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Our Favourite Sites For Awesome WAHMs!

September 10, 2011 by  
Filed under blog

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There are a ton of really neat sites and communities out there, geared toward those that work the hardest — the kick butt work at home moms! Today I wanted to share a list of just a few which might be helpful to you fine ladies! Take care.

  1. WAHM.com is an informative online magazine for work at home mamas. The site is full of great articles about getting started as a WAHM, business opportunity listings and an active forum for chatting with others. Tons of advice and resources, especially for those new to the WAHM lifestyle.
  2. 5 Minutes For Mom isn’t necessarily WAHM specific, but it filled to the bring with great articles from seasoned pros and beginners alike. Definitely work a visit.
  3. WAHM Canada is, quite obviously, a great site specifically for Canadian WAHMs (like me!)
  4. Bizymoms is all about connecting moms and building community, especially within local circles. Great stuff!

Do you have a favourite WAHMish site? Do you chat with other WAHMs on forums?

Image source.

Désirée Fawn is a blogger/doula from Ontario where she lives with her 2-year-old daughter, Gretchen.
She blogs at So Fawned.
Follow @sofawned on Twitter!

Have You Mastered The Key To WAHM Success?

July 27, 2011 by  
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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!

One of my favourite blogs for working mom success —  Simple Mom, which I’ve mentioned here before — recently published a post about this very topic and it’s been on my brain for days.

“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!

Image source.

Désirée Fawn is a blogger/doula from Ontario where she lives with her 2-year-old daughter, Gretchen.
She blogs at So Fawned.
Follow @sofawned on Twitter!

Featured Mom: SmartSeat Dining Covers

July 11, 2011 by  
Filed under blog

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.

Visit the SmartSeat website, check out their Facebook page and be sure to catch up on all their latest news by following @smartseatcover on Twitter!

Désirée Fawn is a blogger/doula from Ontario where she lives with her 2-year-old daughter, Gretchen.
She blogs at So Fawned.
Follow @sofawned on Twitter!

Home Office Design With Making It Lovely’s Nicole Balch

June 27, 2011 by  
Filed under blog

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!

Click here to watch the video!

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.

Follow @makingitlovely on Twitter or check her out on Facebook. You also don’t want to miss out on her Pinterest picks — brilliant!

Désirée Fawn is a blogger/doula from Ontario where she lives with her 2-year-old daughter, Gretchen.
She blogs at So Fawned.
Follow @sofawned on Twitter!

Featured Mom: Three Peas Co

June 26, 2011 by  
Filed under blog

Today we’re chatting with the lovely Antoinette Newhouse from Three Peas Co! Find out how this mom-of-three let her creative side lead her to a brand new, fulfilling career!

01. Tell us a little about yourself!
I am a stay at home mom that has three children (2 boys and a girl) and a loving husband that is also my business partner.  We live in Ventura, California which is conveniently nestled between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.  I started my career in Nursing but switched to Real Estate then along came a gift, our baby boy.  This changed my complete outlook on life and what I valued, family first.

02. What lead you to creating your own business?
Three Peas Co was developed during the search to find fun and funky hair bows for our daughter Paisley Jo.  Hair Bows in the mass merchant stores, Baby Boutiques and Children’s Boutiques did not satisfy our style.  Being crafty and creative, I designed some Hair Bows that matched our style and Paisley Jo started to wear them.  During the course of wearing the hair bows in public people (both men and women) were drawn to the beauty of the hair bows and would ask “where did you find them”?  This question led to being asked to make some for others who liked our style and creativity.
Customers loved the style of the hair bows which lead them to ask if we could make baby clothes, kids clothing, tween, teen & women’s apparel along with custom designs for celebrities.  Celebrities that have worn Three Peas Co include Noah Cyrus, Emily Grace Reeves, Brittany Curran, Keana Texeira, Christa Texeira, Sophie Texeira, Allyson Arms, Madison Delagarza, Destinee & Paris Monroe, Ashley Benson, Jackson Rathbone, to name a few.  Three Peas Co apparel has been used for Red Carpet Events, Film, TV and Print publications.

03. Describe a typical day in the life of YOU!
There is “No” such thing as a typical day in my life.  From three kids with each their own personalities to receiving last minute calls from our publicist for a last minute celebrity design to meeting with my husband about business, the day never begins or starts the same.  My focus for each day is to engage with all: my kids through experiential play, customers through social networks and people involved in the business with an email, call or in person.  Finally, I try to each and every day take time to explore creative design ideas.

04. What is your best piece of advice for fellow WAHMs?
My advice is to be centered on family and “Dare to Lead” in your life, with family, personal or in business.  Reach out to those around for assistance but also get others opinions that have an unbiased view for your designs and company.  You will receive advice from so many that you need to learn how to filter this information and have a trusted group surrounding you.  After my near death experience early this year I believe in our business motto more than ever.

