We’re all ADDICTED to Etsy right? I know I can’t get through a day without browsing through for some neato handmade one-of-a-kind, or vintage wares. And I’m always SO impressed with the personality that many sellers put into their shops. I really enjoy buying from a REAL person — someone with a story to tell, a goal, a bit of magic to offer the world!
Just recently, Babble unveiled their picks for the Top 50 Etsy Moms of 2011 — a phenomenal list filled with more talent that I can fathom!
Check out their full list for some serious shopping inspiration. It’s never to early to start thinking about Christmas! And while you’re at it, you won’t want to miss the latest listings from Mom Made That!
Who would YOU pick for the Top Etsy Mom of 2011? Are you an Etsy Mom too?
Alright, we all know it’s not that simple — there’s no ONE thing we can do to ensure the success of our respective businesses. However! There’s certainly one key point that, when incorporated into our daily lives, is sure to keep us motivated and on the right path.
That key? Get things done early!
“Whenever possible, get it — whatever it may be — done early and eliminate the stress and frustration of being pulled in a million directions,” writes Mandi Ehman of Life…Your Way.
I find myself nodding away as I scroll through her article. How many of us have felt this last-minute insane confusion when we’ve let our priorities get out of hand? How about those late night and earlier mornings spend guzzling coffee with the hopes of accomplishing more than we can possibly accomplish in any given amount of time?
Hop on over to Simple Mom for some fabulous tips for getting things done early in your home life, business life and how to get started if you’ve fallen behind. A wonderful resource for all working mamas — you’ll want to bookmark this one for sure!
Today we’re chatting with Becky — the brilliant mom behind SmartSeat Dining Covers. This take-charge mama loves being able to spend more time with her family as she builds her successful home biz! Way to go, Becky!
01. Tell us a little about yourself!
I am a stay-at-home mom to two wonderful boys, ages 6 and 8. Last year, I also became an accidental entrepreneur (I certainly didn’t set out to run my own business!) My family and I live outside of Boston in Newton, MA.
02. What lead you to creating your own business?
We purchased a new dining room set a couple of years ago. I wanted waterproof seat covers to protect my new upholstered dining room chairs from my two messy boys, but I couldn’t find anything that I liked. The only waterproof covers on the market were made from plastic or vinyl, which my kids refuse to sit on. I also didn’t want a full slip cover that would completely change the look of my chair. The SmartSeat was my solution to the problem — a seat cover that is waterproof, comfortable, and attractive. After getting positive feedback on my design from friends and family, my husband encouraged me to look into what it would take to have my covers manufactured. One thing led to another and I now run my company with the help of my husband and our third partner, who is a very close friend of our family and also a dad of two kids.
03. Describe a typical day in the life of YOU!
I usually get an early start to the day (around 5:30) so that I can check email and get the lay of the land before the craziness begins. It also is the only way that I can quietly enjoy my morning coffee! Then I pack lunches and get the kids ready for school. We are out the door by 7:30. On the way home from school drop off, I swing by the post office to deliver any packages that are ready to go out to customers.
The rest of the day is a mix of emails, SEO time on facebook and twitter, processing orders, and, if I am lucky, a little bit of me time (either to exercise or meet up with a friend). Around 3:00, I put my mom-hat back on, pick the boys up from school, and taxi them around to their various activities, help with homework, and make sure that dinner gets served. We try to sit down for dinner together every night, although sometimes that means eating together on a soccer field before a game or practice! Around 8:00, my boys head off to bed and my work day resumes.
04. What is your best piece of advice for fellow WAHMs?
I think that it is so important to cut yourself some slack. It is hard to be a working parent! There are definitely good days and bad days. But most days fall somewhere in between. I try not to dwell on the bad moments. I just pick myself up and keep moving forward!
05. The best part of being a WAHM? The worst?
The best part of being a WAHM is that I can contribute to my family’s financial well-being and still have the flexibility of being there for my kids before and after school. I love that I am the one who gets to walk them into school every day and the one who gets the big hug at pick up time. I also feel quite lucky to spend so much of my day with my boys.
The worst part of being a WAHM is that there sometimes just aren’t enough hours in the day. But I think that is a problem for all working parents, not just those who are WAHM.
