and chase her dreams. Gosh, we need to do that more. And, uh, I just have such a heart for that. And I remember early on when I started this business, like I told you all, I started at 18, and I am an overachiever. I'm guilty as charged of that. And I tend to jump ahead and do things ahead. And I remember God saying very early on to me in this process, I want you to plod with me. And that's really stuck with me. So for moms out there who really want and have an idea, the first thing I would say is, don't be afraid. Have faith. Press into it with prayer. Because my m biggest fear was I've done a lot of things in faith, in believing that God was behind me in it, and then maybe feeling like I fell flat on my face. So my biggest fear in this business was, I don't want to waste my time pursuing something that's not in alignment with what your will is. For my life, I just kind of reached a point where I was done with that, and I didn't want to do that anymore. So I would just really encourage them. Like, a, there is nothing wrong with dreaming. B there is nothing wrong with money and wanting to produce and wanting to create. C, that money can go to blessed people in the Kingdom of God. I mean, look at how we fund organizations all over the world. And B, please just pray about it and just make sure that you feel and your husband feels and your family feels a piece about every step. I just think that's a super important piece.
Those are great tips. Thank you.
So as a working mom, maybe it's a little nontraditional, because it sounds like you're at home. It's a homebased business. Um, but sometimes it's difficult, uh, to handle the guilt that might come from keeping a balance between working, spending time with your kids. And I think I heard one thing that there is no such thing as balance.
It's just what works for you. But how do you personally handle that mixture of work and kids?
Well, I adore this question, Sarah, because it is very real for me, and it's not real for me occasionally. This is a very real thing for me on an hourly basis during the day. Um, because when you do have a business and you have children you love, like Becky shared 64 and a baby, you're, uh, not moms. I mean, come on. There's no break in there. And so, yes, gosh. This constant tug of your children. I think I heard a statistic that preschoolers don't quote me on this, but something like preschool aged children say the word mom every 8 seconds or like, Google it. There's something out there. So, um, if you're feeling guilty and you have that going on, it really amplifies it. So, yes, that's a good question. I feel it every second of my day. Um, you know, I thought about I really wanted to think through that. And I just want if I can point us to Scripture, I really would love to point us to Proverbs 31 because I find that as my landmark. Kind of like if I saw the Lord putting a stake in the rock for me and saying, caitlyn Swaytick, this is the woman that I call you to be. And this is the standard I hold you to anytime I'm doubting what that looks like, I read Proverbs 31 and I could I have read that for how many years have we read that for? And every time we go back to it, well, that's just how the spirit works. We pull out new things. I don't love reading in front of people. So, um, this is a step for me. But, um, I love what it says. So I'm just going to take an exercise out of verses 13 through 18. I'm reading out of the NIB. So it says, she obviously speaking of the noble wife. That is the wife of noble character. Proverbs 31, verse 13. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships bringing her food from afar. She gets up, uh, while it is still night, and she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it. I love it. Like, this chick is like real estate. Like, that's so good. My husband and I do real estate together, so I'm like, oh, that is I mean, she considers a field and she buys it. That's amazing to me. Out of her earnings, she plants a vineyard. So she's, like, reinvesting her business into something, uh, her profit into something else. She sets about her work vigorously. Her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable and her lamp does not go out at night. Now, we all know that that goes on about I read this and I'm convicted about, well, I fed my family Costco meals the last week. I probably should cook something tonight. So I also do get that out of Proverbs 31. But anytime I feel that guilt, I read that because that is a woman that is described as noble character. And she is not only clothing her family, feeding her family, but she's, uh, buying fields, reinvesting the profit she's setting about her work vigorously. Her children and her family know that they are loved. This is a woman that is doing things that we feel guilty for. So, uh, I think for me, the inner conviction is again, I joke about the Costco meals, but I am being kind of serious, because last time I read this and I was just pressing into the Word, uh, and praying about it, I just felt like the Lord was like, hey, you need to do this part of your life better.
