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Monday, November 21, 2016

Shop & Support Moms - Katherine Kollman - Out of My Head Etsy gifts

I'm always so excited when I find a new AMAZING Maine-momma and her shop on every November when I seek out new businesses to feature in this Shop & Support Moms series! Out of My Head is an awesome store, with tons to choose from this holiday season for the kids and family members, daycare providers, teachers, etc. on your list.

Thank you to Katherine Kollman for sharing her great work with us!

MOMS: discount ends 12/15/16, check it out below!!!

Images shared from Out of My Head 

 1. How did you start your business? Why did you want your own business? When did you start your business?

I am a stay-at-home mother of 2 little girls who is inspired daily by mothering them to create unique and natural playthings and accessories. I own my business - Out of My Head - which I started fourteen years ago while living Charleston, South Carolina. I started making jewelry for fun, and my work was soon juried into the famous Charleston Farmer's Market Art and Craft section. After moving back home to Maine to start a family, my hand-work continued to feed my soul during the wonderful (and sometimes exhausting) days of motherhood.

Since the birth of my second daughter, my work has blossomed from what was once jewelry only to hand-sewn and embroidered children's items and breastfeeding/birth advocacy-wear. My children continue to inspire my work and lead me down ever-changing paths of creativity! 

2. Why was owning a business a perfect situation for you and your family?
Being a small business owner allows me the flexibility to be there when my family needs me. I can work when they are at school or doing homework, and still be available for almost all their activities, doctor appointments, school events, etc.

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

Out of My Head specializes in what I call “elegantly out of the ordinary”. From baby gifts, children’s accessories and playthings, to specialty home decor, Out of My Head strives to offer unique, handmade treasures for you and your loved ones!

I came up with the name for my business when first thinking about starting my own online shop. I thought to myself “What am I? Out of My Head?” I knew right then that I had found my name!

My favorite product is usually whatever I most recently made! I love being able to work in small batches with gorgeous fabrics. Batiks are my favorite, and I love incorporating them into Doll Ring Slings, funky cosmetic bags and clutch purses, as well into embroidery applique.

4. What do you love best about working for yourself?
I love the creative freedom and time to spend on what is most important to me - my family!

5. When working, When do you work in the day/evening? What's your process for working? Things you do daily, a routine?
Now that my children are older (13 and 16), I work mostly during the day while they are at school but when they were little, I would work late into the night while they were sleeping. It made my body tired but replenished my soul after the sometimes long and intense days of mothering little ones.

I don’t have much of a routine...which is one reason I love what I boredom! The unpredictable nature of online sales is such that one day I might need to work on a Custom Order or shop restocks, another day has me packaging and mailing orders, and other days are spent on social media and promotion. use the down times to develop new product and renew my creativity.

6. Take me step by step through working with customers. Do you do anything special or unique, wrapping, specials, etc.?
Most of my work is ‘ready-to-ship’ so my customers just choose what they want and place their order. I pride myself on shipping very quickly, often the same day they order! I wrap each item for safe in natural kraft paper and raffia ribbon so each one is a gift! I am also happy to gift wrap for free all year round!

7. What is your success rate? What do you think customers would say about your work, shop?
I am proud to have over 365 five star reviews on Etsy and over 600 positive feedbacks on eBay. I spent many years (before children) working in high-end boutique retail shops in Bar Harbor, Maine, Northeast Harbor, Maine and Charleston, South Carolina, so I am accustomed to providing exemplary customer service and keen attention to detail. My customers often comment on the high quality of my sewing, quick shipping and frequently say ”It looks even better in person!”

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?

I love supporting small, mama-owned business because I know that almost all of the money earned goes back to supporting their children and families. They are turning right around and spending the money on things their kids, need and helping to support their local economies. Every country that supports its women and mothers sees immediate positive results in their economy. I am proud to be a small part in this powerful movement of women entrepreneurs!  

9. What are your favorite or best items that you sell?
I am still partial to my Doll Carrying Rings Slings because they were my first online product. I loved wearing my own babies and I feel that passing on the loving attachment that babywearing can bring is an important gift we can give to our children. In my newer items, I love the American Sign Language ‘I Love You’ hand applique that I sew onto baby bibs and bath towels. In our family, we often use that hand symbol to quietly say “I Love You,” so it’s a nice family tradition to share in my shop. We are also big “book nerds” in our house so I am extra fond of my Book-Themed bath decor that say ‘Book Nerd’, ‘The Book Was Better’ and ‘I’d Rather Be Reading.’ 

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

Well, I hope that I am a great mother, but you’d have to ask my kids to be sure! I just hope that they appreciate the time that I can spend with them and be available to support their activities, help with homework and make the occasional after school snack...all while pursuing my creative passion and helping to augment our family income.

11. What do you think would surprise readers to know about you?
I have a B.A. in Theatre/Dance. In fact, I learned to sew in the costume classes required for my degree, but didn’t put them to use until I had babies! I still teach dance and acting on a very part time basis, and love sharing this part of my life with my girls who also love dance and theatre.

12. What is the coolest thing you've ever experienced as part of working with this business?
My work has been featured on a couple Buzzfeed lists that still circulate. That was a huge boost financially for awhile and just lots of fun to be featured!

13. What is one of your favorite gifts to give someone for the holidays?

I actually like to shop for the holidays all year long so I can take my time finding the perfect gift (and save some pennies with sales and careful bargain shopping!) I add gifts all year to a big bin I keep in a closet and have fun in November finding all the treasures that I’ve been collecting all year!

14. How many kids do you have? Give us one word to describe them.
I have two girls...and they are inspiring!

Please use exclusive code MOMMYSTORIES20 for 20% off in my Esty shop through 12/15/2016
And join our facebook page for upcoming giveaways!

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