This week on Moms on Mondays I am featuring Kerrin from Bambino Banner Manor. She makes the cutest banners and sent Lemon one that said Lady Lemon with lemon cut-outs - of course we hung it around her teepee! This mama unexpectedly ended up doing something she loves and I know you'll love it too, read her post and then go shop! :)
What is the name of your shop and how can we find you?
My shop is Bambino Banner Manor and my shop is on Facebook (Etsy shop coming soon!).
Tell us about what you make/sell in your shop.
I make banners for all different types of special occasions. My biggest client has been for nursery decor and first birthdays, but I'm definitely not limited to that.
How/why did you start making these products and open this shop?
This all started when boyfriend made a career switch. It was great, everything was more consistent; the pay, the hours. But I had to quit my job because it all happened over night. We had our first back in August, and he'll be a year on the 2nd! And in order to keep money rolling in on my end and keep my sanity with my new stay-at-home-mom job, I felt like I needed to let my creativity take me in a new direction.
How long have you been in business?
I've been in business since November of 2013, so about 8 months now - and all but one order has been through Facebook and word of mouth (which I think is excellent, I love the support from my friends and family)!
What is your background?
I graduated from West Chester University in PA with a BS in Exercise Science and I've been a Personal Trainer since, but my passion is in athletics.
Tell us a little bit about your family. How does this company help your family? Or you?
My family is made up of all dudes. Ryan is my boyfriend of 4 years. Kingston (King) is our almost 7 yr old Yorkie-poo and Nash is the newest addition, who is one. We love the outdoors! We are big on hiking, geocaching, family bike rides and we spend summers at the beach in NJ! Outdoor adventures are our go-to and we're always looking for something new. (Fingers crossed that it catches on with Nash!)
The business has helped me tremendously with wrapping my mind around being a SAHM. Granted, it's only temporary, but some days can be really difficult. Nash's naps are my time to unwind. I like to sit with my already twice heated coffee, throw on some tunes and get to work. I'm not a good napper now that he's here, so BBM (Bambino Banner Manor) is perfect for me!
Did you ever think you'd be doing this? What did you think you'd be doing instead?
I definitely never thought I'd have a small business. I took me a few months to even consider calling it that, but once orders started rolling in it was easy to begin appreciating it for what it was.
Nash was a bit of a surprise, the best kind, though. I really never thought I'd be here, now, at 27 with a one year old calling the shots. It's awesome, and tiring, and he keeps me grounded. I probably would've continued on in a career that I wasn't happy with. He snuck in and did the dirty work for me, I owe him one! I'm excited to see where our adventure takes us next.
Does anyone help you with your shop?
The shop is run entirely by me. I tend to be meticulous, in a quirky sort of way. Not so much with how the banners are made, but how little I get done if my work space isn't aesthetically pleasing. This way I have no one to blame but myself. Maybe quirky was the wrong word . . .
How do you find time to run your shop and create products?
Since my family isn't dependent on the income of BBM, I allow the shop to run itself.
What do you love about this businesses?
I love giving myself the opportunity to prove that I am ready to take on the challenge of motherhood while staying afloat. I think it's really important to make sure we, as mothers, don't lose ourselves (entirely) in our children. Having BBM has helped me believe in 'The Process.' Taking it one step at a time, figuring out my new skin then running with it. We really are superheroes. I've never been more impressed with myself as I've been these last 11 months. God speed to all the mama's out there making it happen!
What is the most challenging part of this business?
Quality and time. I promise my customers that 3-5 days from purchase date orders will be sent. No. Matter. What. I think that's important. Once they put their trust in me, I owe it to them to keep it that way. That means when Nash says no to naps and dinner has to be made and laundry has to be done and dishes are staring at me, laughing at me even, that I have to do my best work in the promised time no matter if the world is against me or not. I've found my balance. I take chores loosely these days. I give myself the work week to get done what I need, just like all the other working mama's out there.
Where do you see your shop in the future?
I see my shop being featured here and there in craft magazines, parenting magazines, stuff like that. I don't anticipate, or want, to be found by your average Joe. I want to be where only people seeking my work will be looking. A girl can dream!
Tell us your favorite product or your most favorite thing you've created?
Most of my banners are done using a die-cut machine but I've had a few requests that forced me to draw individual pieces. I can draw pretty well, I've always taken a liking to it. My sister is a teacher, so for her I made a complete custom banner with a globe, book worm, apple and pencil. I LOVED how it came out. The personal touches always make for better reactions and for that banner, that's definitely what I was going for. Pictures at the beginning of the email!
Do you have any advice for future mom-entrepreneurs?GO FOR IT! Taking the chance was all I needed. Once I put myself out there the rest fell into place. It's a grueling and gratifying process.
What are some of YOUR favorite shops/products, besides your own?
ChildHoods, Csera, Me and She by Megin Sherry, Kei Jewelry, Harlow Madge, Little Nugget Republic, The Red Lily Shop and Tot Mocs.
Thank you Kerrin!