Handmade wipe cases, nursing covers, pillowcase dress, pacifier clips, gift sets and more for babies and toddlers. Check out this week's Featured Seller, Wendy from Sew Lucky 16!
1) How did you start creating?
I started creating because I was laid off from my teaching job. I didn't know how to sew so I taught myself a year and a half ago. I started making nursing covers and a friend of mine told me that I should sell them on Etsy. I needed to help out with the bills so I decided to take a chance. Eventually I started teaching myself other items to make for babies and toddlers.
2) What is your favorite thing about creating?
Since I don’t work sometimes I feel that I let everything else consume me. I usually take care of my daughters and husbands needs before my own and I feel that sewing and creating new items lets me be creative and gives me time to myself. I enjoy it and it is relaxing. It is also amazing to know that I took fabric and made it into something that people use everyday.
3) Where do you find your inspiration?
I find my inspiration from my daughter. All of my friends and I had our children around the same time, and they were all girls. Whenever I went to a baby shower it seemed that I saw the same blankets, clothes, nursing covers, and car seat canopys. All of us had the same items. It just felt cookie cutter. I wished at that time that I knew how to sew because my daughter didn’t have anything unique or especially made for her. I like that now I can make her items that no one else has and that they are special, not just another blanket that someone else will have for their child.
4) Tell us about what you sell.
I sell handmade baby and toddler items. I started with nursing covers and then moved on to wipe cases and burp cloths. I also make blankets with flannel cotton or flannel cotton and minky. For toddlers I make pillowcase dresses. They are so cute on a little girl. I have made several for my daughter. They are great for any season. I also make pacifier clips, tutus, and I just started making car seat canopies and changing pad covers.
5) How did your shop get it's name?
My shops name is Sew Lucky 16. When I started my shop I was recently laid off from my teaching job. I worried a lot about money, what I was going to do, how our lives were going to change, and just how unsure I was about the future. One night, as a laid in bed with my daughter when she wasn’t feeling well, I suddenly realized just how lucky I was. I was given an opportunity to watch my daughter grow up, something so many of us miss when we have to work. So I decided on Sew Lucky because I was sewing my items and I was lucky that I got to raise my daughter, instead of daycare raising her. The 16 is for my daughters birthday day date.
I think the advice that I would tell someone is
1. Be organized,
2. Have a business plan, and
3. Treat your customers the way you would want to be treated.
Being in business for yourself, especially as a SAHM or a WAHM, is hard. Being organized is essential. I LOVE organization and I think that if your household is organized and your business is organized (like your materials, packing materials, and merchandise) it will help it run smoothly. Having a business plan is really important too. In the beginning I really wasn’t paying attention to what I was spending and earning, I was just happy to sell something. Later I realized that I am doing this to help with the finances so I better be making money, no losing it. So you need to have a spreadsheet (part of organization) that shows how much materials are, how much time does it take you to make your item, how much are you paying yourself an hour (important!), and how much shipping costs are. There are a lot of different items you can have on your spreadsheet and can always update it. But, you need to have something in place so you can earn the money that you deserve and have worked so hard for. The last one is just how I feel. I know that I love getting a package in the mail. I love how it is presented and to see the time and effort taken in making the package for me. I want my customers to feel like that too. I try to ship fast if the item is already made, I wrap the item, I write a personal note, and try to present it in a way that makes someone feel special. I want my customers to know that I take time for each sale and that I value their business.
7) How do you balance your Etsy shop, your children, and your everyday schedule?
This is hard to do. I don’t sew everyday and sometimes I won’t sew for a week. But to me sewing is my down time and it relaxes me. Since I am at home I try to get all of my errands or clean up done in the morning. Then in the afternoon while my daughter takes a break (because she doesn’t nap anymore) I will sew if I have time. Sometimes I will get a lot of my sewing done on the weekend because my husband is home. I do have to say that I get a lot of my sewing done in the winter because of the rain. We can’t go outside a lot so we are indoors for most of the time. My daughter is great because she loves to paint and draw so she sits at her table and I sit at the dining room table and sew while she paints or draws. Sometimes she “helps” me with measuring.
8) Where else can we find you?
Facebook * Blog
That concludes our featured seller for this Friday! Make sure to Follow OwnSomethingAwesome on Facebook or Twitter to stay up-to-date and see when there is a new blog post! And feel free to leave a comment on the shops!