How I Got to Where I am Today!

My work at home business is the shirt business...

No one every says that, "When I grow up, I want to be a divorced mom on welfare!" I was raised in an upper, middle-class family and often criticized others I had seen using food stamps as they went through my checkout line at the grocery store. In highschool, I worked at the local grocery store as a cashier. I looked down my nose at those who used foodstamps to purchase food for their families.

I don't mean to sound cold, but, why couldn't these people get out and find real jobs to pay for food? They must be lazy, I thought. Well, about five years later, my life changed and I was the one who was looking behind myself at the grocery store to see who was watching me quickly tear the foodstamps out of the coupon books they came in. I never dreamed that I would be divorced, without a job, and a mom. It was certainly not one of the goals that I had written in my Senior book.

I was approximately 23 years old, I had no money, no home and little self-esteem left. Although I knew I wanted better things for myself, most of all, I wanted better things for my daughter and to set a good example. I wanted to show her that hard work pays off. It didn't take long to decide that the best way for me to do this, was to go to college. So I did.

In December, 1995, I graduated from a well-known college in Missouri with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Management. It took me 3 1/2 long, trying, sometimes depressing years to complete my degree, but I did it. I worked part-time for the police department, attended college full-time and tried to be the best mother I could be. Because I lived in a small town near my parents, I drove approximately 70 miles one way to get to college. Often, during the long drive to school, I would dream about the day that my name would be called and I would walk across the platform in anticipation of changing my tassel to the other side while my hand reached out for that diploma. I cried every time I thought about it.

I am not sure where I would be if it wasn't for the fact of wanting to teach my daughter that if you work hard enough and try your best you are more likely to succeed. Today, what motivated me nearly 8 years ago, still motivates me today...except for now, that motivation has doubled, I have two beautiful daughters. My husband works full-time and we have been able to get by with me being a stay at home mom.

From the sheer drive and inspiration, that my children give me, last September, I started my own business called, Down Home Shirt Company". Soon, you will be able to see our advertised products in the Country Sampler Magazine and view our products online. (Our online store will soon be opening). Also, our online store will allow our customers to create their own shirts by choosing a design, a color and a collar. As our family-owned company grows, we hope to offer all kinds of shirts at "down home" prices. Because we know first hand, what its like to have to push aside those things you want for the things you need, we will offer quality shirts at affordable prices.

You know, my daughter doesn't remember when we had to buy food with foodstamps or when I had to say no to that toy she wanted but she remembers that mom worked hard to accomplish her dreams and if she did it, I can too....Now, isn't that what it is all about....being a good role model for your child(ren)?

Tammy Jennings, Mom
Down Home Shirt Company"

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