Monday, February 9, 2015

Moms on Mondays - Amber from Dixie + Twine

 photo IMG_2712_zpsaff387e1.jpg

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

My name is Amber and my shop's name is Dixie + Twine, I am also on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram

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

I make super fun party decorations for the modern partier!!!!!

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

When I got married in 2011 I was trying to find more modern decorations but could still really only find super traditional ones.  I found it frustrating because I had an idea of what I wanted in my head but couldn't find it in stores.  I was married before Pinterest came to life, Instagram hadn't caught on yet and Etsy was still relatively new to the general public. I had to take matters into my own hands and design my decorations myself. My bridesmaids are still making me pay them back for all the assembling they had to do the night before the wedding!!!  A few months after the wedding I opened my Etsy Shop under the name Lollipops & Pussycats and my decorations caught on!  It will really fun having something that was all my own.  When I got pregnant in 2013 I had to abruptly shut down my shop because I had such bad carpel tunnel in both wrists.  I ended up not reopening until my daughter turned one.  When I did reopen, I changed the name to Dixie + Twine to sound more modern and grown up.

How long have you been in business?

Just over 3 years now. I opened in November 2011

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

My background is 100% travel and tourism.  At 18, I went to school in Vancouver, BC, Canada to be a travel agent.  I worked at Sears Travel for a year before deciding to move to Calgary, Alberta to be a flight attendant for an up and coming airline called Wesjet.  The small airline grew and grew and is now one of the top airlines in North America, and one of the best companies to work for.  I left this July, after 12 years, to stay home with my girl full time.

Tell us a little bit about your family:

I am married to a handsome devil named Mike.  I met him when I first moved to Calgary.  I didn't know anyone here, and I friend I made in my flight attendant training class invited me out to watch a hockey game at a local pub and meet some of his friends. Mike and I locked eyes almost instantly.  He had the BLUEST eyes!  I had just gotten out of a long relationship and wasnt looking to meet anyone new at that moment.  Mike felt differently and asked my friend if I would be interested.  After a year he finally wore me down! :)  I always say that had I known I'd be meeting my future husband and father of my child that night I would've dressed up a bit more!  Mike and I were married in July 2011 and welcomed Millie in July 2013. She is the best, and even though I found motherhood to be a steep learning curve in the beginning, I wouldn't change a thing!  We love her so much and she makes us laugh HARD everyday!  She's a tiny ham, a dare devil and a tender heart.  We all live together in Calgary.

How does this company help your family?  Or you?

This tiny company is my passion.  I started it just for fun, thinking maybe a few people would buy something but then it grew quickly and my decorations, especially my paper straws with flags, really caught on.  Its nice having something for yourself.  I deal mostly with brides, and I love feeling their excitement when we chat in emails and I help design something just for their day.  It's even better when they come back for their baby shower decorations!  I love seeing the pictures, knowing that was something I made in my house with my hands, and now it's off in this beautiful setting that's filled with such joy and love!  I recently just made gender reveal decorations that were also a surprise for not only the guests, but the mom and dad-to-be.  I had prearranged with the mom to be about what she wanted, decoration wise, but that her best friend would find out from the ulrasound tech and email me the gender. The tech, the friend and me were the only ones who knew what gender this baby was - that wasn't something I took lightly!  I stayed up late working on her decorations making sure they were just perfect for her reveal.  I bawled when she sent me the pictures from the reveal!!!!  THIS is why I love doing what I'm doing!

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

Never in a million did I think I'd be doing this!!! LOL. To this day I still don't consider myself to be a "creative" person. I have no idea why.  I think I just assumed I'd be flying until I was retirement age and that would be fine.  I always liked the idea of owning my own business, but never thought that would be an option.  Etsy really changed all that.  

Does anyone help you with your shop?

Nope it's just me . . . Mike will do the occasional post office run or help me decide of a design or color scheme. He's a good sport!

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

Its tough, especially when you add a very active 1 year old in there.  I usually get up early and do some work before Millie wakes up.  I also work after she goes to bed.  I have note pads all over the house where I jot down ideas that come to me for new products.  Mondays and Fridays are my 2 big days to get a ton of work done because Millie goes to daycare all day.  I also try to keep up with my social media accounts first thing in the morning and right before I go to bed.  I always think that sounds a bit silly but social media is incredibly important in drawing attention to your shop.  Sometimes it's a bit overwhelming keeping up with all the accounts.  {Oh mama, tell me about it!}

What do you love about this businesses?

I love all the friends I've made in the Etsy and Instagram community! I love that I get to work from home!  I love that I can work and play with my girl at the same time!  I love seeing wedding pictures with my products in them!  The list really goes on and on! 

What is the most challenging part of this business?

Hmmmm, most challenging . . . well for one, everything is all done via emails.  Sometimes email isn't the best when you are trying to deal with a problem. It's very difficult to get a tone across, or have a tone confused.  I also find that sometimes people can say mean things because they aren't standing right in front of you.  I try not to be overly sensitive, but sometimes my feelings get hurt.  This is a rare occurrence though.  99.9% of people I've worked with have been absolutely fantastic!  Also, trying to stay original . . . you never want to look like you've ripped someone's work off.  It's tough when you have so many ideas, but someone has the same idea and posts it before you.  I always try to be up front and message others to say, "Hey, I know you just posted this but I want to give you a heads up that I was planning on posting this next week too."  I just try to do my own thing.  I'm of the "I hope we all succeed" mind frame.  I click the "like" button on other people's work even though we may make the same things . . . there's always room for more friends!  If you are making awesome stuff I want to cheer you on! {This is awesome.  You are SO right.}

Where do you see your shop in the future? 

I'd like to see my shop grow and be busy enough that I need a helper.  I'd like to have some of my products be carried in stores.  And, ultimately, it would be the best to have my own store front!!! 

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

My favorite product is my paper straws with flags.  They look so cute and you can put anything on the flags. I've done sweet messages to very very dirty messages!!!! LOL!  {ha!}

Do you have any advice for future mom-entrepreneurs?

JUST DO IT!!!!!  Start small.  I have a mom friend who was bored at night so she watched YouTube videos to learn how to knit.  Friends liked the slippers she made so she started a shop and now she is so busy with orders she can barely keep up.  I started with 3 items and expanded from there.  I've honed my skills over the years, and I think my products get better and better.  I had absolutely no idea what I was doing when I started.  I learned as I went.  Figuring out shipping costs was probably the trickiest, but you learn.  Seriously, if you have a passion and can turn it into a business - just do it.  It's scary putting yourself out there, but it's also exhilarating!!!!  I want Millie to be proud of me, I want her to grow up and be inspired by me!
What are some of YOUR favorite shops/products, besides your own?

Thanks girl, this was so much fun to read and learn more about you!

Pin It

No comments:

Post a Comment