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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Shop & Support Moms - creative mama Jenni Hassler

I'm so excited to start this series, Shop & Support Moms November! 

With all the hustle and bustle to get holiday shopping done, I figured what better thing to feature on my blog than real moms who are also hard working, creative gals, making inspiring and artistic items that also help their families to enjoy fun things by contributing financially?! So... stay tuned this month, I'll be featuring new moms every week who have Etsy shops or their own businesses. 

Each of these moms will offer a special discount to those who read the story and/or comment on here or the Mommy Stories Facebook group. 

Shop local! Support real moms like you! 

THANKS to Jenni Hassler for being our first mama. I learned about her after my sister ordered the MOST adorable banner for her son's birthday party from Jenni, pirate ships and his name spelled out - perfect condition! Jenni is a true artist. I loved reading this and know you will, too.  Such cute items! Go shopping! Stock up now for a future party you are planning, or what about a banner for your child's bedroom or a new nursery?! :) 

  • 1. How did you start your business? Why did you want your own Etsy business? When did you start your business?
    I first started out making all occasion greeting cards because I had tried all those home show businesses & they just weren't for me. My greeting cards showcased my still life photography, which was another hobby of mine so it meshed well. I worked full time, then, so making cards was a fun outlet for me and my best customers were my coworkers. 

    Long story short I opened my shop when I was pregnant with my second child in hopes I would make enough money to cover a lot of ends to stay home :) Everything is set up so well you can start selling from day one! 

    My shop opened August 4th, 2011.. 

    But there it sat. Business does not succeed without errors & lessons that you learn from. One thing I learned is that I drowned in a sea of other Etsy shops that sold the same things. I needed to be different. 

    So I decided to get creative and make the banner for my baby shower. I loved it!! Wow, this was it! This was my new calling! BUT I had to be different, so that was what I would do. 

    I was then, & still am, determined to be different.

    2. What does the name of your business mean? How did you come up with the title?
    Signed & Sealed took me forever to come up with. As I was working more on cards at that time it was one of those things that as soon as it popped in my head (song, "signed, sealed, delivered") I knew it was a match!

    3. What does your shop specialize in? What is your favorite item to make?
    My shop specializes in handmade cards, banners, party supplies & whatever your heart desires! I have made things from bedroom decorations to origami cake toppers the size of mini candy bars. 

    Everything is my favorite to make, honestly! Otherwise, I wouldn't be doing it. Work should be FUN!

    4. How do you get inspiration and ideas for items to make?
    I look for inspiration everywhere!! Emails from Carters gives me color combination ideas, to watching cartoons and seeing how simple shapes form a picture. One time I found inspiration from my son's shirt he had on. My brain is constantly going.

    5. How long does it take you to make items? When do you make your items mostly , what time of day? What do you do while creating something - tv on? music on?
    My items generally take a good hour or two to make, however, my family is always number one so I start & stop a lot! :) I will usually work at nap time or after the kids are in bed at night. I usually work wherever my husband is so I can still chat with him at night or during the day I just sit at my table & work away in my own world.

    6. Take me step by step through sending someone's package to them.. what special things do you include in there? How do you wrap them up? Do you get nervous when you send packages to people?

    I am a very 'green' person and because I work with paper, believe me when I say I save every scrap piece & reuse it. I'm proud to say the same about my shipping material. You might get your order in a raggedy old box but you'll see my sticker I put on the outside that says we proudly recycle our shipping material. 

    I carefully package everything up with a Signed & Sealed sticker and hand deliver to our small town post office. It makes me feel good to deliver it myself, even just to the post office, it is just me & my hands, I made that product, I packed it & I mailed it. Proud moment. Satisfaction.

    7. What is your success rate?How many orders so far?
    I've gone from 11 orders in my first year to 48 so far this year. That is just about 5 orders a month this year. To me it is perfect! I work on them as I want to & I am a stay at home now so I get to have some extra income.

    8. Why do you think people should buy on Etsy, homemade items?
    Etsy is amazing. If you can't find what you're looking for you can find someone to make it, guaranteed! 

    It's not just purchasing something handmade from someone, it's putting food on their table or paying for their little girl's dance class. It's so much more.

    9. What are your favorite Etsy shops you buy from? ...fantastic stationery!! ...we use these napkins every day! Does not cause extra laundry, just toss in with a load. Super 'green' & it makes you feel good having 'fancy' napkins everyday. I only buy the small size, they're perfect. Never buy paper napkins again! ...this gal keeps my family warm & looking amazing.

    10. How does your business allow you to be a great mother?

    I teach my daughter about making things from your heart & doing things you love. 

    She is very artistic herself & as she gets older I plan on working with her to open up a shop that we can sell her artwork. Then I can teach her everything from computer skills to working with people!

    11. What do you think would surprise readers to know about you?
    I'm not sure I have anything super exciting to tell that would result in a surprise ;) I think I'm a pretty down to earth person! I love to laugh!! I cook a lot for my daughter who has severe food allergies (I would love to start a blog about this! One day...), 

    I am a photographer, I work from home 2 days a week for a separate business, help my father with his business during the week & run my Etsy shop, not to mention I have my 16 month old in tow usually. I like to be busy!

    12. What is the coolest thing you've ever created? Why?
    My origami sail boat bowls or pirate ship bowls. I'm proud of them :) They were something I saw somewhere & I took them to another level. 

    I also love custom orders because they are just that, custom, nothing else like them. I do not own an electronic cutting machine, I make my own stencils or cut freehand for my creations.

    Free shipping for all the mommy stories readers from now through November 30th
    Check out Signed & Sealed! 
    Use coupon code mommyfreeship at checkout! 

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