But on the other hand, Katelyn the province 31 woman, she didn't have Costco. She could go out and kill a sheep, right? So what I love about this is because a lot of women I know that read Proverbs 31, think, oh, man, I want to crawl in bed. I can't be this woman. She's fake. And I mean, she's not a real person, right? Because the book is poetic, but he's describing this. But what I love is that you read the chapter as empowering, like, uh, hey, you don't have to feel guilty for working because, look, this woman is held up in scripture and she is working. And I think, hey, okay, so you didn't make something from scratch last night for dinner. As an older woman, I want to alleviate your guilt on that one because you fed your children and, I mean, you didn't maybe give them ice cream for dinner, although I have known some moms that have done that, too. And it's okay, your children are going to rise up and call you blessed. And maybe they really love Costco meals, right? Because that's true. They are fairly cheap, too. I mean, really, you can't beat the Costco chicken, right? Uh, that's the best price out there.
Speaking of money, in your book, you.
Talk about financial bondage, and what I loved about it is you had you used the illustration in there of how worrying about money can put us in financial bondage. And I really loved that because I think for a lot of moms out there, they do worry, like, how am I going to close my children for school this year? I mean, when you send your kids back to school every year, there's a massive list back in the day that makes me sound old. I am. But back in the day, we had to bring two pencils to school and a pink eraser, and we all walked down to the corner store and got a Henry cigar box, and that was our school box, right. And now, uh, whenever I go in around the opening of the school year, the lists are ginormous. So what do you say to the mom who is like, oh, my word, how am I going to provide for my kids financially?
Right? Yeah. That's a question I seek the Lord on to provide answers for. But I think I would press into three things that come to mind. The first is probably no surprise to anybody. I did write that book, and I also used to sit down with couples at their kitchen tables and counsel them, uh, in terms of their finances. What are you doing well? What are you not doing well? How do you create a budget for your family, what does that budget look like? And I was really that accountability coach and partner for a lot of families. And I did that for some time. And so the things that come to mind are really the things that I noticed helped people the most. So it's not a shocker. Nobody's going to want to hear this. They're probably going to tune me out when I say this word. But number one is budget. Budgets are not fun. We can accept that. Um, I can think of a lot of things that aren't fun, but I won't go there. So budgets are not a fun thing, but they are so important. And I used to use this illustration. I do believe I talk about it in my book. A, uh, budget is not fun. But I just want you to think of the scenario. Imagine that your backyard backs I'll just imagine my backyard backs into a busy road and I have no fence around it. And I send my kids to go play outside. Well, every time I go send them to play outside, I'm probably going to have anxiety about them being near a busy road with no fence around our backyard. The second I put a fence around our backyard, that security level is going to go up. I'm going to feel better. I'm going to feel more confident. I'm going to worry less. I love that a budget is that fence in your household. You've got to put that fence up. Doesn't mean that you have to live by a budget for the rest of your life and live and die by it. No, not necessarily. Because what happens is when you can live by a budget, I would say six to twelve months, you're cultivating a habit, and then it's almost like maybe you can loosen up the reins a little bit, but now you're living out a habit. So, uh, when people say that about worrying, you've got to put the fence up, that is like the number one step, because that will help you worry less. Another thing that I think is so important, that will help you worry less is my other two things that I think of involve planning as well. But for those who aren't planners out there, don't worry, I'm not going to throw some curveballs at you. But the next thing is just, hey, gas prices insane right now. I can't believe, uh, we drive a big Toyota Sequoia. I don't know if you guys know what that means. It's insane. Um, and my husband was telling me the other day it cost him $10 a day to drive to and from work from our house. $10 a day. That's a lot. When you calculate that over the course of a month, that's a lot of money. So I would just say another great thing that could really help Moms out there is, hey, just plan out your day. Really be intentional right now. And even if gas prices go down, be super intentional about where you're going, how often what you're doing, that can maybe help the worry factor. And then another thing would just be my problem is meal planning. Uh, when I sat down with people that the main expenses were their household, their car were the two biggest expenses, the one that always got them in trouble was eating out.
