I just filled out a questionnaire for someone, and figured I would share:
“Stay-at-home/Work-at-home Friday Feature”
1) How did you start creating?
Years ago, I suddenly found myself with 3 children in diapers& little money, so I began researching cloth diapers. From there, I taught myself to sew, starting out with a $75 walmart sewing machine, basic fabric, and my own children as “guinea pigs” to create my very own patterns. I literally traced their bodies, used their measurements, and with basic copy paper and markers, drew up my own patterns- with no prior experience.
Once, I figured that out, I started making one diaper for my kids, and an extra one to sell on forums. That created so much business I had to stop accepting new orders to keep up. In 2010, I suddenly found myself a single mom of 4 literally over night. I had been a stay at home mom for a decade- cut off from all family, friends, etc, so things were VERY rough.
Due to my children’s special needs, & other certain circumstances beyond my control, I am UNABLE to work a “regular job” outside of the home.
With having no one at all to fall back on, I was too scared to try to survive off JUST my etsy business at the time, and opted for more of “hobby” amount, while babysitting to cover our expenses.
Well, in October 2012, my childcare families left, my son’s health got much worse, keeping me from being able to take in more families. Being that I can not work outside of the home, I opted to finally focus on my passion full time.
So, in January 2013, I am officially out of full time daycare families, and now our only income(aside from occasional babysitting) is my Etsy Shop, BumbleBeeBottomsBoutique.com.
2) What is your favorite thing about creating?
I absolutely LOVE creating things that others will love and benefit from. It is definitely a passion of mine! I put a lot of effort and focus into every single item I make. I see each one as a work of art, and daydream about the family who will one day use and love it, and I pray for that future family as I work. I also love that my products benefit the environment, leaving the world a better,cleaner place.
3) Where do you find your inspiration?
~My biggest inspiration are my children. I have 4 boys, so I have experienced 1st hand that there are few places who cater to boys. With that in mind, I always make sure my shop has plenty of “boy” themed items in stock (as well as neutral, girl, pet, adult items). My boys also happen to be “slim” which inspired my belt line. I of course, also am determined to raise my children with minimal assistance, so making income to survive is important. 😉
~My 2nd inspiration are the children/families that USE my products. It is a HUGE emotional boost every time I get an email and/or photo from customers, praising my products. It refuels me, and keeps me going, not only in my business, but funnels through to my own children as well.
~My 3rd inspiration are our family pets. We have 3 cats and an amazing therapy dog, who have helped my children with their issues so much. I decided to expand my business by adding a line for “fur-babies”, those amazing animals in our lives. Again, creating my very own patterns, using our pets, and pets of friends, as my “testers”.
4) Tell us about what you sell.
I hand create cloth diapers, training pants, belts for newborn through adult, home decors, and pet supplies. I plan to increase my infant/toddler& pet lines in 2013, and have already invented some unique new products& designs.
5) How did your shop get it’s name?
OH! Well, the name evolved in steps:
1st: “BumbleBee”- Years ago, while I was battling with a very bad life situation, someone told me about bumblebees. According to scientific fact, the bumblebee’s wings are too small and thin to support their large bodies- meaning, by scientific facts, bumblebees can not fly. BUT, BumbleBees obviously DO fly. They fly anyway, regardless what people claim against them, because that is what God created them to do! Since then, BumbleBees have been a personal reminder that regardless what “people” claim, I will continue to get up and “fly”, keeping my focus on God’s plan for my life, and fulfilling His plan.
2nd: “Bottoms”… simple- when it all started with covering little “bottoms”. For the 1st 2 years, my business was simply “BumbleBeeBottoms”.
3rd: “Boutique” was added to the name when I expanded my product lines beyond cloth diapering supplies.
Thus, the birth of “BumbleBeeBottomsBoutique.com”
6) Do you have any advice for other sellers?
To put it simply, keep on keeping on. Figure out what God’s plan is for your life and focus on that specifically.
7) How do you balance your Etsy shop, your children, and your everyday schedule?
This is a bit easier now that my children are older, but it still takes a very set routine and schedule to keep up with working full time on my boutique, running to many doctor and therapy appointments each week, and caring for our family of 5, 3 cats, and dog.
8) Where else can we find you? (blog, facebook, twitter, etc.)
My BLOG about my life as a single mom to 4 boys, and a small business owner:
MY SHOP: http://www.BumbleBeeBottomsBoutique.com
9) Do you have a coupon code for us?
I post coupon codes and special sales on my Shop Facebook Page.