Monday, August 31, 2015

Moms on Mondays - Jessica from Rad + Rue

This week I am so honored to feature a friend of ours, Jessica from Rad + Rue!  This mama is so awesome and works hard for her family.  I first met her when she chose Lemon to be a model in her brand shoot (Lemon's first brand shoot!) and when I met her I liked her, and loved her shop!  We see Jessica and her cutie son Harryson at model shoots every now and again, and I love that our paths have crossed so often.  Check out a photo from the Rad + Rue shoot, below and click here to see more!  Read her post below and then go shop!

What is the name of your shop and how can we find you? 

My shop's name is Rad + Rue! We are on Instagram and Facebook too. 

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

We create tee shirts and other original pieces, as well as carry unique wholesale items that are good quality and high fashion. Everything for your boho baby or your handsome hipster can be found in our shop! We also do accessories. :) 

How long have you been in business? 

Rad + Rue became a concept just over a year ago but I was really scared to pursue it! I started the shop and in 6 months we have gone from 300 followers to nearing 7k!! 

What is your background (college/career/etc.)?

I taught preschool for a long time and am nearing the end of my Early Childhood Education degree. I've also started courses in marketing and I did photography for 5 years before opening this little shop. It's been a dream of mine since I was in high school! 

Tell us a little bit about your family.  
How does this company help your family?  Or you? 

Truthfully I am the sole provider for our family. Between Rad + Rue and doing photography we rely on my income. The love of my life is currently a student, going back to school for his art degree. He's one of those people that can do everything, he even screen prints our tees! We have a 6-year-old little man who does some ️️brand reppin' and we just make it work. We live on love and I guess on Rad + Rue too!

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

You know, I didn't think I would have the guts. It's been said that I'm totally one of those people who undersells themselves. So, I always thought I would stick to what I knew, education.  While I love it, I am so so so happy to be doing what I believe is my true passion. If I weren't running my little shop, I think I would live on a farm! I want to be a farmer so badly! 

Does anyone help you with your shop?

I am truly lucky that Jesse helps screen print our tees and helps me ship products. But, I am the one who does inventory, and packaging, and all marketing/giveaways.

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

You know, it's a balance. I think for all of us mamas it's about just finding time. I drink a lot of Chai tea, I stay up late and wake up early. Sometimes my little dude writes thank you notes and helps mama out! It's something I love so much, I love seeing my customers names after a time or two and knowing exactly who is receiving the package, and how happy it will make them. I think when you are doing what you have passion for, it doesn't seem optional. It's tough at times, but always rewarding! (Doesn't that sound like the motto of parenting?!)

What do you love about this businesses?

 I love my customers, I love my ️️brand reps and enthusiasts. I truly believe that I have met the most inspiring and kind-hearted women through my shop. Plus, you get photos of adorable babies wearing your items! No one could hate that! 

What is the most challenging part of this business?
Going from a shop with 300 followers to one with nearing 7000 is a huge leap, and with it comes a learning curve. I find that my personal challenge is that I want everyone to be happy all of the time, it matters so much to me. And sometimes, as a business owner, you kind of have these moments where you realize . . . "I cannot make every person happy." It's been my biggest learning curve. 

Where do you see your shop in the future?

It's so funny to think about that, you know? I look at amazing shops I love and I see their growth and all of them say that they never envisioned their growth being so astounding. I think I try to be humble. I tell myself that I want Rad + Rue to be as great as it can be, but I'm not sure what that means for us just yet! I will say though that since the beginning, hitting 10k has seemed like my ultimate goal, even though it sounds so silly.

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

Our Jug Life shirt is something I'm currently so proud of. It was one of my first designs, and is supporting breastfeeding. I think one of the great things about kind of finding success is that it gives you a platform to speak out for others, to give others a voice. Breastfeeding is such an admirable thing, and it makes me happy that mamas seem to find so much joy in the tees! Also, we have another design coming out, and it'll be probably my new favorite. I can't reveal much yet! Stay tuned! 

Do you have any advice for future mom-entrepreneurs?

Do not give up. Some days you will probably cry. It'll feel like having a newborn baby, except without the cute rolls to stare at, and with a lot of people depending on you to care for the baby. But, don't give up! You absolutely CAN achieve your dreams, just tell yourself you will, and you WILL. Someone gave me that advice once, and while it may seem cheesy, it is seriously something I live by.

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

I have so many! I really love so many shops, but for now I would like to name some that I think may not be as heard of, and might be more up and coming. Freckled + Co is run by a great friend of mine who is seriously so talented, I don't even know how to explain how awesome she is! Along with Siena London. Her items are for girls and her shop is boho heaven. Here to There Garments and Wee Rascals (also featured here on Moms on Mondays) I feel are super unique, and the shop owners are insanely down to earth (one has a super beach feel, the other has the best Abe Lincoln tee ever). Neon Eaters has the best socks ever, they're on my son's back to school list! Creative Cliches and NBT Threads are amazing and make items for kids and mamas! Plus, they are so down to earth and friendly. Let me just do two more, this is so hard I have a never ending list! Fin First and Pretzel Pretzel Shop are both dear friends of mine and have adorable stuff; my son owns several items from each shop. There is so much talent around me! Finding new shops is my favorite hobby!

