{“Mama + Biz Owner” — You don’t have to compromise motherhood for business, part V}

Women encouraging women, mamas encourage mamas. That’s my inspiration for this new “mama + biz owner” series. Today is part V and although it’s a bit longer than the others, it’s chalk full of great inspiration for you to soak up. Two sisters who both have 5 children share how they manage life, business + getting it all done. Meet this women of Vintage Rose Wraps

Let me first preface this by saying that it is only through a blessing from beyond how 2 sisters, nearly 5 years apart both ended up with 5 children each—all the same ages! :) We are Katie + Ginny, owners of Vintage Rose Wraps, and our children are…

Katie {Wilson} Hughes // Ruby 12 | Betsy 9 | Cannon 6 | Millie 3 | Clayton 10 months

Ginny {Wilson} Winters // Annie 12 | Andrew 9 | Will 6 | James 3 | Emily 8 months

As children and while growing up, we had a family cottage industry and learned to love the idea of using personal resources from home to create something that could be loved by others.

We’ve always done something together, whether it was creating items to be sold at a local holiday home show, or helping put on women’s retreats to bless the lives of others.  But with the birth of each child, and an eventual move out of state for one of us, we honestly put things on the backseat so we could focus our energies in raising our children.

But you never know when you might just happen upon a little business.  My sister had given me some headbands in 2008 — I liked the concept and so did my friends.  So I set out to make some of my own.  I made a few and gave them as gifts, and it wasn’t too long before others wanted me to make them for themselves.  I sold them for holiday shows and people in my area and things just sort of naturally escalated from there.  I felt an inner tug, called my sister, and eventually created VINTAGE ROSE WRAPS.

We’ve now taken our headbands to the wholesale Market Shows in NYC, Atlanta and Dallas and currently sell to over 700 stores across the country — with wholesale being about 95% of our business and the other 5% through Facebook and word of mouth.

You can find our shop here, our Facebook page here, and our blog here.

 

BEFORE children, here’s what a typical day looked like:

After getting married, both of us graduated with degrees in Family and Consumer Studies, so a lot of our time was spent completing those and also working outside the home.  Ginny was over sales in a large touristy consignment shop, and I helped with creative projects at a non-profit organization that assisted abused children.  For fun, we’d eat out a lot, go on weekend getaways with our hubbies, and travel!  Oh that was the life!  We weren’t sure what the day would hold as there was always an adventure to be had.

 

And now AFTER children:

We both eventually stopped working when children came along, so this left opportunities to try some new things together. So aside from the day to day responsibilities of taking care of children, we’d get together a lot, create things, and really just try and go with life as usual.  We’d steal hours from the day during naptime and late at night to accomplish things we’d wanted to.  I don’t think it was until the third babies came that life really changed.  Now with five each, we really work to accomplish things with the help of our very supportive husbands, friends, and family.  We still try to make homemade meals at least 5 nights a week, take time to travel with hubbies when possible, and steal a few hours of the night after the kids go to bed to catch up on work things.

I think the biggest prompting was that our internal voice told us we’d always do something.  We tried lots of things before we landed on this—and I think truthfully, we didn’t anticipate that this thing was “the one” — but now as we look back on how things have progressed, we realize that everything we’d done before was just helping us grow our talents and abilities to be able to be successful at this business.  Our past experiences, our interactions with people, even where we grew up and where I moved all shaped how this business was able to grow the way it has.

Because we came into this business after most of our children were born, it wasn’t until our last babies came that we needed to hire a little help.  We have a shipping office with 1 full time and 1 part time employee and a couple of fill-in employees when needed, and we have anywhere from about 4-8 sew-ers who sew for us weekly.  Other than that, we do our best to manage home life on our own.  Occasionally we have a cleaning lady who comes into help us here and there when we need a little extra boost — but for the most part we work to manage everything else on our own.

I don’t think having children changed our outlook on our business — rather it was the business that changed our outlook on home life.  I think because we have to work harder to have quality-time with our children, we really value day-to-day interactions with them and try to find joy in our every day routines.  We work to build memories with our kids more often and are more conscious that we’re not letting anything fall through the cracks.  With that said, that doesn’t mean we don’t ever let anything fall through the cracks — but I think we strive harder to be good Moms because we have to — and if we aren’t doing our best, we feel it more because there’s always something to blame it on! ;)

Because of this, we have felt the need to share our experience as mothers and business owners with others — which has led to our new, very exciting endeavor — our blog — The Vintage Mother — going live shortly! {late September 2012}  We realize there is so much we can do to extend ourselves to Moms and business owners alike and share our experiences to bless the lives of others.  We hope you’ll take the opportunity to get to really know us.