05. The best part of being a WAHM? The worst?
The best part is being around my family and being there to experience the children’s milestones and little things that are priceless.  The worst aspect every day is time. How does 24 hours go by so quickly? Our toughest subject is seeing others copy my designs and even marketing strategies. We change the website background than it seems like overnight others have changed to copy ours. The process gets a little frustrating at times; yet pushes us to continue dreaming up leading designs.

06. Favourite blog? Music? Book? Movie?
Favorite Blog: The Graphics Fairy
Music: Jack Johnson, Fleetwood Mac, Keana Texeira, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift
Book: Who Moved My Cheese
Movie: Patch Adams, Miracle on 34th

07. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Wow, I think about this all time because we (my husband) and I constantly are discussing our family and business future and what steps we are taking to make these visions come true.

Visit Three Peas Co online, check out their blog, YouTube, Flickr & Facebook. Also be sure to follow @threepeasco on Twitter!

Désirée Fawn is a blogger/doula from Ontario where she lives with her 2-year-old daughter, Gretchen.
She blogs at So Fawned.
Follow @sofawned on Twitter!

Featured Mom: Katie Newman Gifts & Home

June 4, 2011 by  
Filed under blog

Happy weekend, everyone! Today we’ve got a great interview with Katie Newman of Katie Newman Gifts & Home! One busy mama with a ton of entrepreneurial influence! Read on to learn more about her two great sites & her plans for the future.

01. Tell us a little about yourself!
I have chosen to stay home with my children for the past 15 years. I have one 15 year old daughter and one 9 year old son; they are the light of my life.  Prior to having children I worked for The Ritz Carlton Hotel and Colgate/Palmolive Company in sales and marketing so while I have loved being home with my children I also need an outlet for the driven and creative sides of myself as well as some supplemental income so I started an online boutique selling things I love such as cottage decor. It is still going strong; it’s called Katie Newman Gifts & Home.  I also just recently started a new venture that has gotten a great response. It is an online mall called Sassy Shops, where shops pay to have their business in my mall.  I heavily promote Sassy Shops all over the internet and on most social networks as well.  It saves the shops the time of marketing (which is in itself a full time job) and gives them more time to create their products and spend time with their family.  I have a special place in my heart for helping other women stay home with their children.

02. What lead you to creating your own business?
I was lead to create my own business because I have a very ambitious driven personality and while I have loved being home with my children I needed an outlet for that business and creative side of myself and need to make some money to supplement my husband’s income.

03. Describe a typical day in the life of YOU!
A typical day in my life is getting my kids off to school in the mornings (unless it’s summer; that’s a whole different ballgame) and then sometimes I take a little nap because I am such a night owl (I sometimes work on my sites till the wee hours after the kids have gone to bed).  Then after coffee, morning devotion time and sometimes a little exercise I settle down at my computer to check all my emails (which is a lot with two businesses); I answer them and process any orders.  I then get on some of the major social networks and market the shops who are advertising in Sassy Shops, spend some time looking for new places to advertise on the internet, do link exchanging, list products in my boutique if needed and lots of other internet related activities.  I then break to do some of my household chores but am soon back on the computer.

04. What is your best piece of advice for fellow WAHMs?
The best piece of advice I can give to fellow WAHMs is that you must not overlook the marketing aspect of your business.  You can create all the beautiful products in the world but if no one knows about them you won’t be able to sell them.  It’s an ongoing process that can’t be ignored. I would also say to be persisent but also patient because it can take some time to become known.

05. The best part of being a WAHM? The worst?
The best part about being a WAHM is that your family can still come first because you are your own boss and can make your own hours.  You determine your success; not someone else.  The worst part is that you can become distracted and can’t always work on your business when you want to; you have to be flexible and it can be very inconsistent.  Some months you will do better financially than others; there is no exact paycheck you can count on which is sometimes a bummer.

06. Favourite blog? Music? Book? Movie?
My favorite blog is Counting Your Blessings: Lovely Blogs Non-Party, because it has links to lots of other beautiful blogs. My favorite music is contemporary christian music but I also love some of the classic rock and roll and some of the new age like Enya.  My favorite book is Friendship Bread; a great novel; you should definitely read it.  My favorite movie is Father of the Bride and P.S. I Love You.  Also the Twilight Series which you can blame on my teenage daughter.

07. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years I see myself still working on these two businesses and hopefully helping lots of other WAHMs with their businesses.

Find Katie online at Sassy Shops (and their Facebook page), Katie Newman Gifts & Home (and their Facebook page). You can also check out the Sassy Savvy Gal blog and be sure to follow @SassyShopKatie on Twitter!

