Kelly Riney, a Nolan County native now living in Lubbock as a working stay-at-home mom, believes she is truly using her degree with her new job.
Kelly earned a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness, which she describes as a dual degree combining Agriculture and Applied Economics, plus Business Administration, at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. After she graduated, she worked at Tech in Institutional Advancement, working herself up to Donor Relations. There she learned she enjoyed working more closely with the public.
She eventually became assistant director and development officer at the Red Raider Club, which is the main fundraising arm of Texas Tech athletics.
Although she enjoyed her job, her hectic work schedule began taking its toll on her and her family. Plus, she was having childcare issues and paying $2,000 per month on childcare really cut into her income, along with other work-related expenses.
Her schedule began to include extra events, increasing her overtime more. Kelly said this began to diminish their quality of life. In addition, she said didn’t like not having more control over the influences her children were exposed to being in the care of others. “I resigned and came home to re-evaluate where I wanted my career to go and to take some time while the kids were young – to enjoy them and let them just stay at home as kids,” she said.
After some down time, she started her own home business and called it RustiChick. She carries John Deere toys and collectibles, as well as other die-cast metal collectible farm toys. In addition, she sells American West leather handbags and wallets, home décor, and other women’s accessories. Kelly also makes jewelry.
She sells her stuff online, has a booth at KK’s Craft, Gift and Antique Mall in Lubbock, and opens up a booth at different farm and trade shows in the area.
Kelly’s daily routine begins around 7 a.m. when she fixes breakfast for her family. During that time she will also get online and check her sales, including things she has on Ebay. She also packs items that need to be shipped in the morning and gets them to the mailbox for pickup before 12:30. Kelly also does her share of social networking online for her fun and for her business.
She lets her kids sleep in as long as they want since they are not in school yet. She enjoys being able to cook them whatever they want for breakfast since she is at home now.
Other work-related things she does throughout the day include taking stuff to her booth at KK’s in Lubbock and straightening out things there.
Her afternoons and evenings might include jewelry making, yardwork on her 2.5 acres while her kids play, house cleaning, ordering, and accounting. “I don’t have a super strict schedule. We really just go with the flow and do whatever needs done at the time,” Kelly says.
Although she enjoys working from home, Kelly says there are challenges. For example, she says it’s difficult to make her kids understand that she is actually working, and they need her attention when she is trying to work at times. She added that it’s also not easy convincing her husband that she did any work at home either, or even cleaned the house maybe three times because with kids, it’s tough keeping her home looking clean for long.
It’s also not been an easy adjustment for Kelly to completely focus on taking care of her family and her home when she has worked outside the home for years. She admits to not being a great cook and not enjoying “taking care of other people all the time.” However, she does it because she knows her family needs her to take care of them. “But some days it is the least glamorous and least acknowledged job – ever,” she adds.
The one thing she wished she had more of was time. She never feels like she has enough time to get everything that she wants to get done completed by the end of the day.
The benefits, though, make it all worth it. Kelly says she’s not stressed out all the time anymore. “And we all get along better for it,” she said. She also enjoys being the one to take care of her children the way she wants them taken care of and keeping them from being exposed to illnesses at daycare.
Other small but helpful benefits have been using less gas because the second car practically stays parked, and they got a discount on car insurance since the same vehicle is considered a “leisure” vehicle.
The big benefit is that she gets to spend more time with her family. “Before, I never really had to time to sit and enjoy my kids in the evenings after work, because it was supper, clean-up, prepare for the next day, and bed. That was it,” she said. “Now we’re free to relax more and not worry if something doesn’t get done that evening.”
Check out Kelly’s website at RustiChick.com where you can order from her unique collection of pretty and fun items with a country flare.