Monday, June 29, 2015

Moms on Mondays - Tawny from Arte Del Amor




This week I am so proud to feature a friend, Tawny, on Moms on Mondays!  She is a super talented painted with the cutest little boy (and another on the way!), you must check out her work!  Read her post below and then go shop!

She painted us a portrait of our dogs and I LOVE it!!


What is the name of your shop and how can we find you?  (Shop website, FB, Twitter, IG, etc.)

The name of my shop is called “Arte del Amor” (Art of Love) in Spanish. I mostly use my Facebook and Instagram to update my most recent projects. You can also email me for commission pieces at tawnygamboa@gmail.com.


Tell us about what you make/sell in your shop.

I am a custom artist and muralist who uses eco-friendly materials whenever possible, especially for children’s murals and nursery murals. My artwork ranges from realistic to abstract works of art. Typically my most popular commissioned pieces are pet portraits, family caricature style portraits and family tree murals. 




How/why did you start making these products and open this shop?

Art and painting has always been part of my life since a very young age, but not until after my brother passed away four years ago did I begin to question my way of living. I decided I needed to make a drastic change for the better or else be consumed by addiction and depression. I decided to regain my inner peace, move forward in the right direction and I used art as a positive healing tool and began painting to create beauty in my world which also brought joy to others as well. Soon after, I noticed I was being asked to paint for others and with such encouragement I decided I needed to turn my everyday hobby into a living. 

How long have you been in business?

I have been in “business” so to speak for a little over 3 years.

What is your background?

I have a BA in Psychology and minor is Spanish from Arizona State University. I plan to go back to receive my masters in Art Therapy in the hopes of opening up an Art Therapy center for individuals with intellectual disabilities and behavioral issues. 


Tell us a little bit about your family.

I am very blessed to say I am happily committed to my loving partner Blake and father to our two year old little boy named Leo Christopher, and we are expecting another little boy in late September. We enjoy traveling and exploring nature whenever we can! 


How does this company help your family?  Or you?

My business helps my family in a lot of ways such as providing basic needs of living and making sure we have a little extra once bills are paid so we can enjoy meaningful family outings together! 


Did you ever think you'd be doing this?  What did you think you'd be doing instead?

I never thought I would be doing what I love, which is a rarity these days. It wasn’t easy in the beginning to build a business but learning to believe in oneself and striving for success has ultimately made me persevere for the best. My business is not only for me but for the future of my children and family. Knowing I can provide and create beauty in what I do is empowering and I hope my children will learn that they too can make their dreams a reality through their dedication, faith and ability to believe in themselves. 

Does anyone help you with your shop?

I have a handful of family members and friends whom I owe a great deal of gratitude towards. My parents, my partner, family and friends have and continue to support and believe in me. They have made my crazy business schedule a lot easier, either by taking time out of their day to take care of my son while I work on murals and commission pieces or take photos of artwork for me and help with my website. My most recent mural consisting of 770 square feet of wall space wouldn't have been possible (especially being 25 weeks pregnant), without the help of two dear artist friends. 


How do you find time to run your shop and create products? 

Aside from running my own business, and attending to the needs of my two year old son, I also manage a BYOB art studio…I owe a great deal to my loving family who manage to help with anything possible. I am a night owl and I typically get most commission pieces done at night or when my son takes naps! 

What do you love about this businesses?

I love being able to create and do what I love. Painting for me is a form of therapy and when I can make a client happy with what I have created, I in return become happier. 

What is the most challenging part of this business?

I would say the hardest thing about this business is time management. It was way easier when I didn’t have a two year old and wasn't expecting another…Having to find a balance between work, family, health and sleep isn't easy. Needless to say I have to prioritize my time and sanity accordingly. 


Where do you see your shop in the future?

I hope to one day receive my masters in Art Therapy in the hopes of opening an art therapy center or an art studio/gallery where I can provide art therapy sessions for individuals with special needs as well as feature students’ artwork in the hopes that they too can become empowered through their creations. 


Tell us your favorite product or your most favorite thing you've created?

One of my most favorite art projects was commissioned by the City of Tempe. I painted a bright and bold impressionistic style portrait of Albert Einstein on a utility box in downtown Tempe. It was a proud moment for me, especially since I am a native from Tempe and went to ASU. 


Do you have any advice for future mom-entrepreneurs?

Following and believing in your dreams is possible. You must have faith in yourself and know that what you are doing is for the benefit of your family and yourself. When you can provide and do what you love for your family it is an empowering experience. A favorite quote of mine from Albert Einstein reminds me daily to believe in myself and my work… “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” 


What are some of YOUR favorite shops/products, besides your own?


I like to shop and support local businesses. Nova Sol Holistic Studio is created by an awesome mama, named Amy, who makes yummy organic and holistic body scrubs, body butters/creams/ointments, baby products etc. 
 
I try to use vegan products and kid safe products! This studio rocks! 

