It’s always the first question after people ask what I do. After I say I am the maker and blogger at Pink Salt Riot, I almost mouth it with them:
What is “Pink Salt Riot”?
When I started Pink Salt Riot I was on the cusp of an explosion of joy God was preparing for my life.
That sounds dramatic, but it was true.
And it started, like so many explosions of all kinds, with a positive pregnancy test.
But for the story to make sense, we have to go back a bit further and get some context.
Here’s the Cliff Notes:
In December of 2011 I graduated from college. In January 2012 I landed my first full time job and by February 2012 I was really miserable. I have nothing against hard work. I actually LOVE working hard, but the job that had been sold to me as an incredible opportunity to change people’s lives was actually more like a telemarketing job with some borderline unethical sales practices thrown in for good measure.
In June 2012 I got married, and in July 2012 my husband convinced me to quit my horrible job. With no backup plan. With no safety net.
And he was a second year middle school teacher. Yeah.
In retrospect – really risky, but also the best thing we ever did beside getting married in the first place.
I had dabbled in handmade jewelry in high school and college so when I found myself out of work without a plan, I reverted to what I knew. And that was what I did during a very dark year of soul searching and directionlessness.
In the spring of 2012 I stumbled on a truly unique idea – to make all kinds of handcrafted jewelry and gifts exclusively from old and thrown out books – and by June I signed the lease on a small retail space for me to make and sell my work out of. My company was called “Favoring Brave.”
We moved to a cute one bedroom duplex downtown, I biked to work, and we had dinner in the Art District every Friday. We lived the standard artsy newlywed life – for about 3 weeks. Which was when I found out I was expecting, which was far from what we expected.
But that was not the pregnancy test that brought about Pink Salt Riot – PSR was born from our second surprise baby, who was already on her way when our son was only 9 months old.
Letting Go and Letting God
I was done with surprises. I was mad at God for “ruining” my career with kids coming at such an unexpected time. But little did I know that God was really setting the stage for a much better career I never could have dreamed of at the time.
As part of my slow acceptance of my second pregnancy, I decided to close my retail shops, which had expanded to two spaces the previous year. I abandoned plans for unifying everything into one big beautiful new shop. I sort of abandoned all my plans. Which is exactly what God needed me to do.
I was going to be a stay at home mom. The idea was difficult for me to swallow. I liked working – loved it actually. Plans were made for me to continue working from home, selling online and at craft fairs mostly, but it felt like such a step down. I had owned a shop. People knew me. And now I was going to sit at home with babies and be forgotten.
If you can’t tell, I had never been the girl dreaming about motherhood.
But God has used motherhood to teach me so much, and to ultimately make me into the person He desires me to be. And for that and so many other things I am eternally grateful.
So Pink Salt Riot hasn’t shown up in this story yet…
This is where it comes in! When I decided to move the business into our home, another idea came into the picture. What if I made all the same kinds of things I had been making for Favoring Brave, only exclusively Christian? It seemed crazy to add a second line as I was pregnant, moving, and chasing a one year old, but something told me I had to do it.
Pink Salt Riot was born.
The name is a funny story. I knew I wanted it to be deeply meaningful, but also catchy and unusual. I knew I wanted joy to be the bedrock of my message so I chose the word “Pink” since it is the liturgical color for joy (hence the pink vestments on the third Sunday of Advent). “Salt” was an obvious choice for the next word since we are called by Christ to be salt in the world. And then I wanted a third word, since “pink salt” was already a thing on it’s own, and so I went to my husband for help.
At this stage in our lives we had this strange habit of singing all kinds of three word phrases to the tune of “Zoot Suit Riot,” a high school choir staple of mine that we had resurrected for our own entertainment. When I said I wanted a third word, my husband immediately burst out “Pink Salt Riot!” and it stuck.
At first the “Riot” part didn’t mean anything. It was just an inside joke. But as I have built this company over the last two years I came to realize that, In His wisdom, God was bringing meaning even from our silliness. The company was becoming a movement – a peaceful riot of people rising up in revolutionary joy and embracing the call of Christ in the most everyday moments of their lives. This is not a riot in the traditional sense. (We certainly don’t condone any kind of violence at all!) But it is a riot in the sense that we are rising up to overthrow the culture of death and replace it with a culture of life and joy.
So that’s Pink Salt Riot. We have grown and changed a lot in the last two years, and it’s only going to continue in 2017.
Thanks for joining us on this journey.