Monday, February 20, 2017

Maker Mondays: How It All Began


I am a Maker Mama.  This is a term I learned in our little Etsy community.  And, honestly, I have no clue how I came about this.  I was not an artistic child.  I have never even been all that creative.  But somehow my dormant creative gene flipped to "on" after my second baby (Mason) was born and all of a sudden all I wanted to do in my spare time was make things.



I started with small canvases for my kids' rooms.  They were cute.  Not great.  Not super special.  And my freehand drawings left much to be desired.  Then Christmas came and I decided to try my skills at ornaments.  And they were fine.  Eh.  Nothing a teenage girl with decent handwriting couldn't do.  But they definitely started something!



Once both boys were in school full time, I moved on to working at an elementary school as a PE Aide (SUCH a fun job!) and in my spare time, I found myself on Pinterest time and time again looking at awesome wood signs.  And I thought "Well if they can figure out how to make that, why can't I?".  And so I researched the heck out of how to do it. I learned the tricks and tips and bought the machine and supplies.  And made my first wood sign.  And Lord help me, it was all over after that.  I had caught the bug.  Creating became my passion.  It was so fun to make pretty things!! Especially in a house full of boys where there wasn't a lot of opportunity to play with glitter or paint things pink.  I was inspired by basically everything I saw at some of my favorite stores... Home Goods, Hobby Lobby, Pier One, Kirklands, Michaels...  So that's where my name came from.  That Inspired Chick.

This was the first wood sign I ever made!  Mason has it in his room right now.

These quickly followed.  Thankfully, I have gotten better with time.

After trying to run my Etsy shop AND work full time at the school I realized something had to give. So I quit my job at the school which was pretty painful-I loved that school and all 700 of those kids!-in order to focus all my attention on the shop.  This has been my first year as a work-at-home mom and my business has flourished and I have LOVED being home.  (And I still sub in PE at the school so I'm able to see everyone every month or so.  Win-win!)


When I decided to all in with my Etsy shop, we did a little room switching and turned what used to be our guest room into my craft room.  So now, every morning, I see the kids off to school (Craig drops them off) and then climb the stairs to my little sanctuary where I spend the day painting, glittering, watching HGTV or Netflix.  (Possibly still in my pajamas...I mean I AM painting.  It's not exactly conducive to skinny jeans, right?  This is what I tell myself when this happens to make me feel better.)  

I love the business I have built even when it gets really crazy and I run out of hours in the day.   Running your own business all by yourself is not always easy.  But I'm learning every day and wouldn't trade it for the world!  Even if we won the lottery, I'd most likely still keep my shop.  It really is my happy place.  :)  (Ok, maybe not if I won the LOTTERY.  I wouldn't want to get paint on the floor of my new yacht.)




So that's the basis of how my Etsy business came about.  It has been fun. And stressful.  Messy.  Expensive.  Fulfilling.  Relaxing.  Profitable.  There is always so much more to learn and so much more to get better at.  

I'm hoping to do a Makers Monday post on the first Monday of every month (starting in March) with updates on some of my favorite signs or orders I've been working on or whatever my latest drinkware obsession is.  #givemealltheglitter  I'd love to eventually host a link up with other makers to see what you blog about and see some behind the scenes! And if you know of any current linkups, let me know!  I'll also be doing some How To posts on some simple but super cute DIY projects that anyone can do.  If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I'll get back to you!  And yay for my 2nd blog post!  If you missed the intro, take a peek at the one and only post before this!  

*If you are thinking of opening your own Etsy shop, feel free to reach out!  I'd be happy to offer advice where I can!  Use this link too to open your shop and you'll get your first 40 listings FREE! 

Happy Monday, friends!

13 comments:

  1. Hi!! I started following you after reading Shays blog for many many years, and saw the adorable Signs you have made for her. I as well, have the machine (that collects dusts more than anything!) and found your Instagram page right after I had my first baby 5 months ago. I remember sitting on the bed with my husband dreaming up every crazy idea to allow be to be a stay at home mom and telling him, "LOOK! This girl,quit her full time job and now does this as her job! If she can do it. Why can't I?!" You do incredible , super cute work...and your inspiring working 11st time mommy's like me who just need a little push! Keep it up sister!!

    Jennifer

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    1. Girl!! That just made my day!! Thank you!! I was absolutely that girl telling my husband "Look, she quit her job to do this full time! I'm going to be that girl!!" And I did! Granted, my PE Aide job was more of a fun way to occupy my time than a giant source of income. ;) But within this first year of staying home and doing this full-time, I've already surpassed that income and my life has been wayyyy less stressful. I'll be posting more about it all so I hope it inspires you to dust off that machine! You CAN do it! It just takes a lot of trial and error and TIME! :)

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  2. So awesome. I have tried my hand at my Signs. But I'm not that great. Yours are awesome.
    I would love to host a makers Monday link up with you. Just let me know!!
    Now I'm off the glitter:)
    Happy Monday.

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    1. Thank you, Heather! I love being able to split my time between glitter and paint. And there was a learning curve for sure with my signs! There were so many embarrassingly awful ones that never saw the light of day. haha. I'm still learning though and will be sharing a few tricks I've picked up a long the way at some point. I'll keep you posted on a Maker Mondays link up!!

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  3. All of your stuff is sooo cute! You've done a really great job working to where you are. I would LOVE to have a craft-room, but I feel like I don't have a single crafty bone in my body! ha! =)

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    1. Thank you, Johannah! I appreciate that! And before my kids were born, I felt the same way about not being crafty, believe it or not!! It was seriously an obsession that I just sort of fell into!

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  4. You made my Christmas signs this past holiday season and I love them! Can't wait to follow your journey on here :D

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    1. Hi Laurel! Thank you so much!!

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  5. Hi!!! I stumped upon your IG from Shay's blog. I am a boy mom and use crafting as a girlie outlet, too (although the crafts are becoming fewer and farther between now). I'm dying to know more about how you make your signs - they are absolutely adorable!! Can't wait to keep reading your blog, I love Shay's blog but I'm really looking forward to reading a true "boymom" blog ;)

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    1. Hi Christy! Thank you!! Today I cleaned pee off of the bathroom wall so yeah, I'm definitely a boymom!!! hahaha! I'm sure you've been there! ;)

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  6. Hi!! I happened to find your blog through Erika's blog today and I love the signs you make. Do you happen to have a Cricut? I'm a cricut newbie and I'd love some tips. I have no idea where to start with it, but am looking forward to learning how to use it and seeing what cool things I can make.

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    1. Hi! I have a Silhouette. I don't know much about how to operate a Cricut but I do know it can do almost all the same things as a Silhouette. When I first started out, google, YouTube and Facebook groups were my biggest resource. There are Cricut and Silhouette FB groups and also several sign making groups. Those will definitely help get you started! :)

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    2. Thank you for your response! Christina:-)

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