After working hand-in-hand with the Amish for over 17 years, I can wholeheartedly state that their simple yet rewarding lifestyle never ceases to fascinate me. Their ability to survive and thrive in the modern world, while shying away from modern conveniences, is truly remarkable.
Having worked with every order of the Amish communities in both Ohio and Pennsylvania, I’ve driven down countless back country roads, following buggy tracks to a farm or a shop of some kind. No matter where the road took me, what I found at the end was invariably the same: a trade-oriented community that places high value on family, morals and hard work, while continually sustaining the uniqueness of its culture.
Whether it’s a skilled tradesman in a wood shop or a farmer working the land, each Amish businessperson I’ve come in contact with appears to somehow integrate all the elements of their principled lifestyle into their enterprise. Over the years, I’ve become enamored with the notion that the world would be a much better place if there were more people like the Amish. In fact, I’ve often said so on countless occasions, especially after closely observing their exemplary traditions.
Respect goes both ways in the Amish community. As I attempted to forge business relationships with them, I quickly learned that one cannot do business with the Amish for the simple sake of receiving a sale. Instead, one must do business with them so as to give to their community, and that involves becoming a part of it.
The Amish are a close-knit people, and a fast-talking, slick salesman will not thrive in one of their communities. On the other hand, a compassionate salesman who takes the time to learn about the community he frequents, as well as the people in it, will develop prosperous, lasting relationships.
In the 17 plus years I’ve spent getting to know the Amish, I’ve bought and sold in their communities, not just as a salesman, but also as a friend. I’ve involved them in various personal projects, including the construction of an addition and a roof on my house, as well as the building of my custom furniture. This close involvement means a lot to the Amish, who have come to respect me for who I am.
They’re greatly appreciative when a friend of mine walks into one of their wood shops, after telling the owner that I sent them, and purchases one of their timeless pieces of elegant, Amish-hand-crafted furniture. They’re also delighted when a contractor in their community is asked to put a roof on the house of a friend of mine.
Through the years, I’ve come to admire much about the Amish and their remarkable approach to life. I will definitely be sharing more about these honorable, upstanding people in the coming months. The strong bonds I’ve forged with them are built on trust and integrity above all else, and this is highly important to me, as well as to Amish Crafted Furniture