And so what's going to make you worry less? Well, having a budget, watching how often you're going places and watching where and how often you're eating out. Because I think if we download Mint or one of those apps and just have it calculate how much you're spending on eating out without thinking about it, and people are shocked, you would not believe
Um, Steve and I were in ministry. Ah. We are in ministry. And when we were young, married, and we were raising kids, um, the IRS once audited us. And at the end, the guy threw up at the end, and he said, honestly, I don't even know how you're making it. He's like, I've got nothing on it. But one of the things, um, that I did is I did meal plan. I would write out at the beginning of every week, every meal that I was going to have for that week. The other thing that really helps me keep a budget is, um, we use the envelope system. And doing that for a couple of months really does train you, because you're not swiping your ATM card all the time. Right. So we would put a little extra in the food money, and then whatever I could save, I could use to buy stuff that I wanted or stuff for the kids. So we had this envelope system. We had the envelope for gas, the envelope for food, the envelope for Tide, the envelope for entertainment. So when we wanted to go out to eat, we would check that envelope and use it to go out to eat someplace. And I think nowadays, with the, uh, ATM cards, I mean, we had ATM cards back then, too, but it's so easy to just swipe that card and not check where all that money.
Yes, absolutely. I love the envelope system. I think that's genius. And I really recommended that for a lot of clients, and it helped them tremendously.
So you've given us some practice. Those are really practical things. The budget, watching where you spend it, meal planning. Do you have any other m money saving tips, maybe even in regards? I mean, you're in the clothing world, so give some girls some advice on how do we look cute on a budget.
How does that happen? Gosh get me on the topic of clothes.
Let's do some clothes talk, just for a second.
Yes. Um, what really got me early in our marriage, we had the budget, and we're very intentional about it. And it was a lot, and we had to scrape by. And I think every woman really wants to feel beautiful. I really think that's something that God's placed in all of us, uh, when I seek, that's what I feel like. The Lord says, every woman wants to know they're beautiful. And part of that process for us is wearing I don't know, for me, it's just feeling beautiful in the clothes. But we never had the budget for me just to go to a department store and spend several hundred dollars on clothes. So that's how I initially got into drifting for myself. So I would like to say that I am so excited about the fact that, yes, ladies can feel beautiful and they can get their clothing from thrift stores. It's possible. And so a, uh, great resource for saving money on clothing is to go to thrift stores. If you don't want to have to go sift through thrift stores, go to, like, local consignment stores. The great thing about local consignment stores and I'm sure if you've been to a consignment store, you've seen this on the tags as an item sits there in the store, it slowly gets marked down. And so, uh, you may potentially be in there and see something you fall in love with. And who knows? It could have a really great discount, and you're paying typically consigners price things at a third less than retail. And consignment stores are not taking things that are in poor condition. So I found this at a thrift store. It's a Kate Spade top. I've spent 499 on it.
And that was just random with my three kids, and I think my son was crying, and it called to me. But you needed it possible. I mean, designer top, I mean, four nights, and you can't go wrong. So thrift stores, consignment stores, there's a lot of these fun, um, like, pop up boutique stores where you can go to a marketplace where there's lots of vendors, and a lot of those ladies have fun racks with discount clothing. So I just want to encourage everybody that it is possible to wear designer or fancy things or nice things and feel beautiful, and certainly not break the bank.
Yeah. And I think that same principle would hold true when you're trying to close your children. Steve and I both grew up really poor, and so one challenge that I had in the money realm is I never wanted my children to feel embarrassed about what they were wearing. At times, that made me tempted or tempted me to spend too much on them. However, most children don't wear out their clothing. Right? And so hand me downs. And buying your kids clothes on consignment can be a real money, um, saver. In fact, I know a lot of the charter schools now. Um, I have a bunch of grandkids that are in charter schools. And in the charter school, you have to wear a uniform. Right. And some of the charter schools will have a resale at the beginning of the year, and nobody knows whose clothing you're buying because they all look the same. Right. It's a uniform. So that's a way to save money, too. So looking into those kinds of things, um, I have another question for you, Katelyn. So a lot of people throw guilt out there about debt, and we would all agree that you don't want to be using your credit cards and going into debt. Right. That's not the goal. God wants us to live as debt free as possible. However, there are seasons where, number one, you need to take out a mortgage that's a form of debt. Or you need to buy a car and you might need to take out a loan for your car. And I know when Steven I when we had little kids, they got ear infections all the time. We didn't have good medical insurance because the church we were serving couldn't afford that. So I would sometimes have to use the credit card to go to the pediatrician's office. So how do you help women keep a balance there? Because we don't want them to feel guilty.
