Meet Amy… runner, teacher, wife, mom, and sewist! Her sewing business started off as nothing more then a need for a cute hat! With a little guy in tow, she was unable to find anything that made her happy at the store. So she devised a plan to create him a one of a kind hat. That hat turned into 2 hats, turned into 5! The other mommies in her mom’s group started requesting hats for their little sprouts and soon she was in business!
Amy is giving away a great car toy organizer to one of our readers!
There are 2 ways to win… first, check out Little Sprout Baby’s Etsy sight. Then, leave a comment on this post telling us what your favorite item is. To be entered a second time, leave a comment on our Stitch Cleveland Facebook page about Little Sprout Baby also! You can enter until October 15th!
Read on to see more of our interview with Amy…
How did you start sewing as a business?
Well, if I could make hats and mittens, then I could make the other things I couldn’t find in the store too, right? Right. Each new item is a fabulous challenge. The truth is, I’m having so much fun that I’m taking another year of parental leave this school year. Life is funny. I never imagined myself as a stay at home mom with a small business. It’s a grand journey and I’m loving every twist and turn.”
How are you inspired? What gives you ideas for your next creations?
I am inspired mostly by hiccups in daily life. If I have a difficulty along my way, I think, “Hmmmm . . . I could make this and life could be a bit easier.” Currently I’m fashioning a sun shade for the front of my jogging stroller. The poor little guy gets blasted by the sun in the AM. Gorgeous fabric also inspires me. Amy Butler and Michael Miller fabric just speak to me sometimes. The other day, Michael Miller’s Edgy Veggie told me to make reusable sandwich bags.
What are your favorite things to sew?
My favorite things to sew are things for babies. I can unleash my creativity and have fun. A plain backpack becomes a baby backpack that looks like an owl. It makes me giggle and happy. The items I like the least to sew are purse straps. I’m very picky about my purse straps and that requires lots of interfacing, pressing, edge sewing, on and on. Tedious stuff, those straps but you have to do it.
Etsy is a super popular crafter’s website… How did you get started there?
I started on Etsy because I made my own infant mitten pattern and I thought I’d try to sell it. I then started adding things that I was making for Local Girl [a fabulous gallery showcasing local art], friends, family, and moms from my support group. It was very blurry and confusing until recently when I broke my store into two stores. One is for adults (purses, yoga mat bags, laptop sleeves, etc) and one for babies. This change has focused me and I feel less like I’m having an identity crisis and confusing my clients.
Do you sell your work on other sites?
I don’t sell on other sites but I have items at Local Girl and sell at artisan shows such as Hessler Street Fair, the Coventry Art Fair, and LEAF Night.
You seem like a busy lady, yet you find time to do what you love! Do you have any advice for other people looking to make their hobby into their living?
Finding time to craft when I have a baby is very hard. It is hard to maintain a balance between sewing and my commitment to stay at home with my baby. It’s a struggle nearly every day. The most important thing is that I nap when the baby naps. Still and he’s 18 months. I cannot work while he’s napping and not have the energy and patience I need for him. That said, I craft in small pockets of time. It’s slow and messy because I have to start and stop based on the mood of my son.
My advice is to find your thing. Your thing is the thing that others don’t make, the thing you like to make, and the thing that resonates with others. It’s so hard to find that thing. Once you find it, try to make that your bread and butter product. I think I finally found my thing after ten months. No one else sells anything like my car toy organizers on Etsy. There was a lot of joy, pain and self-doubt along the way. Until you find your thing, just jump in and enjoy where the ride takes you.
Thanks for sharing your work and advice with us, Amy! It’s always nice to hear from other artists and designers!