Posts Tagged ‘cottage industry’

Sharing family friendly films at the fall festival

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010


Even though it was near 80 degrees, it was undeniable: autumn had arrived.  This is fortunate, because Saturday was the 28th annual Craig County Fall Festival in New Castle, Virginia.  It's always nice to have the aroma of fall in the air when the Fall Festival arrives.

Craig County Fall Festival, New Castle VA

My family and I enjoyed a glorious warm fall day on Saturday at the festival. We were one of many vendors that set up a booth and interacted with our neighbors and community in this quaint little town tucked in a valley in the Virginia Highlands. We had the opportunity to meet some of our neighbors in the area, which is one of the most important reasons that we come to these events, and even got to meet some wonderful people that were visiting from out of state, which is great, because they can spread the word about what Freedom Film Distributors is doing in a completely different area.

The festival had live music, including performances by a popular (and very good) local bluegrass band, and there was funnel cakes and other tasty treats to be had as well. Local vendors sold all sorts of great items, from locally farmed produce to homemade health and beauty products.  Since the election is coming up, the candidates all had booths and were meeting and talking to the voters.  It was a wonderful piece of Americana that many do not get to experience much anymore.  We are fortunate to live in a rural community where this is the norm and life has been like this for decades.

We're looking forward to our Distributors and Movie Night Hosts contributing to this kind of community interaction in growing frequency in the future.  Sign up to get our email news and updates, and Like our Facebook page to keep in touch with us.

Family Industry and Virginia Agriculture

Thursday, August 19th, 2010
Matyas family at Newport Ag Fair for Freedom Film Distributors
This past weekend I took my family to our local town's 75th annual Newport Agricultural Fair (the oldest in Virginia) and we set up a booth to sell our products and meet and greet our neighbors. While it was primarily a booth for Freedom Film Distributors, we also took the opportunity to support some friends of our that also have home businesses. So next to the large selection of DVDs that make up the Freedom Film Distributors catalog, we set up a display of the Goat Milk Soap made by our friends Jim and PJ Jonas in Indiana, and a display of the Slickepott All Natural Chocolate Fudge Sauce made by my friend Ian Lamont in upstate New York.
We had a great response to the Freedom Film Distributors presence and collection of video resources, and it was a great opportunity to meet other families that are interested in God-honoring and family-edifying films. I was even blessed by the visit of a young lady named Billie Huskey who is a quadriplegic after a severe auto accident 5 or 6 years ago. For someone who had to learn how to talk again, it was a beautiful experience to see her bubbly personality and positive outlook on life that comes from her faith, and to learn how she is impacting other peoples lives as a physical therapist (yes, the licensed professional kind) and a motivational speaker.
Jason with Billie Huskey
Most importantly, we used this opportunity to train our children about the importance of hard work, attention to detail, industry, and the selling skills of communication and friendliness. My two daughters, age 6 and 4, made over two dozen beaded necklaces and bracelets during the week before the Fair that we set up on a display outside of our booth. My oldest daughter Lydia is naturally outgoing, and she would go from handing out samples of goat milk soap to asking people if they wanted to see her collection of home made jewelry. She was even consistent in closing each engagement with "would you like to buy one?" When faced with the engaging personality of this bright-eyed six year old, most were fully ready to make a purchase as soon as she asked.
Lydia selling jewelry at Newport Ag Fair
In all, this was a great opportunity to meet many of our neighbors in our valley and the surrounding areas, and talk about family business and family films. It is encouraging to know that this kind of community engagement has been happening all over the nation with our existing distributors, and will continue to grow in frequency and impact in the months and years to come.  
If this report is encouraging to you, would you consider joining us as a distributor or movie night host, or spreading the word to friends and family about the opportunity we provide? Thanks, and we hope to see you next year at the Fair.

