Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Lemon's Rad & Rue Photo Shoot

This past weekend, Lemon got to participate in Rad & Rue's photo shoot for their new collection, highlighting a number of small, online shops.  It was crazy, there were SO MANY KIDS, but she had fun and we got SUCH cute pictures from the shoot!  Thanks to Christie Captain for taking such cute pics!

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Moms on Mondays - Meggie & Annie from Sleeper Hero

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This week I am SO excited to feature Meggie and Annie from Sleeper Hero!  These mamas are a sister team who have come up with the greatest idea - a doll and book combo set that helps your kid transition from a crib to a toddler bed, and helps them stay in bed after the transition (you can also order the doll and book separately).  This is one of the BEST ideas and I just knew I wanted to try it out with Lemon to see how she liked it!

Since we have under a month left of school, I wanted to get Lemon ready to get out of her crib (yep, she's still in her crib because she's never tried to climb out!) and thought the best way to do it would be to get a couple of books about it, since she LOVES to read.  Before we started potty training we read tons of books about the "big girl potty" and I think it helped, so books about "big girl beds" I knew would be great too!  Sleeper Hero is one of those books (well, about being a "big boy" - but close enough!) and it comes with the Sleeper Hero doll - from in the book!

This girly girl wasn't too sure what to think about this super hero doll on Saturday night, when we opened the box, but she loved the book right away!  She is like me, has to warm up to things so I knew I would just have to keep him around and talk about him often so she started to really like him.  But, when she woke up the next morning, the first thing she asked for was her "astronaut doll with the two buttons."  She sat with him all morning (she named him "Hero the Astronaut"), and then at nap time she had me read the book to her - twice.  Twice!  She loves it and she totally gets the concept of the lights, she keeps asking me if she can see the red light and I keep telling her, you have to wait until you go night night tonight.  :)

I also ordered her a couple more books and a new night light so when we have a chance (Ian wants to wait until school is out) we will put her toddler rail on her bed and go for it.  I will report back so stay tuned, and how Hero the Astronaut helped in the process once it's official.  But, for now, she has carried him around everywhere this weekend and absolutely loves the book and illustrations.  These mamas are doing something amazing and I'm so happy that we get to be a part of it, before their product is in every store!  You've got to get your kiddo one of these books and dolls!


What is the name of your shop and how can we find you?  
The name of our shop is Sleeper Hero and we are also on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon.

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

We sell an amazing doll that helps children transition from a crib to a big kid bed SleeperHero!  SleeperHero is a super powered doll that comes with a storybook. This unique duo helps children (and parents) conquer their bedtime fears. The book is a story about a boy that struggles with staying in his bed at night. That is until he is introduced to a doll, SleeperHero. SleeperHero is a buddy that is there for him at night when he gets scared. Better yet, this doll has a special light on its chest that shines bright in the dark, wards off his imaginary bad guys AND teaches him when it is an okay time to get out of bed in the morning. His bright light changes from red to green. Red means “stay in bed" and green means “rise and shine." The color changes based off of the clock preferences a parent sets for their child's unique sleep schedule. With the help of his SleeperHero, the boy is able to stay in bed at night. And, when he learns to sleep better, everyone in the house sleeps better.

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

When my older son, Jack was 3 and transitioning into his big boy bed, we struggled nightly to get him to stay in his bed.  He would come down several times at night, asking for a drink, snack, another story, a snuggle.  You name it.  We tried laying with him and that would work until he fell asleep, but then he would wake throughout the night and come into our bed.  We tried night lights and other tricks to get him to stay in bed.  After one night of complete exhaustion, I wrote SleeperHero, a story about a boy (much like Jack) that was having similar struggles.  Some of the characters from the story were actually inspired by Jack.  (He had hippos that lived under his bed.)  The boy receives a gift from his father, a SleeperHero doll, that wards off scary things and helps him know the correct times for “sleep” and “wake” signaled by a color changing light on his chest from red (sleep) to green (wake).  
I kept the story to myself for a while and then decided to share it with my sister, Meggie.  She is a graphic designer and loved the story.  She illustrated the book and we worked on a prototype for our doll.  We spent many nights drinking wine and researching how to start a business and how to create a prototype.  We started our business, Purple Pancakes LLC.  (We stole my oldest daughter, Charlie’s, journal password to come up with the name for our business.)  From there, we picked out fabrics that we wanted for our doll and our mom sewed our first prototype.  We were lucky to find a local company to set us up with a manufacturer.  