Thanks so much, Jessica, for being a part of this series! 

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Moms on Mondays - Leah from Lovey Lake

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This week I am so happy to feature Leah from Lovey Lake!  I found this mama through her amazing lounge shorts and love all of her pieces, including her super cute bloomers.  She is really talented and has contributed items to some of the brand shoots Lemon has been a part of and Lemon just loves wearing her stuff, everything is always comfy and really well made.  Check out her post below and then go shop!

(Lovey Lake lounge shorts, photos by Qiana K. Photography)
What is the name of your shop and how can we find you?
My shop is Lovey Lake and I'm also on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Tell us about what you make/sell in your shop.   
My main focus has been bloomers, skirts, ruffle dresses, jumper dresses, and recently I launched a line of lounge shorts and a lightweight lounge pant. In the fall/winter my primary items are flannel & linen bloomers and hoodie dresses. 

How/why did you start making these products and open this shop?  
After our son was born in 2010, and I decided to stay home with him, and I knew I needed a hobby. My mother in law gave me one of her extra sewing machines and that's when Lovey Lake started. 

How long have you been in business? 
I have been in business for almost 4 years.

What is your background (college/career/etc.)? 
Some college, self taught mother and seamstress. 

Tell us a little bit about your family. 
My husband and I met 7 years ago at a Kenny Chesney concert and we have been married for 5 years. He is a very generous/kind person as well as super hard worker and he currently attends medical school. He also worked in a cancer research lab this summer, which I think is pretty awesome! 
I have a 5 year old amazing little boy named Jett, who has the most loving heart. He will be starting kindergarten in the fall. I have a sassy "little mama" named Laiken, and she keeps us all laughing and on our toes. She is the Lake behind Lovey Lake. We are also expecting another little one in October and we are waiting to find out the sex but are really looking forward to adding another child to our family! 

How does this company help your family?   
This company helps my family in many ways! Being that my husband is a full time student, working isn't an option during the school year. Lovey Lake helps pays our bills during this time. We couldn't be happier with how far things have come, and I hope we can continue to balance and grow this family business together. 

Did you ever think you'd be doing this?   
No! I never imagined my little hobby would turn into this. When you first start, you strive for the customers and the sales, you keep pushing but you don't really know what you are getting yourself into, in a good way! I wouldn't change the time, work, and persistence over the years for anything. What did you think you'd be doing instead? Possibly a nurse?! I really don't know. Staying home with my kids was my priority. 

Does anyone help you with your shop? 
I do have one seamstress. She has been such a blessing! I was starting to drown and barely making the cut on my 2-3 week turn around time. Tired, grouchy and not at my best for my family.  She has definitely saved my sanity. We split the orders and I feel I have more freedom now; I'm not strapped to my sewing machine 24/7 and can give my family the love & attention they need/deserve. I definitely found more of a balance since having Nicole. I also have a "mothers helper" which is a 12 year old little girl, she comes twice a week to play with my kids for a few hours so I can work.

How do you find time to run your shop and create products? 
I used to work at nap time and at night, but now that my son is on summer break and my daughter has decided NOT to nap, I have my "mothers helper" assisting with the kids for a few hours of less interrupted work time during the day.  Then, I can also work at night. 

What do you love about this business? 
I love the interaction I have with customers. So many of my customers have been around from the beginning and are more than just customers, but now friends. I love the flexibility and options of being able to create what I want, when I want, while working for only myself. 

What is the most challenging part of this business? 
Balance & not feeling guilty for working when the kids are awake. Balance is key but hard! 

Where do you see your shop in the future? 
Steady, continued growth with a few more employees, and more wholesale accounts.

Tell us your favorite product or your most favorite thing you've created? 
I love the little lounge pants. I made the pattern myself, and after some trial and error I believe this pattern is pretty spot on for size. The fabric I chose is breathable and super light weight, my goal of them being a year round pant. Maybe a tie with my bloomers, I love having versatile products that can be bought a little big with room to grow, and can be worn for several seasons. 

Do you have any advice for future mom-entrepreneurs?  
Keep pushing! It's not easy and it doesn't happen over night, keep sending products out and never say no to any opportunity to get your name out there. Never say no to auctions, giveaways, collaborations, trades, or working with bloggers. These are all avenues to gain exposure.  {I agree!} 
What are some of YOUR favorite shops/products, besides your own? 
Oh wow, I have met sooooo many amazing women/shops on this journey, it's hard to name just a few. But, if I must . . . these ladies are all not only crazy talented, but so so kind and I highly recommend each and every one!  (All are listed as Instagram handles, just search them on IG.) 
For accessories:
For apparel: 
For shoes: 
For prints:

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