Lanterns Of Hope During Dark Times
It was early May, 2012 and life was going pretty well. I just finished my insane diet and lost 35 pounds after just 6 weeks! I felt great, was full of energy and excited for the upcoming summer. I happen to be a nearly lifelong actor and filmmaker and was in early pre-production on my next movie that I was super excited about. Then on one sunny spring morning, it all came to a shocking end.
My 23 year friendship with my best friend came to an erupt end when he revealed in a direct confession that he had betrayed me using nasty lies and deceit. Three years before this I got him a job working as my assistant in a warehouse where I worked for 8 years. He thanked me by setting wheels in motion to get me fired. Why? He was afraid of being laid off. I had much more to lose than he did. For one thing I had a mortgage to pay. He did not as his home was paid off and he had a standing job offer that he could take at any time. I did not. His plan eventually worked and 5 months later I was fired for no reason at all. He won and got my job while I lost big. I knew I had to make some changes and that’s what lead me here.
I wanted to work from home and for myself. I never wanted to work for another company again. I needed to be in control of my life and my income. I knew there had to be something out there. I remembered a small project I created a few years before this. I had converted a kerosene hurricane lantern into an electric table lamp for my home office. I loved it and I knew others would as well. I didn’t feel ebay was the best place to sell so I searched and that is when I discovered Etsy. I created my shop pretty quickly and began listing my new electric hurricane lanterns. In less than two weeks they began selling!
It took long hours and long days but was well worth it. Although my life did fall apart after losing my job and my house fell into foreclosure I was happy to be working for myself. It’s what kept me going. For the next five years my life was horrible and I pretty much lost everything including my home. I barely survived. To despite all that this the lantern business grew and grew. It has become a success story in itself and people from all over the world are lighting their spaces with these really beautiful lanterns.
As much as the lanterns have saved my life it was always my intention to eventually move onto to other things. Something more creative and more fun. Along the way I created new products featuring my art and photography. I even joined Fiverr.com soon after joining Etsy. My most popular gig was playing Santa Claus and creating custom videos for customers.
This web store is devoted exclusively to my products featuring my artistic and photographic designs. I am able to give customers a better experience and more clear choices then what they will find at Etsy. For now you can still find my lanterns in my ETSY shop but over time I hope to grow this shop into something far bigger and better.
Controlling my own destiny has been the best form of freedom I have ever experienced. I work for me and no longer need to depend on just a 9-5 job to survive. I am able to create products and designs from passion and care and then offer them to you. – Mike M Burke