How long have you been in business?

We started our business in March, 2013, but we did not actually receive our first shipment of SleeperHero packages until October, 2014.  So, we have been selling SleeperHero since last October.

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

Annie: I have a Bachelor’s Degree from The College of Mount Saint Joseph (here in Cincinnati) where I studied Elementary Education and Special Education.  I also have a Master’s Degree from Indiana Wesleyan in Education.  I taught for 8 years in the Cincinnati Public School District as an Intervention Specialist (Special Education).  After we had our second child, I decided to stay home and raise them (and a couple more)! {My husband is a Special Education teacher and I'm a HS English teacher, I love that your backgroud is in education!}

Meggie: I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and majored in Graphic Design. Most of my design experience has been in advertising, and I am currently a Senior Designer at DunnhumbyUSA in Cincinnati. At an early age, I aspired to one day illustrate a children's book. It's been all the more rewarding to carry out that dream (and then some) with my sister and friend.

Tell us a little bit about your family.

Annie: My husband and I met in high school and were good friends.  We reunited in college when he transferred from EKU to The College of Mount Saint Joseph.  We started dating then in college and married in 2005.  I am the luckiest girl to be married to my best friend.  He is an amazing father and he continues to make me laugh.  We had our beautiful daughter, Charlie in 2006, then came our sweet son, Jack in 2007.  We took a little hiatus on the kid thing for a couple of years and had our funny daughter, Alex in 2011 and rambunctious son, Will in 2012.  We enjoy being around family and friends that make us laugh.  Although four kids is overwhelming to say the least, we love our big family and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Meggie: My husband Dustin and I will celebrate our third wedding anniversary this May. He's the love of my life and the greatest dad to our little guy Bruce. Bruce is just over a year old and still in a crib, but he already loves snuggling and giving his SleeperHero kisses. 

How does this company help your family?  Or you?

Annie:  SleeperHero was literally a “dream come true."  It was a passion I had and didn’t really realize the power of it until I shared it with my sister, Meggie.  We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy task to start a business and make a product to share with the world.  We knew it would take a lot of time and a lot of money to make it all work.
Although we aren’t yet profitable, we find it most rewarding when our customers are finding success with their SleeperHero.  It means the world to us to know that our product is helping children and families overcome this tough transition.  Families have so much on their plates these days and without proper sleep, they can’t possibly tackle the upcoming day. 
Creating SleeperHero has also been a rewarding experience for us because we see our family and friends rally for us.  Our children are our biggest fans and like to help with shipments and they often tag along to events where we sell SleeperHero.  It has been really neat to show them that you can follow your dreams and work really hard for them to become a reality.   

What is the most challenging part of this business?
The most challenging part of our business is getting exposure for SleeperHero.  We need to spread the word about SleeperHero to get it in the hands of families in need.

Where do you see your shop in the future?
We’d like to see SleeperHero in retail stores all over the country.  We have hopes of creating a girl version of our SleeperHero {YES!}, but need to sell our inventory before we can make that dream become a reality.

Do you have any advice for future mom-entrepreneurs?

Follow your passions and surround yourself with a team of people to support you along the way.  You will have many ups and downs and times you want to throw in the towel.  If you build a great support team to pick the towel up for you when things get tough, you will have the courage to keep pushing.  My sister and I are a perfect team.  We fit like a puzzle when it comes to building our business.  

