Mom SHOP Monday (with Hello Love Designs)

I am pleased to introduce the first of what will be a recurring article on my blog: ‘Mom SHOP Monday.’  In it I will talk with other stay at home moms and discuss how they have been able to strike a balance nurturing both their creative spirits and their children.

For the first installment, I chose Jenifer from the Etsy shop ‘hello love designs.’  Her shop has been open for a mere month, and already she has seen much success.  Browsing through her shop you can see why.  Her assortment of birth announcements, birthday celebration cards and invitations are stunning!  I have a feeling she has quite a future ahead of her!

I asked Jenifer a few questions regarding her family and her business. Here’s what she had to say:

What made you decide to become a stay at home mom? (SAHM for short)
“My husband and I discussed before we ever had children that when we did decide to start a family, I would stay at home with them until the youngest reached school age. So when we did have our first child nearly 8 years ago, it wasn't an issue - we had already made the decision. I wanted to be a sahm because how our children are raised was an important issue to us, and God has blessed us enough for me to be able to stay home. I wanted to be the one to teach my children. I wanted to be the one to comfort them when they were hurt or sad. I wanted to see, experience, and rejoice when they reached their next milestone. I'm surely not against child care, but I do believe that staying home with children is an enriching and blessed experience for the whole family.”

How do you find time to create while you have your children at home with you?
“Time! That is what everyone needs more of, right?! It is definitely a challenge to find time to do business with children at home. I create my designs and conduct business during three main times of the day: early morning before my children are awake or getting ready for school, during nap times, and late at night. I'm a night person, so I do most of my work at night.”
In what ways do you feel your children inspire your work?
“My children have inspired me in so many ways! So much so that I've written my own unpublished children's books based upon some adventures we've had. When I'm designing cards, I think about the personalities of my kids. Both of my kids, ages 7 and 18 months, have very colorful personalities, so you'll see a lot of color in my designs. I think about the past birthday parties that we've had and what kinds of interests my children have at the moment and I'll use those inspirations for my designs.”

Which is your favorite item in your shop and why?
“It's so hard to choose a shop favorite of mine because I spend so much time creating each one and I am proud of each one. It's almost like saying, "this one is my favorite child!" It's so funny because after I design a card, I'll say, "Oh, now this is my new favorite design! I LOVE it!" Then I'll create the next card and say the same thing. 
I would have to say that some of my "favorite" designs are all bird related. This  "little pink birdie initial" birth announcement was one of my very first creations when I started my business and has remained the single most popular design in my store.”

What is the best advice that you can give to another SAHM who would like to start up an ETSY shop?
“I highly encourage stay at home mom's to open their own Etsy store! It's a lot of work but very rewarding. The best advice I can give to those wanting to start an Etsy shop is the single most important rule of marketing and that is to keep your store name in front of people. Advertising is expensive, so I've found it very useful to promote my store in the Etsy forums, create treasuries, comment on others treasuries, and participate in blog events, comment on other's blogs, and whatever you can do to keep your name memorable. It's also important to take everything with a grain of salt, meaning don't take your store so seriously. It is a serious business but have fun, enjoy creating, meet new people, do what you love. Etsy requires a minimal investment, so it is the very best way to get your products out to others.”

You’ve seen her favorite items; do you want to know what mine is?  THIS!
I am sure that one of the boys will have a fire truck themed birthday party in the future, and I know just who to contact to help me spread the news!

Now it’s your turn! If you like what you see, you can enter for a FREE design at 'By Hand Giveaway' .  Just leave a comment at the bottom of their blog post to be entered in the giveaway.  Contest ends April 9th
(NOTE: comments for the giveaway should be made at the 'By Hand Giveaway' blog, not on this one! thanks!)

Jenifer  – (April 5, 2010 at 2:35 PM)  

What a wonderful idea and feature! Thank you SO MUCH for featuring my shop!!! I can't wait to see the others you have in store for Mondays.


cabin + cub  – (April 5, 2010 at 2:49 PM)  

oh what a cute shop! and great theme. we have a little one on the way this June, so am always interested to hear how other moms do it.

Raige Creations  – (April 6, 2010 at 8:00 AM)  

great idea for a recurring article! Go Moms!!

Val  – (April 6, 2010 at 8:05 AM)  

What a great idea interviewing other moms. Nice to hear about other "shops" and the ones that are behind the scenes working away on their creative talents.

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