06. Favourite blog? Music? Book? Movie?
Oh, I don’t know where to begin! I’m a big fan of romantic comedies. I read when I can — I think that my last favorite book was probably The Help or Water for Elephants. And blog? I come across too many good ones these days to choose only one favorite!
07. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years, I would love to continue doing what I am doing now, but on a larger scale. I would love to see my product in retail stores. And maybe if I’m lucky, we’ll even have a second or third product in our line.
One of my very favourite design bloggers is currently working to improve her home office space and I just spied a little video tour on her site that I’d love to share with you fine folks.
Nicole Balch is the brilliant mama-of-two behind Making It Lovely — and incredibly sweet and informative lifestyle and design blog, capturing all sorts of neat trends, while following her life as a new mother of two sweet-as-can-be kiddos. I’ve been reading her blog for a few years now (back when she was pregnant with her first babe) and it’s been so fun to watch her transform her space, and now that she is conquering her (already pretty fabulous) home office, I can’t wait to see how things will turn out!
She’s already got some great ideas, as you’ll see in her video — and maybe you’ll even spy an idea that you can bring into your OWN home office space!
I really love how she’s already been incorporating her children into her workspace. We can’t always keep the babies at bay when we’re working from home, and so it’s great to see design which brings them right into the space. Nicole’s little table for her daughter, and area for her son are two fun ways to keep your kids entertained and happy while mama types or creates! Maybe it even helps our little ones find their own creative, entrepreneurial selves — only time will tell!
Visit Making It Lovely for more adventures with this oh so stylish mama. She’s also the brains behind Pink Loves Brown, currently on hiatus while Nicole enjoys time with the newest member of her family.
Back in April I mentioned one particularly savvy business woman, who was working solely freelance for the first time in her design career. Kathleen, of Jeremy & Kathleen, isn’t a work at home mama, but I’ve found the incredibly detailed journey of her first freelancing year to be inspiring, honest and bold. She loves to share her life through her blog and now, after one full year of freelance, she’s recapped her experiences — and it’s absolutely worth a peek!
Check out her look back here, and tiptoe through her discoveries and triumphs as she faces them all, head-on! This is one gal who doesn’t look back and I think we’ll be seeing some GREAT things from her in the future.
Doing what you LOVE for a living is the dream, right? And if you happen to be a crafty mama, supporting your family via your handmade delights is an incredible testament to what we’re all hoping for. Today I’m excited to share a few of my favourite crafty indie biz books with you!
Hopefully you’ll find a spark of inspiration here today!
A really neat book, recommended by several of my craft-minded pals! This one’s loaded with great information — a must have for your collection.
These two wonderful resources, both written by Meg Mateo Ilasco, are perfect for anyone who is just starting to get their crafty business up and running!
This book is full of tips from those who are making it work — a great one to have on hand!
We’d all love to make our “millons” on Etsy, and some truly are! Get one step closer with this fabulous resource.
Love this cheeky book — and yes, we can ALL have it ALL!
Do you have a favourite crafty biz book to share?
In a recent post, Tsh shares her fantastic motto for any and all work at home moms:
“Work smart, not just hard.”
Simple, yet ingenious.
From her site:
“Working smart means sitting like a sniper, aiming your efforts at a target, not barging in with a tommy gun and hoping to hit something of value.”
Applying this notion to her blogging career, which began as “a creative outlet with a possibly to fund [her] coffee habit”, she takes her readers through some incredibly useful steps which they might apply to their own situations, whether they are striking out as bloggers, or hoping to create their own success with a home business.
Click here to check out Tsh’s helpful post.
You can also find daily inspiration by following @SimpleMom on Twitter.
Mother’s Day is just around the corner, so I thought I’d put together a few gift ideas for all you hard working mamas! See anything that strikes your fancy?
01. Chickadee Delight Case: A super chic way to transport your lovely laptop.
02. Mother’s Knows Best Mug: What mama wouldn’t want to sip her morning jolt from this sweet little vessel?
03. Plumage Shade: I realize that a lamp shade might not seem like the best gift, but this pretty plumey delight is sure to bright up your home office to the nth degree!
04. Wine Of The Month Club Subscription: The perfect way to unwind after a productive day!
05. Cedar iPhone Dock: The perfect resting place for a busy mama’s best friend.
What’s on your WAHMother’s Day wish list?