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

Little Hip Squeaks, Whirlybird Granola and Sweet Viola Designs.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

More Days of Note - 2 years

Again, these may be boring for you to read but I love documenting them here.  It's funny that the older our kids get, the less we keep track of or write down.  I guess we are just so busy?!  I am trying to remember as much as possible, though, that's why I keep these here.  I really have to make an effort now-a-days to even jot them down, but I'm so glad I do!

11.23.14          Said "Look at all the people," then "they are all friends" to a crowd of people in her book.  Said "that was close" after we did a ring around the rosey and fell down together.

11.30.14          Me:  "What is that?"  "That's a . . ."  Me:  How many are there?"  "There are . . ."  Amazing.

Favorite sayings that she says - "What's that?"  Then, she answers herself  "That is a . . , you know what that is."

12.2.14           Started saying "goodnight mommy" when I tuck her in, after I said "goodnight Lemon."  Hugs things, and us, and says "I love you" on her own.  Asks me to get in the crib with her, "Mommy get in" and tries to open mouth kiss me or lick me and we giggle the whole time, it's the best part of my day - cuddling in the crib with her.  Says "another blanket" and "too" for additional things.  Her vocabulary is totally amazing.

12.3.14           Said "be careful" tonight and yesterday.  When she farted she told Ian her "butt burped."  She scooted her naked booty on the floor and loved the sound it made, was cracking up, and proceeded to do it even though it drove me nuts.  She told me she had to go pee tonight "pee pee in the potty."  So awesome.

12.4.14           Took her bear this morning and turned to me, with a high voice, and said "Hi mommy, how you doing" like she was making the bear talk to me!  Yesterday she put her princess down on the couch, laid her down and tickled her.  So cute!

12.8.14           "What's wrong baby?"  "Nothing."  Yesterday we saw two babies in the same swing, twins, and Lemon said she wanted two Lemon's in her swing with her.  Then, she said there was only "1 Lemon" and "1 Mommy" and "1 Peepaw."  "Peepaw hold you?"  She asked for my dad to hold her yesterday, that's big!

12.16.14          Strings whole sentences together like "Hey that's my sock, give me that."  Answers questions that we ask her.

12.19.14           "Mommy, can I take a bath?"  "It's so beautiful" when things are beautiful or pretty.

12.23.14          "Where's the car, where'd it go?  There he is, I found him (or the car)."  Hurt her lip yesterday on a bucket at the zoo, milking a fake cow.  It was so sad.

12.25.14          I asked if she had a good Christmas and she said, "uh huh" and then I asked if she had fun opening presents and she said "uh huh" and then I asked which of her presents she liked the best and she said "Nani and Grandpa and Amanda" and then I told her she was my favorite present and kissed her.

She, just today, started answering me back instead of just repeating what I say and she will leave somewhere and then come home and talk about it, telling us about it.  She will always say that she had fun doing something.  She also told Ian today that Cyrus was mean to her, "Daddy, daddy Lemon you ok, you ok Lemon, Cyrus, Cyrus."  It was sad, he shot her with a nerf gun (her cousin).  I will not be able to handle it when kids are mean to her, I just won't it will be too sad.

12.28.14           Asks us to run her tummy and back.  She still talks about holding baby chicks from Halloween (agh!) and the bats from Jumanji that we mistakenly let her watch one day, weeks ago.

1.1.15               We all sledded down a hill today and she loved it, I did it with her and it was so much fun, I wish we had pictures or a video.  I want to remember it, her first time playing in the snow and her first time sledding was with her mama.  She loved the snow in Sedona, wanted us to pull over so she could play in it as soon as she saw it, and was up at 6:45am the next morning asking for her gloves/boots too.  She was a good sport, would play for an hour or so and then wanted to go in and get warm - me too.  I have wanted to wake up in snow for so long, it was so much fun!!  And, there was so much snow!

1.5.15              She said "best day ever."  She also pretended like her fork and spoon were friends, at dinner, and said "hey spoon, want to go to the park" like the fork was talking.  So crazy, this pretend play.

