Caroline (Burnham ’00) and Dr. Richard King (’99) knew that life would be an adventure, but the parents of seven — including current students Peter (CA’24) and Jason (CA’26) — never expected that theirs would be an adventure in e-commerce. Yet in late 2020, the couple purchased the Catholic Faith Store, which has since become their principal livelihood.
“Like many young kids, I graduated from TAC and said, ‘I’m done with school!’” laughs Dr. King. “I went to work for American Express for a few years — but then started to miss school.” This renewed desire for study coincided with the Kings’ discovery as young parents that the best treatment for colic in their babies was chiropractic. “I was working on prerequisites for medical school, but had never considered chiropractic school,” he says. “Since it worked so well, I thought, ‘Interesting. What is this?’”
Dr. King became a licensed chiropractor in 2010 and practiced full-time until pandemic restrictions made it difficult to keep his doors open. “Caroline and I looked around and thought that we should look into something that’s not as dependent on the whims of regulation,” he says. As Providence would have it, Mrs. King was working part-time at a small-business brokerage when she made an exciting discovery in the spring of 2020: an online Catholic bookstore that was up for sale.
Her discovery struck a chord. “I called my boss and said, ‘I need to buy this business!’” she recalls. Her employer concurred: As a convert to the Faith, he had a vision for what his business brokerage could be. “Catholics owning their own business allows them to control their destiny a little more and support the Church better,” explains Mrs. King.
Dr. King was no less taken by the idea. The couple contacted the sellers, two former computer programmers who had started the bookstore on the side. “They had built a retail website for a client that turned out so well, they made one of their own — selling Catholic stuff,” says Dr. King. “They wanted to sell it to a younger Catholic couple who would carry on the work not just as a business but as a ministry.” Evidently, God’s plans coincided with the sellers’. By September of 2020, the Kings took ownership — and they have not looked back.
“Running the Catholic Faith Store been a true blessing to our family,” says Mrs. King. But making the most of the blessing has required the couple to lean on skills they acquired while students at Thomas Aquinas College. “Being able to think outside of the box, being able to think creatively, use our brains, we’ve been able to jump into this online business and run it well,” says Mrs. King. “Those foundations in learning how to think and reason are so important, because e-commerce is an ever-shifting landscape,” adds Dr. King.
Reflecting on their journey from the chiropractic office and small-business brokerage to running the Catholic Faith Store, Mrs. King cannot help but see the multifaceted character of her and Dr. King’s Catholic liberal education on full display. “I tell my boys at TAC, ‘You have no idea where this education is going to take you!’”