Monday, July 13, 2015

Moms on Mondays - Tiffany from Junebug Tennessee

Today I am so happy to feature Tiffany from Junebug Tennessee!  This mama makes the cutest reversible pinafores and pinafore crop tops ever, when I saw them I just knew she had to be a part of this series!  She is just the sweetest and sent Lemon a pinafore crop top and a regular crop top too, and now they are some of my favorite tops she owns! Read her awesome post below and then go shop!

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

Hi! My name is Tiffany and my shop is Junebug Tennessee and you can also find me on Instagram.

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

I make reversible pinafores for babies and girls. It's like two outfits in one! They are very versatile and can be worn in layers or by itself, dressed up or dressed down. They look great however they are styled.  The pinafores have a timeless classic feel about them. I'm planning on adding bloomers and a few more new items within the next few months. 

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

My mom passed away unexpectedly a week before my daughter was born, so sewing became a great outlet for me to help deal with everything. Because of her, I was able to buy my first sewing machine and I've been sewing pinafores for my daughters and their friends ever since. With the encouragement of my husband, and friends and family, I decided to finally open a shop.  It was a big leap for me.  I'm always so worried someone won't like what they ordered, or that an item is not up to par. It's hard to put yourself out there but the feedback from everyone has been amazing! I am so glad I opened a shop!

How long have you been in business?

Junebug Tennessee celebrated one year this month! I can't even believe it! I'm so beyond amazed at what my little shop has become!!

What is your background?

I was born in Stockton, CA but raised in a tiny, desert agricultural town in Southern California. My husband, kids and I moved back a few years ago (to said tiny, desert town) to be near family again. I graduated high school early and moved to the big city of San Diego (haha!). I took a few college courses, but life and work got in the way of finishing my degree. I was the manager of an independent music store for 5 years.  I was able to meet so many amazing people, make lifelong friends, learn about new and old music, and watch so many rad bands perform - it was a dream job. I look back fondly at my years there. During that time, I donated my kidney to my friend's mom and it is something I am very proud of, to this day.  After my husband and I had our first child, I became a stay at home mom.  I honestly couldn't ask for a better job, I am so thankful I am able to be home with my kids.  

Tell us a little bit about your family.

I'll officially be in my mid thirties this December.  My middle name is Noelle, my parents must of thought they were being so clever giving me a Christmassy middle name, seeing that I was born three days after Christmas. Music is very important to me, but I can't play anything for the life of me. I have a lot of favorite bands but I never tire of:  Ryan Adams, Girls, Depeche Mode, Orchestral Manoeuvres In the Dark (OMD), Jawbreaker and Bonnie "Prince". I love reading but don't get to as much as I'd like.  I love learning about birth/birthing and breastfeeding. I have had a C-Section, a natural hospital VBAC and a natural water homebirth (VBAC). I'm proud of all my births. I don't enjoy cooking very much, truth be told, or folding laundry. I have a fear of tsunamis and floods. My favorite movies are Valley Girl and Wet Hot American Summer. 
My husband, Justin, and I recently celebrated 8 years of marriage last month. He is a dreamboat who makes me laugh all the time.  We eloped to Vegas and got married in a drive thru chapel.  Yes, we got married in my car, haha, I still laugh about it to this day. He is rock and roll mixed with a little bit nerdy - I love it! He is a great musician and artist and he can play video games and talk comics like no other.  I'm pretty sure my babies have inherited his artistic/musical gene, and I couldn't be more jazzed! Our son, Sebastian, is 7. He is a long haired thinker, obsessed with Legos and Minecraft. Our older daughter, Milo, is 5 and she is a free spirited artist. Our youngest daughter, Birdie, will be 2 in August and she is a total wild child. Junebug Tennessee is named after my daughters.  Junebug is Milo's middle name and Tennessee is Birdie's middle name. 
We homeschool our kids. For us it's the perfect fit because homeschooling allows us a lot of freedom to do things on the fly, or just pick up and go explore whenever we want. We are also a plant based family, going on 7 years now. We try to grow our own veggies.  Sometimes we get a good harvest, other times, not so much. We used to live in Washington and in our hearts, it's still home. One day we will move back. 

How does this company help your family?  Or you?

Junebug Tennessee has brought many amazing things to my family. Not only does the sewing typically relax me, and give me "ME" time, the added income it brings has helped a lot. It's nice to be able to help contribute financially to the bills or getting something fixed, etc.

Did you ever think you'd be doing this?  

Honestly? I did think I would do this, I just didn't know when. I just never imagined it would grow to what it is today.  I am so grateful!!

Does anyone help you with your shop?