The Hillmans on the Road Again – All the way in PA

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Alan and Shelley Hillman have been busy lately.  Very busy.  After having a productive and busy weekend at the Massachusetts HOPE convention two weeks ago, they traveled last week all the way from Maine to Pennsylvania to attend the CHAP homeschool convention, one of the largest in the nation.  (It seems we don't yet have any distributors in PA willing to go sell lots of our products to eager buyers at a place like CHAP – if you or someone you know in PA might be interested in Joining Us, read more about Becoming a Distributor.)  They had a special treat while there, meeting up with our Director of Distributor Support, Scott Eash, pictured below.

Scott Eash visiting Hillmans booth at CHAP

The Hillmans don't do anything small, it seems.  They have a strong desire to establish an atmosphere, even as a vendor at a large convention, where people can relax and enjoy fellowship while browsing their Honeysuckle Farms product library (and it literally looks like a library).  They have had many wonderful opportunities to talk to and even minister to people by related the stories from the films in the Freedom Film Distributors catalog, as well as from their own journey of faith.

Hillmans booth at CHAP

Of course, to get such a wonderful vendor display set up requires a hefty logistics effort, which Alan deftly handled with his two red monsters.

Hillmans loaded for roadtrip to CHAP

HOPE in Massachusetts with the Hillmans

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

This past weekend was the MassHOPE homeschooling convention in Massachusetts, and was attended by our distributor in Maine, Alan Hillman and family.  They had a wonderful time of working together as a family and talking with convention attendees about the films from the Freedom Film Distributors catalog.

Hillman daughters helping their family business


The Hillman family at their booth at HOPE convention

After a successful convention weekend, the Hillmans are excited about upcoming events they have planned to promote the FFD catalog of films in their area.  We look forward to more great news from the Hillman family and their home-based Honeysuckle Farms business.

The Winton boys are Champions

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Cody playing banjo with Jesse on guitar

We’re excited to announce that The Wintons, our distributors in the northern California area, have added some additional honors to their growing list of accomplishments.  Jesse and Cody Winton competed in the California State Old-Time Fiddle & Picking Championships this past weekend, which is held annually in Oroville, CA, and they each won their divisions on mandolin and banjo, respectively, in this very lively musical competition.

Cody champion with other winners

Father Randy Winton reports:

“Jesse won the Jr. Division last year on mandolin, so he competed in the Open Division (all ages allowed to enter;  is generally comprised of adults and prior winners no longer able to compete in their age divisions due to multiple prior wins) and won this year.  Cody competed in the Jr. Division (12-17) and won on banjo.  The picking championships are all three instruments, banjo, mandolin and guitar, competing against one another for the top prize.  Each contestant plays two songs, one slow and one fast tune.  They are judged by a panel in multiple areas using a point system;  tuning, timing, tone and difficulty.  Jesse played “Over Cincinnatti” and “1 Corinthians 1:18.”  Cody played “Cotton-Eyed Joe” and “Reuben.”   They chose not to compete on fiddle this year.  They each received medals as well as a cash prize.  They would love to compete at the National Picking Championships held annually at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas in September.  Lord willing, we would love to send them if the Lord provides the funds.”

Jesse playing mandolin

What is more amazing than the fact that the two brothers are both champions in their respective instruments, and that Jesse competed against the adults this year, is that Jesse had an accident playing sports last week and fell very hard on his wrist.  Though he did not wear it while playing, you can see the brace and sling he is wearing in the picture of the winners together below.  His God-given skill is even more evident in light of these circumstances – that he had to play through injury and pain – and yet still came out on top.

Jesse champion with other winners

More impressive than their display of skill is the fact that these young men are working together with their father to provide for their family through their bluegrass band and their promotion of God-honoring films through Freedom Film Distributors, and are ministering to people all across the west coast in the process.  The Wintons are a wonderful picture of Christian family life – a demonstration of family culture that we hope continues to spread across the nation and the world.

A Good Report from the Maine Homeschool Convention

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Alan Hillman provided a report late Saturday of great success at the first homeschool convention of the year – the Homeschoolers of Maine Convention held Friday and Saturday in Rockport, Maine.  While there was success in terms of product sales, even greater was the opportunity realized to fellowship with and minister to homeschool families through the Hillman family’s experience and by offering the life-changing films in the Freedom Film Distributors catalog.  The Hillman family’s vision to do business as a family was on display, as their children helped them work their booth, including writing receipts for customers and making change, in addition to offering the products that their children make at home for their Honeysuckle Farms business.  Their children were able to interact with other children of attendees and exhibitors, and the picture of a family working together proved to be powerful.

