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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Shop & Support Moms - Julie Taylor - Abigail's Attic Accessories

Thanks to Julie Taylor  of Abigail's Attic Accessories for sharing her beautiful hand-crocheted work with us in our Shop & Support Mom series this month. I LOVE that she's working from home not only to help support her family but also because she needs ME time to herself doing something she loves. LOVE that idea, and more moms need to jump on board with carving out time to be creative and do the things they used to love before being busy mommas. 

Thanks, Julie!

MOMS: discount at the bottom of the page! Check out this great work for your upcoming showers, parties, holiday gifts, etc. 



Images shared from Julie Taylor


1. How did you start your business? Why did you want your own business? When did you start your business?
My last day of work as a substitute teacher was 3 days before my first daughter was born. It was supposed to be three weeks before she was born but you know babies. ;) Money was tight on one income while trying to pay for groceries, monthly bills, and paying back student loans. So I had been trying to figure out what I could do as a stay at home mom to bring in income. I ended up buying a headband on Etsy for my daughter for Christmas and had an “ah ha” moment. That was November/December of 2012. Abigail's Attic Accessories opened January 2013.

I grew up in a family that owned businesses. Mom had a salon on what used to be our front porch and my dad owned a carpentry business. I always figured I'd grow up and own my own business as that is what I knew. I guess entrepreneurship is in my blood.

2. Why was owning a business a perfect situation for you and your family?

Owning a business has allowed me to be available for my family when needed. I don't have to worry about being to work on time, finding childcare if I have to work late, can help out friends when they need it, etc. 

My husband is a foreman for a company that trims trees around the power lines. If the power goes out, especially with a storm, he is gone until it is back. With the nature of his job and never knowing when he might be called out or even sent to another state, even me having a part time evening job would be difficult for us. Owning my own business is the perfect solution.

3. What does your business specialize in? What's your favorite product? How'd you come up with the name?

Abigail's Attic Accessories specializes in baby headbands, blankets, and other accessories. I also offer headbands in child and women's sizes, scarves, bags, hats, and some digital downloads. The majority of my items are crocheted but I do offer some sewn items as well.

It's hard to choose just one favorite item! I think it would have to be my Teal Chevron Baby Blanket. I love the colors! https://www.etsy.com/listing/195680306/chevron-crochet-baby-blanket-teal-gray

The name came from my first daughter, Abigail, and Attic because I offer quality but affordable items. I tend to think of attic as a more discount location of a high end place, like Filene's Basement. Plus, alliteration is fun. ;)

4. What do you love best about working for yourself?
I love setting my own hours and working at my own pace. I also love that I get to decide what to sell, how to design the logo, the complete control. I know the quality is something that I can stand behind because I made the item with my own two hands. I sold Avon once many years ago and wasn't very good at it. I'm much more comfortable and much better and selling my own products.



5. When working, When do you work in the day/evening? What's your process for working? Things you do daily, a routine?
I generally work in the evenings after my kids go to bed and often during afternoon rest/nap time. I wouldn't say I have a specific process. When it comes to new product creation, sometimes I find a pattern I love online, other times, like with my headbands, it's just an idea I have suddenly. I love that since most my items are crocheted, I can work while catching up on my DVR'd shows or in waiting rooms.

6. Take me step by step through working with customers. Do you do anything special or unique, wrapping, specials, etc.?
All items are shipped wrapped in tissue paper with a special Abigail's Attic sticker before being placed in packaging. It makes it feel more like opening a gift than an item purchased online. Who doesn't like getting a gift? :) When it comes to custom orders, there is a lot of communication between the customer and myself to make sure the customer is getting what they want. I try to include links to patterns and products so they have control over what they are ordering. I also try to send pictures every so often through the process, especially for a big item that takes a lot of time, so the customer knows what is going on.

7. What is your success rate? What do you think customers would say about your work, shop?
Customers love the quality of my work and the typically fast turn around. I offer fairly simply designed items in a sea of over the top baby accessories. Many people are looking for that and it makes them stand out. Customers love that my scarves are warm as well as beautiful. It can be hard to find both. 

This is one of my favorite reviews of all time (in reference to my Sage Green Infinity Scarf): “Love it! Very well made! I so want to keep it for myself but it is going to make a great Christmas present! Very smooth, fast, easy transaction. Shipping was very quick. Thanks so much!” That makes me so proud and makes what I do worth it.

8. Why do you think people should shop in your store or buy your product that you create, and why should they support moms who work for themselves?
People should shop in my store for a couple reasons. The first is: my prices are very affordable for most people. But I don't compromise quality to make my items affordable. My craftsmanship is top notch. I don't skimp on time or material to make it cheap. While I don't buy the highest end yarn, I also don't buy the cheapest stuff either. (Most of my items are machine washable because of the type of yarn I use.) 

Another reason is that when they buy from me, they are helping to support a family directly. When they buy from me, or any other small business mama, their money is going straight to help a family with their monthly bills or clothes for their kids or the fun things like trips and Christmas. What a perfect reason to buy from a mompreneur!

9. What are your favorite or best items that you sell?
Sage Green Infinity Scarf- https://www.etsy.com/listing/167365402/sage-green-infinity-scarf-crochet-circle (a Christmas time favorite)








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

My business allows an outlet for me to be just Julie, not Mommy. I really need that to be able to function. When I start ignoring me and just focusing on “wife” or “mom,” I get grumpy and a little lost, even mopey. When I'm working my business, I am feeding the “just me” side which keeps that grumpiness at bay, which makes me a much better mom. I mean, who wants a grumpy mom? ;)

11. What do you think would surprise readers to know about you?
In addition to running an Etsy shop, I also run a frugal living and parenting blog, Logger's Wife (www.loggerswife.com). I also spend my summers and falls traveling around with my husband to different fairs and festivals to lumberjack competitions that he competes in. I am also involved with some of the competitions with timing, scoring, and other behind the scenes type things.

12. What is the coolest thing you've ever experienced as part of working with this business?
One of my women's headbands was purchased by a World Series of Poker winner turned motivational speaker. That was pretty cool!

13. What is one of your favorite gifts to give someone for the holidays?
I love to give people food gifts like fudge or cookie mix. I mean, who doesn't love food? It's perfect as it doesn't clutter up their house and they don't have to pretend they like it. ;) 

14. How many kids do you have? Give us one word to describe them.
I have two children, both girls, ages 4 and 7 months. The 4 year old- imaginative. The baby- determined

15. Contact information- email address, phone number, web site, blog, social media, etc.


DISCOUNT: 
MOMMY10 for 10% off a $20+ purchase
expires end of year 2016

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