Technically, I'm a one woman show.  I choose the fabric, cut, sew, package and mail everything.  However, I wouldn't be able to do it if my husband wasn't a great supporter of me and my shop. He will do things with the kids so I can get uninterrupted sewing time in, surprise me with a much needed coffee, or rub my back if I've been hunched over cutting and pinning fabrics all night. 
I also have tremendous emotional support from my friends and family.  My dear friend, Michelle, whom I've known for more than half my life, has always been so supportive of my sewing, cheering me on from the very beginning. Aubrey from Bertie Lou Baby can always bring a smile to my face. Her words of encouragement mean a lot. Devon can make me laugh like no other. All of that in return helps me in my shop when I'm feeling a bit stressed or overwhelmed. 

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

Hahah! Oh my gosh, I'm still figuring this one out! Between homeschooling 2 kids, a toddler, normal daily tasks (laundry/meals/errands/cleaning) and sewing, you might think I have great time management skills.  Hahhaha, you'd be wrong! I do a lot of late night sewing. Late late night. Coffee is my friend. I will admit laundry stays in a pile on the couch for days until it gets folded. 

What do you love about this businesses?

I love that people like my pinafores enough to buy them for their own children.  It's an amazing feeling seeing my work on someone else.  It's awesome to see photos of kiddos in their pinafores in a normal setting and just as awesome to see my pinafores in a Christmas card or first birthday picture. Like, what!! You like my stuff enough to be part of such a special day?! It's all so amazing.  
I also really love that because of Junebug Tennessee I have been able to connect with so many other women, some shop owners, some not. The friendships alone have made it all worth it.  

What is the most challenging part of this business?

The balance between "work" and home.  I never want my kids to feel alone or neglected because I have to sew. 

Where do you see your shop in the future?

My ultimate dream goal would be for me to be making enough to support our family. Nothing outrageous, but enough so my husband doesn't have to work. I would also love for my product to be in actual brick and mortar stores. It will happen, someday.

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

One of my favorite pinafores would be our 'Persimmon' pinafore.  Not only did it have a fun bright 60's style floral pattern that I adored but it was the very first pinafore I sold when Junebug Tennessee started. It will always hold a special place in my heart.  As for a non pinafore item, I'm really proud of some blankets I made for my kids when they were younger.  I made them several double sided Yo Gabba Gabba character blankets, two characters per blanket.  My older two aren't into Gabba anymore so we have the blankets put away, but Birdie is obsessed with Gabba, I should pull out the blankets for her. 

Do you have any advice for future mom-entrepreneurs?

My only advice would be to remember how awesome you are. Don't ever forget it. There will be times when having a business is hard and stressful and sometimes overwhelming, but never ever forget how awesome you are. 

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

Oh my, this is so hard! There are so many amazing shops out there! There are way too many to list but here are some of my go-to's: Bertie Lou Baby (link above) has THE most amazing purses for girls! Aubrey's work is flawless. Plus, she is the most kind and genuine person you will ever meet.  We started out around the same time, and "met" on IG and her friendship means the world to me.  I value what she has to say and hold her opinion in high regard. But I digress, her purses are seriously amazing.  My girls own 4 of her purses so far. They will eventually go into a keepsake box.  The purses are magical and beautiful and sooo beautifully made.  
I also love Moss and Mountain. The mamas behind Moss and Mountain are so awesome and hip. Their clothing is amazing. My kids wear Moss and Mountain quite frequently. I love the vintage Urban Cowboy vibe of everything. If only I could fit into their clothes! So dreamy! 
Another shop I frequent is Sweetpea Honeybee. They have beautiful clothing for girls. Tiffany's work is flawless and her choice in fabrics is spot on.  Plus, she is a total sweetheart and we share the same first name. So how could you go wrong. I'm totally gaga for her stuff!  
A go-to for shoes is Ulla + Viggo. Pia makes the most gorgeous shoes! She is so kind and her work is beautiful. I love that Ulla + Viggo has several varieties of shoes. A shoe for every occasion! 
I love the hair accessories we have from The Prettiest Bow, Pepper and Foxx, The Gipsy and the Yarn and Raine and Monet. All 4 of those shops have totally well made items, such great quality and every single one of those ladies are totally awesome. 
I'm also huge fans of Daily Delilah (also featured here on Moms on Mondays), Pirapir, Schnarbles, Bapribap, The Striped Fig and Motherhood Menagerie.  I also really love Ocarina of Thyme for awesome jewelry and weird funky items.  
Omg, see, it's too hard to narrow down my love for other handmade shops!!! I'm missing so many! I don't want anyone to feel left out!! 
I loved this post Tiffany, thank you!  :)

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