The last two months I've been featuring real hard working moms who also are super crafty, creating and selling items to help out their families, hoping that while you are shopping for holiday gifts you will consider buying from awesome moms!
This next mama, Kerrie Leclair from Kennebunk, Maine, is someone I stumbled upon in a Facebook swap group... and I'm SO glad I did! She seems super fun and very crafty. I LOVE her message here of getting back to your own interests post-baby's birth... she didn't get to do much crafting during the first year of her daughter's life - can you say BUSY!? - BUT now she's back at it!
She is offering a special to Mommy Stories readers - her fabric square Memory game is typically $15 but she's offering it to you for only $10! If you want a hand-made pouch to go with it to put the squares in, that's only $3.
Let's help this mama grow her great business! SUCH a great birthday or holiday gift idea!
You can order by emailing her at: Kerrie.Leclair@gmail.com.
All Photos from Kerrie Leclair
1. How did you start your business? Why did you want your own business? When did you start your business?
I don't have a business (except for working full time and being a full time wife, mom and maid!)...yet. I'm in the process of building up enough extra inventory to open an Etsy shop. I'm hoping that after the Christmas rush, I'll be able to do it!
2. What does the name of your business mean? How did you come up with the title?
The name of the shop will be "Puppy Says Woof." My daughter is absolutely obsessed with our dogs. Her first word was puppy and woof came shortly thereafter (all came before mama, of course).
3. What does you specialize in? What is your favorite item to make?
I specialize in toddler items and child-friendly decor. I tend to go on "spurts" of favorite items...lately it's been my fabric square memory game and aprons.
4. How do you get inspiration and ideas for items to make?
My ideas tend to come from Pinterest. I could have a full time job looking at Pinterest. Moms, especially, are a pretty creative bunch and I love seeing what people can do and then finding a way to make it mine. I especially love using what I already have - I will not throw out a scrap. In fact, I'm in the process of putting together a scrap bunting for my daughter's playspace.
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?
I tend to gravitate toward smaller projects - I guess I want my gratification! I love to whip something out in an hour or two. My husband is a hockey coach, and so I have lots of evenings after my daughter has gone to bed that I sew and sew and sew. I usually have a little music (unless it's been a crazy day and then I crave the silence and the hum of my machine), a glass of wine and a dog or two or three at my feet.
6. Take me step by step through sending someone's package to them.. what speial things do you include in there ? How do you wrap them up? Do you get nervous when you send packages to people?
I haven't sent out any packages yet! I'm nervous about it. All of my projects have been for myself, for friends or family. I'm going to be talking with a friend of mine about creating a logo and I'm thinking about getting some custom tags made to sew into my projects. I love, love, love to receive Etsy packages in the mail and I worry a bit about keeping expenses in check - I'd love to really be extravagant, but it's just not possible!
7. What is your success rate?How many orders so far?
Before Christmas, I have three aprons, five memory games and blackout curtains (don't ask!) ordered. I've got plenty of room for more!
8. Why do you think people should buy homemade items?
I love it when moms support moms. There's no one else in the world that can understand what it means to be a mom than another mom, and I think it's important to give each other that sense of fulfillment through another outlet.
9. What are your favorite homemade sellers to buy from?
I couldn't name any right off...I tend to bop around on Etsy a lot and go to lots of local craft fairs.
Before my daughter was born, her nursery was my beloved craft room. I had everything all laid out, perfectly organized...ahh, it was amazing. Once I got pregnant, I had to sell more than half of my supplies and move *everything* into a small closet. As thrilled as I was about becoming a mom, I cried and cried about losing that part of me. And, for the first year of her life, I really didn't touch my supplies or my machine at all.
I've finally gotten back into my sewing, and having that outlet at the end of the day...having that silence in my head, having my brain work in a different way...it's all a good, good thing.
For a number of years, I lived in Manhattan - lived the "cool" life, working at a major ad agency on Madison Avenue, attending parties with players from the Yankees and shopping the most amazing boutiques. Now, I live in the tiniest Cape Cod known to man with my husband, daughter and three big dogs. My dining room table/sewing table is currently blocking our front door so that we could have room for our Christmas tree. It's a big day when I don't wear jeans. And, I wouldn't trade a thing.
12. What is the coolest thing you've ever created? Why?
Besides my daughter? (haha!) I'm not sure it's cool, but I'm most proud of putting together my daughter's nursery. I sewed all of her curtains, made her book slings and really made it a beautiful space. Every time I walk into her room, I feel peaceful and I feel so happy that she has a really nice space that I created for her before I even knew her.