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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