Thank you Tawny, so happy to have you!!  :)


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Monday, June 22, 2015

Moms on Mondays - Lindsey from Little Dude N' Dudette


Today on Moms on Mondays I am so happy to feature such a sweet mama, Lindsey from Little Dude N' Dudette!  I have been a long time admirer of hers and am so happy we finally connected and she got to contribute to this series, I just love her and her shop!  Check out her post below and then go shop!

She sent Lemon over this Hug Life shirt and it is just the cutest!


My shop is Little Dude n’ Dudette and I'm on Instagram as well.  We sell original, hip tees for kids and adults! 


 (Both images from instagram.com/littledudendudette.)
 
How/why did you start making these products and open this shop? 
 
After having my son April 2014 I realized, kids grow FAST! It seemed like every time I turned around he was growing out of another outfit. I would return to the stores only to find the same garment with the same sayings, the same dinosaurs, airplanes, boats, cars on EVERYTHING! Super unoriginal and just not my vibe. I have a wonderful friend who owns Good Fellas Merch in Arizona, and I reached out to her asking how hard it would be to see some of my ideas on a few shirts. Dude, Dudette, Hug Life, and MissFit were our original designs, and that's how we were born.  We've been in business since October 2014.


What is your background (college/career/etc.)? 
 
I am in banking! Weird right? I have been with the same company for 11 years! It's definitely something I love doing because I get to help people with one of their most valuable assets, their money. I have families that I started with out of college and I have seen them through weddings, first homes, new babies, new businesses, its super rewarding in that aspect.  {So cool!}

Tell us a little bit about your family. 
 
I have an incredible husband Casey, we have been together for 5 years, he is absolutely my soulmate. He is smart, caring, compassionate, funny, he’s a great cook (which is a great thing cause I am not!) and he’s a wonderful dad. I have a step-son named Blake, he’s 13 and wears a size 12 shoe, he’s giant! So talented and very smart, a really good kid, I am proud to call him my son. Then there's Porter, my little dude! 13 months old, 26 pounds, and the coolest kid I know. He has truly made me a better human in every way possible. That's us - we do everything together, hike, bike, explore, learn, it's pretty rad.
 
 
 
How does this company help your family?  
 
For me it allows me to be creative, being in banking I don’t really get to use that side of my brain. Random fact, I was a ballerina for 11 years and wanted to own a ballet studio, then I wound up in banking! So, it feels good to be able to do something creating and expressive. For my family, well it's getting me closer everyday to being able to stay home with my little dude, and that would be awesome. 
 

Did you ever think you'd be doing this?  What did you think you'd be doing instead? 
 
Never! I mean I have always loved fashion and clothes, who doesn’t? But I never thought I'd have the opportunity to do something like this. 

Does anyone help you with your shop? 
 
My husband does the books and shipping. He’s very disciplined with that stuff. It makes my life so much easier, he’s amazing.

How do you find time to run your shop and create products? 
 
It's HARD, I mean HARD! Working full time, having a new baby, being a new wife. But, when the baby goes down, I pour a glass of my favorite red wine, put on some classic rock and get to work.  {Love it!}

What do you love about this businesses? 
 
Seeing all these babes in my designs, I mean these parent's chose something I created, spent their hard earned money on it. That is such an honor, my heart swells two sizes each time I see that we are tagged in a photo.

What is the most challenging part of this business? 
 
“Will people like it” that races through my head daily, its nerve racking. 

Where do you see your shop in the future? 
 
I hope to just see forward progression, I hope to see more kids and families wearing our stuff loud and proud. I want to be a brand people put on and feel proud to be wearing.

Tell us your favorite product or your most favorite thing you've created? 
 
The signature collection Dude and Dudette, we have the design in the letters change each season so it really becomes a collectable because the are limited release.

Do you have any advice for future mom-entrepreneurs? 
 
Keep going! There are days where you will feel on top of the world, and days you feel invisible, often in the same week! Just know if you are proud of your work, and you are truly committed to making it something more than it was yesterday then you just keep pushing forward and being true to YOU and the brand you are creating. Get a vision and stick to it. 

What are some of YOUR favorite shops/products, besides your own? 
 
 Oh my gosh you can’t ask me that, there are way too many. Let me think of my son's wardrobe . . . Beanies from NoxxAZ, they are the perfect slouch and she’s super sweet.  Tops besides our own of course - Tribe Is Alive, I dig the vibe of that shop and all their garments, and Bri is a good friend of mine. Root Ave - Brittany and I started our shops at the same time and have gone through a lot of the same ups and downs, I respect her hustle and she has rad designs. He has a lot of Love Sick Threads, Salty Kids and Babes, and Babowears pants too. Little. for shoes is awesome, Kelly is such a sweetheart, she sent us his first pair of footies and the quality was amazing. Moccs By Robin is also a favorite, between the two of them we have a drawer full of shoes. I told you this was hard!

Thanks Lindsey, you are awesome, wishing you the best of luck with your shop!


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