1.9.15              Started saying "too" like "Lemon go night night too."  When I tuck her in and climb in her crib, I rub her tummy and sing A Few of My Favorite Things and tonight she sang along with me and rubbed my tummy and sang it to me too.  It was the sweetest thing.

When I try to get out to go to bed too, she says "leave it in" and pushes my face down to stay and gets a pouty face when I get up to really go.  I steal so many kisses and cuddles in her crib, it's the best.  Will I always be able to cuddle her like this?

1.17.15            Went to drop Peepaw off and she said, "Um, so what are we going to do now?"  My mom asked her what she was doing over Skype and she said, "Just sitting on the couch watching a movie Nani."

1.19.15             "Look at my curly hair" to Selma on FaceTime.  How did she know she has curly hair?  She also knows she has blue eyes (like Cinderella) and mommy has green eyes and daddy has brown eyes.

1.20.15              If she can't find something then she finds it she says, "there he is."  It's so cute!  She's done it forever and it's one of my favorite things.  Even when her straw was in her cup and then I popped it out she said, "there he is!"  So funny.

Stayed with peepaw for the second time (first was when she was really little) today and did great!

1.27.15            Cutting the dogs gunk out of his eyes and Ian asks me if I have some little scissors.  Lemon says "I'll get the green scissors out of the play doh" and she does, totally play doh scissors that don't cut.  Ha.

1.30.15             Pretends that her feet and hands are talking to each other.  Makes them do voices (like 2 hands talking or 2 feet talking) and "run away" and moves them away from each other.  Does it with her feet while I'm rubbing them in bed.

Says "um" or "I don't know" or both together - so cute.

Calls me "mom" for a whole week, and Ian "dad" for half this week and then we called Nani on the phone and she started calling her "Nan."  She must have gotten it from a movie or book, before that it was "mama" from a book.

2.10.15             "Are you cutting my apple mommy?"  "Don't eat that Linus, that's mine."  Today she finally could tell me how old she was and when her birthday is, I got it on video!!  "Jew-why secend."

2.13.15             "Turn off (on) the light mama, it's dark in here."

2.15.15             "See all the water mama, Lemon likey to swim in the water.  Does mama like to swim in the water?"  "You going potty mama?  I went potty too in daddy's bathroom."  These sentences came out of nowhere, it's amazing!!

3.3.15                 Said "ewwww gross" when she saw me take out my bite guard in the morning after waking up.

Says "Jesus Christ!"  Said it for the first time when I was trying to take her romper off at Nani's house.  Lays in our bed with the covers, then sits up and says "Oh my god!"  Makes me do it too, I have no idea where it's from but it's funny!

3.17.15               New words like "though" and "first."  "Go home first, go to the beach though."  Love it also when she says "too" like "I love you too mama."  Love when she answers us when we ask how she's doing, "I doing good, how you mama?"  Or "I doing good too."  Such a sweet soul.

Cried the first night of our San Diego trip, was so overtired and out of her element.  She knew she wasn't home but thought she was going home to go to bed.  She said over and over she wanted to go to "Memon's house" and sleep in "Memon's bed."  She was so upset and I just held her and told her it would be ok.  What else can you do?

3.20.15               Said the word "hate" today.  "I hate robots."  Asked her what the name of a magnetic bunny was and she said "blue bunny" and I thought it was so cute, she has never given a name to anything herself before.

3.21.15           Did an evil laugh when my dad asked for some of her ice cream.  She said "no that's mine, muwhahahaaa."

I asked if she needed help climbing up the stairs and she said, "no thanks, I can do it myself."  Everything is "I do it myself" now-a-days.

Asked how I was and I said I was happy.  I asked how she was and she said she was mad and then I asked why and she said "I'm mad at mommy."  Then I asked why and she said "mommy makes you brush your teeth, go potty and go night night."  Ha.

Jonah was mad and she said "Jonah sad" and then said "Lemon happy" and signed happy.

