“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
This is more than just the motto for Guy and Christina Perkins’ lemonade business, but the mindset Christina has in life. She is a thick-skinned, strong-willed woman who does not let anything in life get to her, not just because of her fierce determination, but because of her faith.
Three years ago, this all could have changed. Christina had a heart attack on May 13, 2019, but right off the bat she never let it define her. She wanted to keep herself motivated and she wanted to keep herself busy, even though she was told to take some time to rest.
“She wanted to start a lemonade stand,” Guy said. “She did not just bury herself in her hands. There was no woe is me, which is a unique trait in itself.”
Christina was not going to let her situation define her, so when she made T-shirts to wear at the lemonade stand, she added #notsour, which was the inspiration behind what has become more than just a hobby but a business Christina and Guy now operate together, Not Sour, LLC.
“She’s an inspiration,” her son Zach said. “She showed me what it’s like to overcome difficult situations. Her work ethic and straightforward attitude are just a small part of what makes her so inspirational to me.”
This determination to fight through life’s challenges didn’t start with her heart attack three years ago. Christina had medical issues with her kidneys when she was a teenager, which requires regular monitoring. She went back to school and worked full time after her kids all went back to school. In many ways, the small challenges she has dealt with in life has uniquely prepared her mindset to deal with the significant challenges that have come up.
Part of why nothing keeps her down is because of her faith and her trust in God, as she attributes her Christian values to all areas of her life.
“Faith played an integral role in the heart attack because it became not ‘look at what I went through’ but rather ‘see how God has carried me through,’” Guy said. “Romans 8:28 is a big part of who she is. God has taken her through some incredibly difficult circumstances, and to me she is very much like the Proverbs 31 woman; ‘She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household…Her children arise and call her blessed…Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’”
Christina knows firsthand that she can get through anything through her faith in God. Her husband leans on this same faith, but it is clear they lean on and support each other, which he says strengthens them to fight all of life’s challenges head on as a team.
Guy says close friends in Montana gave them advice for tough times… ”It’s you two and Jesus against the world.” Guy says his wife has always been there for him, and he knows that he can always rely on her.
“I tell her all the time that she is just a better person than I am,” Guy said. “I am a better person for being around her. Her kids are better because of her. Her friends. Her customers. She has an unbelievable capacity to love people and look at things from others’ perspectives. We are truly best friends.”
Whether it is Guy, her kids or her customers she is someone who makes an impact in the people around her because of her ability to care for people where they are at. She loves to be with her family, her friends and her customers, and customers keep coming back to do business with Christina because of her ability to make people feel like she is invested in them.
“She is respectful and kind when she talks to people, and she knows how to deal with less agreeable people,” her son Pete said.
The mantra “the customer is always right” is something that Christina lives by in a business sense, and it is one of the many reasons why she is such a successful businesswoman.
“She’s very lively, the kind of person to make you laugh and think in the same conversation,” Zach said.
“She knows who she is marketing to, who she is selling to, and she gets to know new and regular customers,” Pete added.
There is a sense of genuineness and authenticity when you have a conversation with Christina, and she is the type of business owner you want to get to know. She is also the type of friend you want to get to know because she is so thoughtful and caring.
Christina is also a great wife and mother whose family is constantly learning from. They all speak to not just learning life lessons from her in the past, but they make it clear they still learn from her every day. She is also always there for them, and they know she can always be counted on.
“She has spent her entire life literally, sacrificing herself for her family,” Guy said. “It has been said about her that she is ‘low maintenance.’ Getting her to spend any money on herself was almost impossible. She didn’t want to take away from something her kids or her husband could have. She is one of the most selfless people I know.”
Guy laughs and says Christina has made it a goal to become “some maintenance, but she is so selfless it can be hard for her sometimes to say ‘I want this,’ but she is getting better at it!” Speaking with their kids it became clear, they admire the relationship the two of them have.
“Her and Dad make each other better, care about each other and I bet each would say that the other is the rock that keeps them steady through thick and thin,” Pete said.
“John 3:18 says, ‘Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.’ I think they are good together because they love each other every day with actions and in truth,” Zach added.
Christina is the rock and the foundation of this family, and her business. Her daughter Bailey says it is because she has balance.
“What makes my mom a successful business woman is the same thing that makes her a great mother, wife and friend… her ability to deal with serious issues of life and incorporate fun.”
“When I think of what she means to me, I think of love, healing scraped hands and knees, good conversations, grace… most of what I learned about life I learned from her, and I still learn from her all the time.”
“I want her to know that her family recognizes her sacrifice, and her success and hardship she had to overcome to be where she is today, but she would be upset also if it wasn’t noted that her faith in God and leaning into Him during tough times is what allowed her to not just sacrifice, but also succeed and persevere. It isn’t only that she is a strong person, but she has her faith placed in a powerful God.” – Guy