Thursday, October 20, 2011
Today I am interviewing Nadine of Midnite Pine Creations, a fellow etsian and member of Team Mom.
Tell us a little about yourself Nadine
I am the kind of person who starts anything and everything saying “Yes, I can do that...” rather than “No, I don’t think I can...” Hence....
I have been a firefighter, paramedic, critical care nurse, salesman, pizza pie maker, delivery girl, valet, and bartender, in my pre-mom life.... Now...
I am a stay at home mom with a startup company, and these creations are sewn while my children (2 & 4) are asleep at night. The rest of the house is quiet and I sew in front of a bay window with a midnight -and often a moonlight -view of the pine trees that surround our property. Starting my own business is challenging, but I have finally found something that fills me with such excitement that I can’t go to sleep some nights and such passion that I don’t mind the exhaustion and sore muscles that pulling my all nighters bring me.
All the products that I sew have been made to provide beauty, warmth and a sense of comfort for the children that will be using them. As always, their opinion means the most...even if they can’t quite express themselves yet. Colors are bold and bright to excite and stimulate them and patterns are vivid to launch them into glorious dreams.
What inspires you the most?
My children were my inspiration...I wanted to give them something better than what was available in the stores...and since I couldn’t find it... I made it. Then, I wanted to share them with my friends and family. They loved them...and from there it snowballed...
My favorite thing is hearing back from my buyers that their baby had their first full nights sleep on my sheets....or that a mom can’t get her toddler to let go of the sheet so that it can be put on the bed- that they are carrying it and snuggling it like a blanket...or the mom of teenage boys who has told me that her boys now refuse to sleep on cotton bedsheets anymore because they love their Pirate bed sets so much....or that the purchase of my fitted end blankets have made “Making the Bunk Beds” in the morning unbelievably easy compared to the neck breaking chore it used to be....It even thrills me when my own 4 yr old son drags me into his room almost every morning to proudly show me that he “made his bed like a big boy”...which is a cinch for him now that his bed has a fitted end blanket on it.
How do you manage being a mom while running a business?
It’s a juggling act- no doubt about it! I make tons of ‘to do’ lists because I always seem to have 8 million things to do and only 24 hrs to do them in. I do some computer work or sewing while the kids are actively eating meals or (if I’m lucky) while they nap. But 99% of my business work gets done after they are in bed at night. I love what I’m doing, but I love my kids more. I take great care to show my kids that they are loved, that their thought and opinions are heard and matter to me, and that they come first no matter what. My sleep time has been slashed mercilessly and I have become a 2 cup a day coffee drinker. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the lofty goals I’ve set for myself and the piles of work surrounding me (usually piles of laundry, dishes, or toys).....but then my boy will point to a picture of one of my creations and say, “pretty sheet mommy,” or as I sit sewing at night, my husband will kiss the top of my head on his way up to bed, and tell me that he’s proud of me......and all is well once again.
You can find Nadines shop MidnitePineCreations here!
You can find MidnitePineCreations facebook page here!
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Picture Courtesy of The Velvet BoutiqueI have only been designing jewelery for about four months now and everything has been new to me! I kinda got a bee in my bonnet after making a big move to another state and losing all my clientelle (sp?) I had gotten in the first three months so I bravely started just looking online at local boutiques and calling around to see if they would be interested in selling handmade jewelery. After making several phone calls I found one boutique that featured handmade jewelery.
My advice if you're going to sell in boutiques:
1. Before you meet with them make sure you look at their website or go into their shop to make sure that your items will mesh with their style.
2. When you call them make sure you talk about their commission, i.e. how much you're going to make with each sale and make sure you talk about possible sales promotions etc in their store and how much that will cut into your profit.
3. What I did when I went into the boutique was I had all my jewelery individually bagged so I could easily show my individual designs. I carried all those bags in an antique sewing box. It just added a little touch of my style I thought.
4. Be prepared to talk about your techniques, the materials you use, your process etc. basically everything you would talk about if you were selling to a customer.
5. I showed the boutique a huge number of my designs and they probably took about half of what I had. I took a picture with my cell phone of everything they took and then when I got home I made a list with descriptions.
6. The relationship I have with the boutique I work with is sort of trust based so I don't have any contracts etc. I just have a list and those pics I took. I'm not sure if this is the best for everyone but so far its worked for me with this particular boutique.
Picture courtesy of FireSpiceThe nice thing about boutiques is that they're usually small and the owner is generally just like you a small business owner so don't be intimidated. They're usually very friendly and just as interested in you as a business relation as you are in them.
Here's a link to the website of the boutique where I sell my jewelery, located in Chandler AZ.
The Velvet Boutique