4.3.15            Jonah spilled water from their tea party and she said, "Oh. My. God. Jonah."  It was so funny, we just cracked up!

4.20.15          "Mommy take a bath too.  Let's take a bath together."  Together!  Such a big concept!

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Moms on Mondays - Ashley from Bright Eyed Baby Shop

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This week I get to feature Ashley from Bright Eyed Baby Shop.  This mama's products make my teacher heart so happy, educational flashcards for your kids, featuring fun aspects of each state.  Such a great idea!  She sent Lemon a set of California ones (I long for Arizona!) and she loves them, she carried the grizzly bear card all around with her yesterday, even took him in the car.  I KNOW these will be a success, I can't wait to see what the future holds for this lovely lady and her cutie boy!  Read her post below and then GO SHOP!  :)


My shop is Bright Eyed Baby Shop and you can also find me on Instagram.

I sell State Inspired Chunky Flash Cards to teach kids all of the colorful and iconic words associated with their state!

We travel a lot as a family with our young son and every where we go I try and find him something cute, and unique that can also teach him about where we have been!  Surprisingly, there aren't too many things that fit into this category.  Plenty of onesies, magnets and stuffed animals . . . but nothing that we'd actually want to keep around and continue to use.

On one of our early trips with him to my home state of Colorado, when I couldn't find what I was looking for (and Google couldn't either!) I decided this was going to be my job to make.  Our country is so great, and from state to state, region to region the cultures vary drastically. Why not create something that can teach children all of the great vocabulary associated with each state? In turn, this can inspire our kids to travel, and spark their curiosity about new places and cultures from an early age.

I started developing the concept and designing the images in May 2014.  I found a fantastic illustrator, also a parent to a toddler, who helped me bring this vision to life.  I ran a Kickstarter in August 2014 to get the cards funded, so that I could send them to press . . and officially opened my doors in January 2015.  

I am entirely new to running a business, but have always known in my heart I am an entrepreneur.  I LOVED all things business, and any opportunity to make or sell anything all growing up.  After college I ended up pursuing Television Production, and have been working the last 10 years as a TV producer traveling all over the world making reality TV.  It was an incredible experience, but didn't make me tick the way running my own shop does!  I couldn't be happier with this new endeavor, and making TV has given me the confidence to just pick up the phone and if there's anything I don't know how to do... well just figure it out!

Last year I had my first baby, and since having him I have never felt more motivated or creative in all of my life.  He's my little kickstarter!!  

I design and work with my illustrator, Vaclav Bicha, to bring each image to life.  I then, have them manufactured, and run all sales and fulfillment from our home in Los Angeles. 

This concept came to me in the most organic of ways, and knowing that it's all to get kids excited about travel and other cultures . . . I couldn't be happier or more fulfilled doing it.

I don't know how I find time to run my shop and create products.  I'm getting by, there is certainly room for improvement.  I am looking for a more structured schedule, right now. I get so excited that I'm tempted to stop whatever I'm doing to run and write down and idea, or pull up a color selection, or revise and send notes.  In my opinion, that's not ideal.  I need to have designated work hours so I'm not neglecting other duties, like my #1 lil' main squeeze and his Daddy too, of course!!

I love creating something fun that I believe in, that allows me to stay home with my son - this is more than I could ask for. Seeing him, or my friend's children learn and play with these is pure satisfaction!  
The most challenging part of my business is not having enough hours in the day, and trying to fit it all in, AND doing it solo.  I think about this all the time and how am I going to grow this, and on my own.  For me right now that's the main hurdle right now.  I need a partner equally as passionate to help me grow this, I just can't do it alone.  So that's my focus right now is finding that right person.  Maybe someone reading along now is that person?

I see my cards in airport, museum and zoo gift shops all over! I think this is such a fun souvenir and gift for children, I just need to figure out a way to get them out there!  {YES!!!}

I plan to expand to all 50 US states, and grow to doing other countries around the world.  Oh there is so much about the world for our children to learn, I love it!