In our opinion, that of “being a Mother” will be the most important work you ever do.  If you have the opportunity to be a Mom, how wonderful and what an amazing gift!  With that said, take opportunities to listen to your internal tuggings and follow your heart.  If you have a desire to have a business while being a mother, the right timing for things will fall into place.  You don’t have to compromise motherhood for business.  It can be done with a good support system and you can still be a fantastic mother.

On a business note, here’s our advice — simply put:  Do what you do well.  It doesn’t require any alarming amount of creativity or style or perfection.  Create something you love — something you’re proud of.  Market it as best as you know how.  Follow your instinct, be smart, and go with it.

* * *

SHARE WITH US: What one thing do you do well? How did you get to the point of feeling this way about it, and do you have others who help support/encourage you on your journey? Do you have any advice on finding this “one thing? Leave a comment below + share!

 

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    Thank you for sharing this story! It sounds like you have a great system going. I find it so hard to do things with three kids, I can’t imagine 5! lol But we moms know how to get things done, right?
    I wish you all the best in your business and family adventures!

    • 2

      says

      @Jenn, Yes, we Moms DO know how to get things done! :) I think God has given “moms” the special capacity to accomplish the inner tuggings of our hearts–and as Moms, that’s usually the desire to raise good children, and balance every good thing on top of it. Thanks for your comment Jenn! xo

  2. 3

    says

    Yes, we Moms DO know how to get things done! :) I think God has given “moms” the special capacity to accomplish the inner tuggings of our hearts–and as Moms, that’s usually the desire to raise good children, and balance every good thing on top of it. Thanks for your comment Jenn! xo

  3. 4

    says

    This is REALLY speaking to me today. MAKING is my passion! But for now, I still need to sit in this cubicle. Thankful for the job and the guarenteed income it brings, but looking forward to the day when I CAN CREATE full time! I need my husband to get on board too. Because right now, he just likes the ‘extra money’ as extra and not as a paycheck. I was MADE to MAKE—-but for now, it’s at nap time on the weekends and after bed time. Long hard hours but when you love what you do it’s not work! Thanks for this post!

    • 5

      says

      @Annie, You will know when it’s time–and if it’s right for you in your life, the time will come! ;) I don’t think our husbands were really on board until they saw the potential for it to grow, but they’ve always been supportive and helped provide opportunities for us to keep creating–no matter what. And I think from those little moments came the desire to support us when the big thing came along. I think our husbands are so much more apart of the “success equation” than a lot of people think. Don’t truly know how we could do any of it without them. Hope you get CREATING and MAKING things soon! xo

  4. 6

    says

    i needed to read this today, thank you! i’m starting my photography business and i have a sweet baby-almost toddler. I love what you said – do what you do well. simple but i’ll remember it and check your blog soon!

    • 7

      says

      @Lindsay, Yes, please check out our new one coming soon! We’re going to have lots on there that can help you as a spouse, mother, and business owner! So glad you liked what we said. It doesn’t have to be as complicated as we make it. Thanks Lindsay! xo

  5. 8

    says

    This is such a great post! I have big dreams and heart tuggings to have a little handmade shop. I wanted to open it this fall! But after finding out I’m pregnant with baby #2, moving, and being very sick with this pregnancy… there’s just no way it will be happening soon. But! reading this today reminds me that just because I can’t do it now doesn’t mean I’ve missed my chance. Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration! :)

    • 9

      says

      @shelia, Oh I so know how you feel! First of all, ZOFRAN! Do you have some? That saved my day when I was sick with my last pregnancies! ;) Hope you get feeling better soon. And those big dreams and heart tuggings transition from time to time as we go in and out of experiences/pregnancies, but I’ve noticed that the ones we’re truly supposed to follow will be there and stay there for as long as they need to be–or until you do something about it. There is lots of time to create–but remember you’re doing the most important kind of creating by growing that baby inside of you! Such an amazing experience and the most beautiful kind we know. Best of luck to you Sheila! <3

  6. 11

    says

    Thank you for this great, encouraging post!! It made my day! So many times all I hear is: you can’t do both and succeed. Thank you for your encouragement!!

  7. 12

    says

    I love and admire Katie and her amazing business. I’ve talked to her a few times and she’s given great wisdom and advice. Being a mother of 3 and a handmade business owner is very busy and hard work but it’s SO rewarding (both being a mom and a handmade business owner!) But it’s a constant battle of staying focused and on task to what needs to be done. There’s not much down time! Thanks for writing this Katie!

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