I’ve been in love with Tiny Saints from the very first moment I laid eyes on their precious “Little Flower” charm last Spring — since then, this family apostolate has grown by leaps and bounds. Today, founder Joe Klinker steps in for an interview and is giving our readers the chance to win a fantastic prize package. And even if you’re not our lucky winner, you win with a 10% discount – use CATHOLICMOM10 at checkout when you order to save! And with Tiny Saints, shipping is always FREE.
One lucky winner will be selected randomly to win our Tiny Saints prize package with one of each of the below products:
- Bracelet (choose between Popular Saints or Saints for Girls)
- Rosary (choose between Colorful or Black)
- Paracord Necklace
- Pope Francis Charm
- Mary, Blessed Mother Charm
- Tiny Saints charm of your choice
Q: Please briefly introduce yourself and your family to our readers.
I’m Joe Klinker, the founder and owner of Tiny Saints. My beautiful wife Colleen and I live outside Boston with our three little ones (Gracie, JT, and Noelle) and I’m a full-time Coast Guard lieutenant. When our kids are in bed and the house is clean, Colleen and I sit down each night to watch some HGTV and work on Tiny Saints; that’s the routine. And it’s only possible by the grace of God and the help of my brother Mark and his wife Megan. They work out of Virginia and keep the business side of things running!
Q: I know that Tiny Saints started as a family apostolate. What prompted you to start the business?
Tiny Saints started as something special for our kids, although the circumstances were a bit difficult. Our third child, Melody, was stillborn on her due date in October 2011. Although Melody is now such a beautiful and joyful part of our lives, we were devastated to say the least and we miss her every single day. Gracie and JT had a hard time understanding why her crib, clothes and toys needed to be put away and as a Christian, I didn’t want to shy away from telling them the truth about where Melody was: Heaven. If I showed them pictures of the saints (all of Melody’s friends in heaven) on the internet, the images were often a bit intimidating or uninteresting to a child. So I wanted to meet our kids where they were at. At first, Tiny Saints were just pictures we made together on the computer. The idea grew into a business and ministry a little down the road.
Q: What are some of your favorite products?
My favorite products are the charms. The rosaries and bracelets are awesome, but the charms are the heart of the company. I probably should have stuck with just 20 saints, but have enjoyed creating them so much that we’ll have all 54 available online this fall. It’s just such a fun process to learn about the saint, design them based on what I’ve learned, commission the mould, and eventually hold that charm in hand. My favorite charm is Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. I like to think it’s because of the role he played in my life as a young man, but it’s probably because he’s got a really cool pipe and hiking stick. I also love the St. Brigid charm and think it’s very pretty.
Q: How have you selected the saints you feature?
The first saint designed was St. Kateri, the “Lily of the Mohawks.” I did that because we felt like our daughter Gracie could best picture Melody with Kateri. Gracie loves the outdoors and nature, so who better to picture Melody with! So some of the saints were chosen for reasons like that (St. George with his shield and armor for our son, JT). Others were chosen simply because people love them (St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Francis of Assisi). Others, like Moses the Black and Edith Stein, are saints who many people may not have heard of but have just the most amazing stories.
Q: I see a tiny Pope Francis on your site and love him! What can children learn from carrying an item like this on their backpack or keychain?
Pope Francis made the cut for a couple reasons. The first is that all of us, through our baptism, are ALL members of the communion of saints! So it’s a perfect piece for starting that conversation. Second, Pope Francis asked us to pray for him – first thing he did. I’m in the military and when the boss “asks” you to do something, you do it!
Q: What are your hopes for Tiny Saints as a business and as a service to families?
I hope Tiny Saints the business can grow into something that demonstrates how hard work and use of our talents can lead to different types of success. Whether we remain a “just squeaking by” company or build into something more, I’ll leave that in God’s hands. He’s a lot smarter than I am! In the meantime, we’ll keep our focus on serving the people and families who might just give the saints a second look if they see a Tiny Saint.
Q: Are their any additional thoughts or comments you would like to share with our readers?
One of the most inspiring parts of this experience has been seeing the reaction of non-Catholic or folks who have fallen away from their faith. Whether a person is hardened, sad, hurt or just on a difficult path, sometimes all they need is the smallest spark of grace. I’d give a Tiny Saint to every one of those people if I could afford it. I’m yet to meet a person who didn’t smile after being given one. And once the gift is given, it’s nice knowing God can take it from there.
Order your Tiny Saints at www.ShopTinySaints.com use CATHOLICMOM10 at checkout when you order to save! And with Tiny Saints, shipping is always FREE.
To enter this contest, leave a comment below by midnight Pacific time on Sunday, September 1, 2013. One random winner will be selected to win our Tiny Saints prize package!
Update: Congratulations to our winner Mary (notified by email) and thank you to all who entered this contest! LMH