If your heart is telling you to do it.  DO it!  If you believe you will be your best self by creating something that fulfills you.  DO it!  There are so many moms out there willing to help and share their knowledge.  Just have realistic expectations with what you can actually manage on your own.  I struggle with this daily, and am still trying to figure out what my work schedule will be and how I can best balance it all.  I don't have that answer yet, but try me next year!

I love Alpine Baby Company!!  Not only does she make the most darling, nature loving wear for children,  but I recently had the opportunity to meet her in person (my first IG Mama friend in the flesh!) and she could not have been more inspiring and encouraging.  She had no reason to meet me, I was just a mom emailing her asking for advice, and she made time for me.  As pretty on the inside as she is on the out - and her products are just adorable.  She is my new mentor, I want to run my business just like hers!

Thanks Ashley, I wish your business all the best!  Such an awesome product for our littles!

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Mmmm! Episode 7: Sugar Cookies & Special Guest

This week, Lemon and Ian had a special guest on Cooking with Lemon - Nora!  Nora was in town with her mom, our good friend Tiff, so she came over and just happened to want to cook "pink" cookies, the same thing Lemon had already requested earlier that day (and they didn't actually come out pink at all)!

These two girls were HILARIOUS and Tiff and I just sat there and watched.  Usually I go in the other room and let Ian and Lemon do their thing, but this was just too good, we couldn't help but watch the shenanigans (you can hear us giggling a lot in the background).  The cookies weren't that great in the end (I don't even think Lemon ate a whole one), but it was worth it to have these two girls together making them.

Watch this one with your kids, they are guaranteed to laugh!  And, please like our YouTube channel after watching (by clicking on the YouTube icon at the bottom of the video to go to our channel page).  Enjoy!  :)

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Moms on Mondays - Lauren from Vivi's Jewels

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This week I am super excited to feature Lauren from Vivi's Jewels!  This mama is a full time teacher (like me!) and makes the CUTEST clothes, they are all really unique too, I just love them!  She sent Lemon a crop top for Crop Top Summer! so I will add a picture of her in it, as soon as she feels better (we are battling a cold at our house).  Check out Lauren's post below and then go shop, you MUST buy something, it's all soooo cute!

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

My shop is Vivi's Jewels and you can also and you can find me on Instagram and Facebook

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

Vivi's Jewels offers a variety of clothing for infants and children.  I make both boy's and girl's pieces, and many unisex pieces too. Some of my items are dresses, tops, pants, shorts, bloomers, etc. 

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

I began Vivi's Jewels when Vivien (my daughter) was about 6 months old.  I started making her some bows and headbands, as I was having trouble finding ones that I liked.  Our Instagram world of handmade shops hadn't quite taken off yet, so I didn't have many (or any) small, indie outlets to browse. From there, I moved on to customizing onesies with felt and fabric. If you scroll WAAAYYYYY down to the early days on my Instagram, you can still see my first pieces.  As I began selling more onesies, my super talented, crafty, and creative great aunts began to cheer me on.  My Aunt Sherry gave me her sewing machine and serger, my Aunt Darlette gave me MANY sewing lessons, my Aunt Barbara raided her attic and closets for all her vintage fabric, trim, and buttons, and my Mamaw did the same.  So, I was literally thrusted into the world of machine sewing.  I started with some bunting flags and other simple projects, then finally tried a dress.  Which turned out to be adorable, and super rewarding.  I was hooked. 

How long have you been in business?

I "opened" Vivi's Jewels during the summer of 2012, so almost three years ago. (Whoa!)

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

I attended the University of Arkansas, where I received a Bachelor's in History and a Master's in Teaching.  I am currently a full-time high-school history teacher and have been for 5 years.  {Shut up, I teach high school English!  You are only my second full time working mama that I've featured!  Fun!}

Tell us a little bit about your family.

