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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

shop & support moms - Jen Steele Skillings - Best Dressed Designs Etsy

Very excited to feature Jen Steele Skillings, owner of Etsy shop Best Dressed Designs, in our Shop & Support Moms series. She hand crafts beautiful hats, scarves, and other unique gifts - including a lobster apron and hat. Amazing items, great gift ideas - think of your children's caregivers and grandmothers, your best friend or sister, such sweet things!

Thank you so much for sharing your business with us, Jen, I love your ideas and work! I'm actually SO happy to have found a mom who adopted her baby boy, since it's also National Adoption Month! What an amazing mama and such a sweet boy. Thanks again!

Scan to the bottom to see the GREAT deal she's offering you through 12/31/14!!!!!

Images from Jen Steele Skillings

 1. How did you start your business? Why did you want your own business? When did you start your business?
I started my Etsy business in December of 2013. I love to design and sew pretty things and quickly had more scarves and hats than I could possibly wear! Etsy gave me a great outlet to create and sell my inventory. Being a SAHM it gives me a little business to manage and market. 

 2. What does the name of your business mean? How did you come up with the title?

The name of my business is Best Dressed. The name dates back to high school...longer ago than I'll admit! I was voted Best Dressed by my classmates and thought that would be a cute name for my shop.   

 3. What does your shop specialize in? What is your favorite item to make or sell?
For the most part, I sell ladies' accessories such as scarves, hats and wraps and I have sold a few skirts. This year I added a Holidays section to my shop and sell a tiny fur stole to put on a wine bottle you are giving as a gift. It's fun to make and has gotten a lot of attention and interest.

 I'm hoping to add items for children in the new year.

 4. How do you get inspiration and ideas for items to make?

I make things I would love to wear or give as a gift. I really love classic lines and styles...things that stand the test of time and also make me think of style icons from decades ago....Audrey Hepburne, Jaqueline Kennedy, etc.

 My favorite season to create for is winter. It's such a long and cold season in the Northeast that having some fun accessories makes it more bearable. A faux fur hat or scarf adds an element of glamour and old school sophistication to the grayest of days and keeps you warm, too!  

 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?
Time to make each item varies with the most time being spent designing the item and perfecting it. I make a lot of drafts until I get it exactly as I like. I sew during my son's naps and after he goes to bed. Sometimes I have the tv or radio on and sometimes I sew while catching up with my husband at the end of the day,

 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 always include a thank you note and put the item in a gift box with tissue paper. I want the person receiving my item to feel like they are receiving a gift; after all, it's a gift they are giving themselves and it's my little way of thanking them for selecting my product. It's such an honor to have someone like what you have created enough to buy it. I send it with the sincere hope that they love it. 

 7. What is your success rate? How many orders so far? 
To date I have had 25 orders on Etsy and countless orders from friends and friends of friends! I have also sold a line of children's sun hats to a local store.

 8. Why do you think people should buy homemade items?
 Anything homemade is made with a lot of care and love. Hopefully someone feels that love and care when they wear one of my creations.

 9. What are your favorite homemade sellers to buy from?
 I love to buy handknit sweaters, mittens, etc. for my son. 
Knitting is such a labor of love and such a keepsake item to own. 

 10. How does your business allow you to be a great mother?
 I think we all need something that is just our own separate from being a wife or mother. I love having a creative outlet that allows me to lose myself for just a while where my thoughts are directed to the project in front of me. It's invigorating and relaxing and a great break from the rest of my day. I think it's important and makes me a better mom when I have had a chance to recharge my brain and energy.
 11. What do you think would surprise readers to know about you?
I love fashion and clothes but I HATE to shop! 

 12. What is the coolest thing you've ever created? Why?
 I really love my bucket hats!  They took a while to perfect but I think they came out pretty cute! 

 13. What is one of your favorite gifts to give someone for the holidays?
 I love to give someone a gift I have made and it thrills me when I see them wearing what I gave them. There is no greater thank you than enjoying what someone has made for you.

Pics - My husband James and me  and the day we went to court to finalize our son's adoption...the best day ever!

 14. How many kids do you have? Give us one word to describe them.
 I have one son who is 22 months old. His name is Andrew and he came to us through the beautiful gift of adoption. We were blessed to witness his birth and take care of him from the moment he was born. He's amazing....and BUSY! 

 I ALWAYS offer FREE SHIPPING in the US and for Mommy Stories readers I'll offer 20% off everything in my shop through December 31, 2014. Readers just need to use the coupon code MOMMYSTORIES14.

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