Desiree Fawn is a blogger/doula from Ontario where she lives with her partner & daughter.
She blogs at So Fawned.
Follow @sofawned on Twitter!

Baby Steps To A Green Home Office

June 1, 2011 by  
Filed under blog

I think it’s safe to say that most of us would love to have a reasonably eco-friendly home office. Some of us might be especially GREEN friendly folks, or maybe when it comes to our utility bills, we’d just like to see a bit of savings! Whatever your motivation may be, it’s one thing to say “I want to go green!” and another thing entirely to do it!

So how do we start? What’s the first baby step on the way to a green(er) home office? I’ve put together a few great posts that chat about just this topic! From power saving tips to eco-friendly products, I hope you’ll all feel inspired by some of these suggestions!

What do you do to stay GREEN in your home office?

Image source.

Desiree Fawn is a blogger/doula from Ontario where she lives with her partner & daughter.
She blogs at So Fawned.
Follow @sofawned on Twitter!

6 Great Books For Crafty Indie Business Owners!

May 26, 2011 by  
Filed under blog

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!

Enjoy!

The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and On-Line

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.

Craft, Inc.: Turn Your Creative Hobby into a Business

Craft Inc. Business Planner

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!

The Savvy Crafters Guide To Success: Turn Your Crafts Into A Career

This book is full of tips from those who are making it work — a great one to have on hand!

How to Make Money Using Etsy: A Guide to the Online Marketplace for Crafts and Handmade Products

We’d all love to make our “millons” on Etsy, and some truly are! Get one step closer with this fabulous resource.

Crafty Superstar: Make Crafts on the Side, Earn Extra Cash, and Basically Have It All

Love this cheeky book — and yes, we can ALL have it ALL!

Do you have a favourite crafty biz book to share?

Desiree Fawn is a blogger/doula from Ontario where she lives with her partner & daughter.
She blogs at So Fawned.
Follow @sofawned on Twitter!

Featured Mom: Santa Barbara Creation

May 21, 2011 by  
Filed under blog, Featured Mom

Today’s interview is bound to inspire us all! This creative mom is running her Etsy shop at age 90! It’s never too late to get started — see what Santa Barbara Creation‘s Sheila Ehrman has to say about her crafty biz.

01. Tell us a little about yourself!
I was born in Liverpool, England in 1920 (yes, I am 90!) and loved to knit, crochet, sew and do crafts from a very young age. I have lived in California since 1950 after marrying my World War II American sweetheart in Chicago. I have two children, Judi aged 60 and Brian aged 58 and their spouses and children. My husband died in 1959 at age 45.

02. What lead you to creating your own business?
My grand-daughter, Lisa, was my inspiration to start an Etsy shop. After seeing my beading work and crocheting, she said “You should open a shop on Etsy” and I replied “What’s Etsy?” I soon found out and started Santa Barbara Creation in May, 2010 which I set up and invited a friend who loved to knit to join me. She has since opted out of the project so I am running it alone.

03. Describe a typical day in the life of YOU!
Because I am unable to drive due to age and disability, I spend a lot of time at home. After brewing a cup of tea in the morning my next action is to check my e-mail to look for an Etsy sale and messages from friends far and wide. After completing my household chores, I usually work on beading or crochet for a couple of hours. I like to work in my garden and also enjoy searching websites for the pleasure of seeing other artists’ creations. I enjoy having lunch with a group of younger friends (all between 50 – 60 years old) from my art group who call me “Momma She”!! I spend a lot of “quality time” with my daughter and she, her hasband and I share the same home. Incidentally, I crocheted the neck scarf, earrings and necklace I am wearing in the picture.

04. Your best piece of advice for others working from home?
My advice would be to keep creating so when the big break comes you will have plenty of inventory.

05. Favourite music? Book? Movie?
I enjoy Show Tunes music; biographies and nature stories: romantic and mystery movies.

06. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
It is anyone’s guess where I will be in 5 years time but I hope I will still be running Santa Barbara Creation!!!

Shop Santa Barbara Creation online!

Desiree Fawn is a blogger/doula from Ontario where she lives with her partner & daughter.
She blogs at So Fawned.
Follow @sofawned on Twitter!

Working Smart With Simple Mom’s Tsh Oxenreider

May 16, 2011 by  
Filed under blog

Tsh Oxenreider is the brilliant and dedicated mind behind Simple Mom. Her blog, which was conceptualized in 2008, has since grown into a remarkable resource for home managers.

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.

Image source.

Desiree Fawn is a blogger/doula from Ontario where she lives with her partner & daughter.
She blogs at So Fawned.
Follow @sofawned on Twitter!

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