I have been married to Justin for four years, and we dated for five years prior to that.  We have one three year-old daughter named Vivien Jule, and her namesake is Vivi's Jewels, of course.  We are planning/hoping to have another child . . . but not until we can afford two daycare payments.  I mean, it's outrageous.  {Girl, I hear ya!}  My husband works for UPS, so he can snag my incoming fabric orders and bring them home before they go out on the trucks. Woo! My parents are both creative and talented - my dad builds beautiful furniture, and my mom can do just about anything. Seriously.

How does this company help your family?  Or you?

This company literally helps to pay bills and put food on the table.  So, it is not only important financially, but also provides me with a creative outlet, hobby, and overall, something that is MINE.

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

I NEVER thought that I would be doing this in a million years.  I saw myself as a teacher until retirement, a reader, a wife, a mom- but not a crafter, and CERTAINLY not a small-business owner.  I will most likely continue to teach until retirement, but I'm glad I have something to take my mind off of teaching when it becomes extremely frustrating and overwhelming.  {So important!}

Does anyone help you with your shop?

Right now I have one seamstress helping me. Her name is Karen. She is the mother of a close high-school friend, and she has basically helped to raise Vivi, who attended Karen's in-home daycare until very recently. 

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

I think the better question for me is "How do I find time to run my shop, create new products, teach full-time, be a wife, and be a mom?"  And the answer is, "I have no freaking clue."  I don't really think my schedule right now is sustainable.  And honestly, thinking about it on a long-term basis makes me feel exhausted.  Maybe because I am exhausted, all the time.   I have found that I've basically given up television, and reading (although audio books are my best friend), and even hang-out time with friends.  But, I'm not quitting yet.  It's way too rewarding and there are so many benefits.  {You can do it!  Summer is coming!}

What do you love about this businesses?

I LOVE the ability to create! I love the feeling of a finished product that came from my own head and my own hands.  I love the opportunity to connect with other moms. As I've already mentioned, I love the fact that it is mine.  I get to make the decisions.  I get to be the boss (of myself really - and I do need to be bossed around a lot). I get to be the designer/creator.  

What is the most challenging part of this business?

Time. There is not enough of it. Hiring a seamstress has definitely helped, but I'm such a control freak that I still send up doing a lot of things I don't have time for. Another challenging part is negative feedback or a disagreement with a customer. It doesn't happen often, but when it does I can end up making myself sick. #chronicpeoplepleaserhere 

Where do you see your shop in the future?

I would love to continue growing, hire more seamstresses, and eventually get to the point of delegation and design. I get wholesale inquiries often, and I'd like to be able to fulfill those requests as well.  I would love to be represented in local boutiques in my area.  I would love for my pieces to be used in more styled shoots for magazines and blogs.  I'm open to wherever this journey takes me!

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

That is a super tough question.  I don't think I can answer it.  It's like when students ask me what my favorite color is . . . I want ALL the colors!  Each piece comes with a history of inspiration, try-fail, try-fail again, hate-it, love-it, etc.  A LOT of time and energy.  So each piece is really special to me. I'll try to narrow down the SS15 collection: I think my favorite piece would be the Penny Lane blouse.

Do you have any advice for future mom-entrepreneurs?

Oh goodness, I could write a book.  As I'm sure all the "Moms on Mondays" moms could. There are so many facets to this type of business: Design, marketing, management, shipping, professionalism, keeping records, etc. I could discuss each one at length.  I think the one lesson that I have learned through all of this (and am constantly reminded of), is that sometimes you have to say "No." You cannot do it all.  And, you need to recognize this before you have taken on too much. Your brain is constantly being pulled in a MILLION different ways, and it sometimes needs a break. There is no sense in setting yourself up for failure, or being disappointed in yourself, for letting others down. Pace yourself.  

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

So MANY!  I am definitely inspired by Duchess and Lion Co and Carly Megan Shop. Their design aesthetic and creativity just blows me away.  I also love Threads and Arrows moccasin boots and all Zuzii footwear. I love tees from Kid and Kind, Passive Juice Motel, and Tribe Is Alive. I love AshleyG prints. And many, many more!

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