Yeah, I love that. Well, you know, I always try to refer to scripture when feeling guilty because we all know where that originates from. Um, and I understand that feeling, and I think that the way we can really mitigate that guilt is by asking us a really simple question. Just asking when you're buying something on your credit card that is that you're not going to pay. I mean, my husband and I use credit cards, but we pay them off every month.
So there's a difference. We use them for a reason and we feel that we can responsibly use them. But what I'm talking about is, if you're putting something on a credit card that you're going to be paying interest on for six months, is that a want or a need? An ear infection at the pediatricians office is a need. That is something that you need. So if you are putting wants on the credit card, like those awesome boots that you just saw walking by as you were getting your latte at Starbucks, that you feel like you need or can justify, we can all justify needs. Right. Um, I think that's a little bit different. And so perhaps that guilt is a threat of conviction that it's like, hey, I don't need this right now. And so, again, your accountability partner, your best accountability partner, is that budget.
So I think that really is what you need in your life, is you need a budget. It's that fence. It's that accountability partner. Yes. Things are going to come up. Ear infections are going to come up. Uh, whatever. Things are going to come up in that moment when we're derailing from that parameter, that boundary, that budget is it Something We want or we need. Our budget has expanded over the years. Uh, my husband and I wouldn't say we're cheap, but even if we have the freedom there, we weigh each financial decision pretty well. Here's the other thing that I always would say to people, and I would see over and over again. Uh, when people say, I can't afford it, we all choose to afford what we want to afford. So it really comes down to a value system. And so, um, we all choose to afford what we want to afford. And so I think that's important to remember. So is it a want? Is it a need? Don't feel guilty about putting it on a credit card. If it's a kid's ear infection. Holy smokes. Like take care of your child. In the end. Of course, that's number one. And if the money is not there? Do what you can do. And then something I talk about in my book. And I still value this today in our finances. If you do have to incur debt outside of a car or a house, which those are just things. I mean, Steven and I invest in real estate and we take out mortgages on the real estate. That's called leveraging your money. But if you have to take money out for something outside of those things, do your darndest to pay it off.
As fast as.
Bondage. A little bit.
Yeah. So we are out of time. But this has been so helpful, Katelyn. And so I want to just by, um, wrapping up some points that we talked about. First of all, guilt is not from God. So if you put the fence up I love that illustration that Katelyn gave us about putting the fence around your yard so your kids won't play in the road. You can put a fence around your finances by coming up with a budget. So take some time to do that. If you are an entrepreneur and you're longing to start a business, get on your knees. Start with prayer. Prayer is where that creative ideas, um, the creative ideas are going to come from because as you're communicating with God, the Holy Spirit is going to fill you with creativity. And then spend a little time in Proverbs 31. And instead of seeing Proverbs 31 as eek, that chapter makes me want to crawl in bed. Let's see it as a chapter that empowers us as women to be wise in the workplace and wise at home. Hey. God is for you today. And I want you to be able to connect with Katelyn. And so we're going to have her information in the show notes, so be sure to look her up. You can follow her on Instagram. I think it's at Saverclothing, isn't it? Katelyn?
With a U.
With a U. And so follow her on Instagram. Check out her online store because she's got lots of fun stuff there. So let me. Close this out in prayer. Lord Jesus, thank you for this time that we've had with Katelyn, and we want to be good stewards of the resources that you have given us, and so help us to build that fence around our finances so that we're careful. And then, Lord, also, I think about the call to generosity, and that's another whole topic, Lord. But as we get our own finances under control, it gives us the freedom to be more generous. Lord, would you bless the moms that are out there right now that just have a longing in their heart to start a business? Would you empower them and equip them and help them to step out in faith and do the thing that you're calling them to do in Jesus name? Amen. Amen. Um, we're cheering for you as moms. We want you to feel more connected with God, more connected with your kids, and more connected with your fellow moms. Till next time. We'll see you at the connected mom.