A family driven by design


MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Thursday, November 19th, 2020. 

Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. 

Good morning. I’m Myrna Brown.

MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: And I’m Megan Basham.

Families are part of God’s good creation, and by His plan, no two are alike.

WORLD senior correspondent Kim Henderson takes us now to Georgia to meet a family focused on design—God’s design for their family and a designer clothing line. Here’s the story.

AUDIO: [MAIL DELIVERY]

KIM HENDERSON, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: The mailman handing an envelope to Patrick Coppock may already have guessed it, but the modest house on Milstead? It’s a hotbed of productivity. 

AUDIO: [KITCHEN CLATTER]

It’s evident on the kitchen island in a pan of crusty scones made by the Coppock kids and at the school-slash-dining-slash-draft table where their mom is hard at work. 

JILL: So I’m sewing through some woven right here, and it’s a Christmas plaid. I envision dresses for my girls topped with a blue grosgrain sash. 

But Jill Coppock isn’t your average seamstress. She’s built an Etsy empire on pleats, piping, pinafores, and a pattern line called JillyAtlanta. She hosts an online sewing group with some 11 thousand members.

JILL: I grew up sewing with my mom. She taught me, and I love it. 

As a newlywed, Jill worked retail for Ann Taylor LOFT. There she learned to appreciate cut-above clothing with welt pockets and linings. She’d buy a garment, then take it apart to discover how to add those elements to her own designs. That attention to detail and stream-lined focus shows up today in her kids’ clothing designs and in the Coppocks’ family life.

JILL: I feel like nothing is more important than being together — staying together and celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary. The decisions that we make today are going to affect that… 

That’s why Patrick bypassed medical school and chose a career as a professor. He wanted to do something that would give him more time at home. And his time at home is purposeful. 

PATRICK: Our extra curricular activities have been simple, our homeschool curriculum we’ve inclined to keep simple. We have focused on keeping a simple house…

A simple house with only 1,000 square feet. With one bathroom. And one car. For all eight Coppocks. By choice.

PATRICK: I’m really disinclined to make a big deal out of having a small house, but I think it has been a blessing for us. 

AUDIO: [PIANO]

It’s a full house, but it’s orderly. Stacked bunks. Sliding cabinet storage. Zero clutter. Still, 8-year-old Olive has managed to misplace her history book. 

AUDIO: [BOOK HUNT]

JILL: We were told during graduate school, “Maybe you shouldn’t have these children. I mean, that’s going to add stress. That’s going to take money, time. You need to focus.” And it did. It took all that, but we can’t get these years back…

The Coppock homeschool has been a “both-parents-on-deck” effort, with good results. 

AUDIO: [SON TALKING MATH]

The two oldest sons were both accepted to U.S. military academies. 

PATRICK: At the beginning of their high school experience, we went to a couple of admissions websites and we just made a list of things to do. And we did those to the best of our ability.

Jill says they stuck to the essentials, and they prayed something specific. 

JILL: Please open our eyes to see what we’re missing, we’re going to be missing things. We are missing things, and we just pray for God’s covering for those things.

For 10 years, the Coppock kids have worked together in an entrepreneurial enterprise—baked goods. They set up a stand at the corner of their property and work different shifts. They’re getting items ready to sell today.

OLIVE: Chocolate chip cookies, pound cake, brownies, and I think apple cider.
NAOMI: Yeah, apple cider.

Clearly, this is a family that enjoys working together. The kids help with JillyAtlanta, too, by packaging and mailing orders. The girls model for photo shoots, shop for fabric. Even dad, Patrick, the computational chemist, plays a part. He’s the one who got Jill to switch from garment production to pattern production.

JILL: I didn’t know computer programming. I didn’t know how to put it into AI, Adobe illustrator. I didn’t know how to do any of that. And Patrick said, “Jill, I can do that. We can do this together.” It just flipped from there.

AUDIO: [SEWING MACHINE]

It’s a mindset of sharing life together. If Jill is huddled up next to her serger and no kids are in sight, she starts calling their names. 

JILL TO KIDS: I’ll say, “Guys come in here. Play your legos,” or “Come in here and do your schoolwork,” don’t I? 

Growing up, Jill always thought she’d pursue a career outside her home. 

JILL: When I started having children, something changed and I was like, “Oh, my word, these are little people. They’re amazing. I want more. We should have more.” I can only touch a handful of people in a job. But when you are raising children, you can touch the world.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kim Henderson in Conyers, Georgia.


(Photo/Coppock Family)

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

Like this story?

To hear a lot more like it, subscribe to The World and Everything in It via iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or Pocket Casts.

iTunes

Free

Overcast

Free

Stitcher

Free

Pocket Casts

(Requires a fee)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.