Grace Hillman at Maine homeshool convention with Freedom Film Distributors

Alan reports: “Our daughter Abigail had also made some dolls called “His World Dolls” and each one has children that are from a different country.  On our website she puts the family name, nationality, a little about their country, and the favorite family bible verse for that family. She sold three sets of those and thats a double blessing, actually triple:  we are blessed to see other girls happy to play with innocent godly dolls (one little girl paid with her own money), our girls were blessed, and the final blessing comes from the fact that Abigail donates 10% to Operation Nehemiah Missions to the Sudan!”

The Hillmans created a wonderful booth display, including items related to the films they were offering to present a more tangible understanding of the content.  This use of candles made by the West Ladies featured in the Homestead Blessings DVD series is one good example.

HSB Candles at Freedom Film Distributors convention booth

Interest was so great in their booth that they found themselves being flooded with shoppers even after many other vendors had closed their booths.  Alan told us that “Shelley and I were both talking and ministering to separate people and all of a sudden we had 4-5 people looking at DVDs.  The woman in the pink (pictured below) had walked a friend over and was going through each Homestead Blessing DVD and was explaining it to her what each one was about in detail.  The other people there listened intently” and this customer’s sharing of her experience with the films led to her friend making a purchase before leaving.  When your customers make the sale for you, you’re in good shape!

Hillman booth at Maine homeschool convention - customer makes a sale

We are excited to see other distributors engage with the public at upcoming conferences and other events, so be sure to stay tuned for more updates.  If you are inspired by the Hillman family’s example and are interested in getting involved, see the Join Us section of our website.

The sun rises on the 2010 Convention season

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Sunrise in Rockport, Maine

Distributor Alan Hillman and family sent this picture this morning of the sunrise in Rockport, Maine, where they are attending the first homeschool convention of the year – the 2010 Homeschoolers of Maine (HOME) Convention.  In addition to representing Freedom Film Distributors, the Hillman family is exhibiting other resources and their homemade goods produced as a part of their Honeysuckle Farms family business.  Alan shared this picture of their booth with their products displayed and we think they did a great job!

Hillman family Freedom Film Distributors at Maine homeschool convention

The Hillmans are offering a 15% off discount coupon to anyone attending the convention – just go to their event page on EventBrite, click Register and fill out the form to print your coupon.  Be sure to let your friends that are attending know!

We’re looking forward to getting a report on how the convention goes and are eager to hear of the response to the Freedom Film Distributors purpose and product line.  If you are interested in getting involved with us, or know somehow who might, visit the Join Us section of the Freedom Film Distributors website.

The Hillmans – A Founding Distributor Family

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Get pic from Alan, post blog on Hillman family

Alan and Shelley Hillman recently joined Freedom Film Distributors as our first distributors in Maine.  As the owner of a wireless phone retail franchise, Alan is no stranger to entrepreneurship.  Alan defines honor as “Truthfulness, Living with INTEGRITY to Honor God and His Word. Giving of ourselves fully to represent God and His love.”  He brings this high standard of conduct to all his endeavors, and becoming a distributor is just one of many.

Alan Hillman told us, “God is leading our hearts to a family business model. We have been praying for years for an outlet for this. We own a retail franchise now but are excited about the next step.  The back of my business cards reads ‘The primary barometer for the success of a man can be determined by the contentment of his wife and the character of his children.’”

The Hillmans have started a family enterprise called Honeysuckle Farms to promote handcrafted products like dresses and handmade dolls.  The Freedom Film Distributors catalog of films seems to fit nicely with the Honeysuckle business.  The Hillmans are very excited about taking the family business on the road to various homeschool conferences.

Be sure to visit the Honeysuckle Farms website and their Facebook page. Stay tuned for progress reports from the Hillman family!