by Sharon Furrate Bailey
Chip and Shelia Faust, owners of i-Catchers, offer wise ways to share the love of Christ with others in an authentic manner while at work. They are two people who have come to realize that though trials will come, there is One that supplies all their needs.
The source and cornerstone of their faith is Christ. They expressed that God’s ways are not our ways; His ways are higher than ours. Shelia commented, “God always has something better if one is open and patient. God’s checkbook is never empty.” The couple shared specific stories regarding their business that could have made them lose hope, but by reading the Bible they remained grounded by trusting His word and praying and believing in His faithfulness.
In addition to being entrepreneurs, Chip and Shelia have also been a big part of a growing ministry in Albany. Errol Faust, Chip’s brother, is the head pastor of Fountain of Life Church (featured in the January 2016 issue of Baton Rouge Christian Life Magazine). The ministry began by focusing on those who need recovery and has since grown into an active church with many program options. In ten years more than 40,000 people’s lives have been touched through Fountain of Life. By witnessing firsthand the growth of his brother’s ministry, Chip and Shelia have seen how if you are obedient to what God is calling you to do, He is faithful to see it to completion.
Since i-Catchers recently celebrated its 25th business anniversary, there is a great deal for businesspeople to enjoy and learn from Chip and Shelia’s experience.
Chip and Shelia Faust share what they hope to be to others—Vessels:
Q: Having been in business for twenty-five years, what are some of the ways you go about sharing God’s faithfulness with others?
A: Chip: Having been a hairdresser for many years, it is my belief that hairdressers are naturally giving people. Therefore it is important to pray, watch and listen.
With each person, there is a bigger purpose outside of myself if I focus and truly listen to what they are sharing. Recently, I was reminded by a particular client that the true service I am providing is broader than making a person look better. One of my clients got out of the chair and commented, “Wow, I just feel so much better.” Each day I am touching people’s hair, but most importantly, the opportunity is there to touch them emotionally. I am given a chance to touch their hearts by sharing my faith and listening.
A: Shelia: We are merely vessels used by God. God directs the vessel if one listens. I’ve had to learn this the hard way, but I understand the importance of letting God lead the way. As a business owner, personal and professional issues may surface with staff, but it is our shared policy that our door is always open.
Our employees know that we are there to listen. He or she may come to us to discuss anything and it remains confidential. We do not want to ignore issues, but rather help. We want them to feel that i-Catchers is a safe place, a sort of refuge away from home since a lot of time is spent at work.
Chip returned from a seminar recently and heard a startling statistic. According to Gallop, 30 percent of people are enthusiastic and happy in the workplace. Since most people are not satisfied at work, it’s all the more reason to keep i-Catchers a place where people find peace and joy. Our hope is to remain authentic and vulnerable so our employees know we are approachable and understanding. We all have difficulties, but we hope to influence our staff by walking in our faith.
Q: What particular challenge have you faced in business and how was it resolved?
A: Shelia: The first seven years of working with Chip as his business partner were difficult. There were times that worry crept in regarding meeting payroll. I remember the first time I truly felt God’s miracle working power. We needed between, $30,000-32,000 to meet payroll and the money was not there. We literally had one day to figure out how to solve this issue.
I remember sitting on the edge of our bed praying. The answer arrived the next day. A local business purchased $29,000 worth of gift certificates. They were starting a new program and needed gift certificates! This purchase helped meet payroll. I will never forget God’s provision. As I often say, God’s checkbook is never empty. I think Chip would agree that this also helped strengthen his faith. We both know God is the boss of our business.
Q: As business partners and mates, what makes your relationship work?
A: Chip and Shelia: We pray each morning prior to work. We also take separate cars to work, which gives each of us time to be with our own “thoughts” without distraction. Though we spend time together praying and seeking God, it is important to seek Him on our own as well.
A: Chip: i-Catchers is a family-oriented place and that extends not only to those we serve, but also to our staff. If one stylist gets sick and there are 15 people on the books, then we will figure out how to accommodate those 15 people. Also, if one of our stylists would like a day off to see their child play soccer, if planned in advance, I want that stylist to go to their child’s game.
Q: What plans do you have as salon owners for 2016?
A: Chip and Shelia: We want to change somebody’s world in 2016! We want to give back. For example we tossed around some ideas in a recent staff meeting. We may want to give to a person that needs a scholarship to attend beauty school. We may give to someone who has a major medical need and needs financial support. We have not decided exactly how, but we will help someone this year by giving. We want to put our love for others into action.
These two unique individuals have a thirst for God and want to let others know of His love and provision. Chip commented, “I am available, this is who I am,” an excellent reminder to make room for people.
Vessels . . . we are mere vessels, but God can use us if we listen and let Him lead.